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  • Older Than They Look: Ayane Matsunaga, one of the two options for the Sun social link. Despite being only a year younger than the protagonist, if he chooses to bring her as his date to the Summer Festival, the man handing out prizes will mistake her for an elementary school student.
  • Old Media Are Evil: P4 takes this trope and runs with it. The heroes explore a supernatural television channel that causes some deaths. Even outside the world inside the television, this trope is heavily discussed. In particular, how television and gossip are bad.
  • Ominous Fog: When the fog comes, someone's going to show up dead, unless you intervene. And even then, it's a crapshoot. Later becomes permanent, with your characters realizing it's the fog from the TV world.
  • Ominous Save Prompt: On 12/03, after finishing the last exams, one of these pops up. It isn't lying.
    There will be dramatic turns in the story from this point. It is strongly recommended that you take this opportunity to save. Would you like to save the game now?
  • One-Hit Kill: Hama and Mudo series. Of course, they are capable of missing like many others in RPGs. However, if an enemy is weak to light or darkness, Hama and Mudo will almost always hit it.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: The party's confrontation with Taro Namatame is played as this, with both sides of the argument misinterpreting what the other is saying. The main characters believe him to be the killer. But, when they accuse him of being a killer, he insists that he's "saving" people. At first, the party (and the player) believe that Namatame is so far gone that he thinks killing people is saving them. But, everyone that Namatame threw into the TV world was rescued by the party. And the only people who ended up dying were Mayumi Yamano and Saki Konishi, the two people that he didn't throw into the TV. So, from his point of view, throwing people into the TV world does save them from dying. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!! Here's a notable example from the scene:
    Namatame: If I hadn't put you in the would you have ended up...?
    Yukiko: How would we...?
    Rise: Are you trying to say...we wouldn't have been able to face ourselves?
    Yukiko: What...!? But we nearly died!
    Namatame: Yes... Exactly...
  • One Steve Limit: Averted with a character and a place — Kanji Tatsumi and Tatsumi Port Island (the location of Persona 3, which is visited during the game). In Japanese, they're spelled with different characters, but their readings are the same, so they appear the same in the English version.
  • One-Winged Angel: Adachi and Namatame both do this. Izanami also does this when you reveal her true form—a skeletal, maggot and filth-ridden corpse, just like in the legend that Edogawa told you during the class trip.
  • Optional Sexual Encounter: At the end of the Christmas date, your girlfriend decides to spend the night and the screen fades to black. Followed by suggestive text (for example, Naoto gives you a device that tells how far apart you are, and after the fade to black, it shows that you're less than a meter apart). You could also make an argument that maxing any of the social links with a girl you've chosen to date leads to this. She asks to come to your bedroom, the two of you exchange words, and then it fades to black with the words 'You spent a long time with Insert Girl Here'. The thing is, most of these conversations end with your arms wrapped around the girl in question while you're sitting alone together in your bedroom, so one is forced to wonder what you spent such a long time doing...
  • Painting the Medium:
    • One of the Shadow bosses does some serious tapping on the fourth wall, summoning a giant cel-shaded blockman (identical to the style of 3D Dot Game Heroes, actually) that attacks and uses items using a Shin Megami Tensei-style menu. We can prove it.
    • Lampshaded by Yosuke: before entering Marie's bonus dungeon on 2/13, you can choose to lament that there wasn't a chance to fully explain everything beforehand. Yosuke says that if you had, the "question mark above [his] head could be seen from orbit." This being a game where "?"s and other punctuation marks indeed appear over characters' heads.
  • Pantyshot: Ishtar, the last persona of the lovers arcana has an extremely short skirt. No wonder then that she flashes whenever you summon her, though it's still not that prominent. Chie on the other hand, despite being a Kick Chick with plenty of chances for this, manages to avert the trope by wearing shorts under her skirt.
  • Palette Swap: Similar to the previous game, the enemies you encounter in a certain dungeon will have counter-parts on later dungeons, distinguishable by their color schemes.
    • Shu's mother has the same model as the various women in suits you see throughout the game, but wears a red suit instead of a black one.
  • Panthera Awesome: A few of the fusable personas are these. Ose is a bipedal, dual-sword wielding, cape-wearing cheetah while Gdon, available around the same level, is a tiger that has flames rising from his back. The White Tiger Byakko, one of the four heavenly beasts, is also available for fusion.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: By the name of "Perofella"
  • Parasol of Prettiness: Yukiko when you meet up with her at the Samegawa Flood Plain after the first boss battle.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • The Protagonist is forced to move to Inaba for the next year because his parents went to work overseas. The manga takes this even further by implying he's being moving to all different places his entire life. Goes into Parental Neglect, when you think about it. He's there for an entire year, and he never contacts his parents, and they never contact him.
    • Then there's Nanako, who does all the housework and practically lives by herself because of her father's habit of constantly being called into work, and her mother's habit of being dead. And to rub it in, he ends up severely injured and doesn't make it in time to see Nanako die - if you get the worst ending.
  • Passive-Aggressive Kombat:
    • Rise is a black belt at this sort of thing, mostly driven by her jealousy of the other girls when she thinks they're competing for Yu. In particular, there's the "Wrap Up Party", where she sweetly warns the other girls not to compete with her cooking because she'd win hands down.
    • Ai Ebihara has at least one scene like this during her Social Link, where another girl (picked according to your relationship status) appears while you're out with her. The two of them have a friendly greeting while the other girls asks what you're doing out with Ai. Ai interjects, and then the claws come out immediately.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: The final two dungeons become this if the EXP settings are at "more". No matter how high-level you or any party member are, the regular encounters will still give experience points at a rate of around 10000 per enemy, meaning any persona you take into battle will level up with every battle or two.
  • Pieces of God: In Golden, the True Ending and the completion of the S.Link for Marie, Aeon, reveal that Izanami-no-Ookami (and by extension, her manifestations as Ame no Sagiri and Kuni no Sagiri) is a cast-off from the true deity, Izanami-no-Mikoto, who incarnated as Marie.
  • Playable Epilogue: The normal ending. Getting the true ending subverts this as it requires you to realize that the last day is only presented as a playable epilogue and that the game isn't over yet.
  • Player Data Sharing: Golden added a feature (to take advantage of the PS Vita's wifi/3G capabilities) where the player could call for help while in dungeons and gets healed based on the number of players who respond. The game also lets players write a short message (from a few specific phrases, presumably so they could be easily translated and avoid griefing), which is stored in anyone they aid's log.
  • Playing the Player: The game uses a couple of subtle fourth wall breaks to mask the importance and true identity of the gas station attendant. Most notably is that she doesn't even have a character portrait until her true nature is revealed - due to Nominal Importance, the player only expects characters that have a portrait to ever have a major role. Outside of the opening, the attendant never appears outside of hanging out around the gas station on rainy days with no voice acting, further suggesting she's just a standard NPC with a unique design.
  • Plot Hole: Near the end of the game, especially in regards to Teddie, it seems like the writers were trying but failed a few spot checks. A good example is when Rise is unable to locate Adachi, but Teddie can despite having subpar sensing power compared to her. This is given an attempted explanation in that Teddie recognizes it because the location is where the IT first went when they visited the TV world for the first time. This falls flat on its face—while Teddie does meet the team soon after, he never was in or saw that room until the end of the game.
    • It does regain some credibility when you listen to the Exact Words of Teddie's explanation. He says it's where he first sensed the IT. Not where he first met them. If the MC, Yosuke and Chie had never stumbled into that room, tracking Adachi might have been rendered impossible.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Officially, it's Teddie. In practice, everyone fills this role at one point or another.
  • Point of No Return: Once you're in the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you can't leave the TV World anymore. The game is rather merciful about it, as both stores (Daidera and Shiroku) are directly available through interacting with the TVs in the hub. This stands in stark contrast to the sheer Guide Dangit that's involved with unlocking said dungeon...
  • Police are Useless: But not incompetent. Dojima catches all the major plot turns: your involvement, the way the victims are selected, Namatame's involvement, the fact that Mitsuo is a copycat murderer, sometimes even before Naoto does. Sadly, the poor man is Wrong Genre Savvy, and doesn't realize that he's living an Urban Fantasy world. And you never tell him until he's too pissed about your lying to believe you anyway. The Investigation Team constantly state that there's nothing the police can do to stop the perp, but they recruit all but one of the rescued victims to their cause after gaining a Persona. At no point does the team simply walk over a TV and stick their hand inside while a policeman is present.
    • Part of that was in-universe Executive Meddling, though – the higher-ups were really pushing to just close the case and be done with it after Mitsuo was recaptured.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: The cast are experts at using their weapons, despite there being no sign that they've had any sort of training (other than Chie watching kung fu movies and Kanji... well, punching things). This is particularly jarring considering it was relatively justified in Persona 3 (the characters used weapons corresponding to their club, and/or were shown practicing), and the weapons in this game are more exotic as well. Yosuke deserves special mention, busting out ninja tricks out of nowhere.
  • Potty Emergency: When the party first explores the TV World, Yosuke really has to go. He almost does it in a Room Full of Crazy, too.
  • Power Floats: The optional boss battle against Margaret, as well as Izanami's first form.
  • The Power of Friendship: The Social Link system: the main character can form relationships called Social Links with significant people. Each one is associated with one of the Major Arcana and will power up Persona of the matching Tarot class when fused in the Velvet Room. Some of the tarots have more than one person associated with them, and you have to pick one over the other. In addition, each party member has an S-Link, and your level of S-Link power with them directly affects combat.
  • Power of the God Hand: The God Hand attack returns from Persona 3, only now it's the second strongest physical attack, albeit the one that does the most damage in a single use. Still a giant golden fist striking from the sky, though.
  • Power Trio:
    • ¡Three Amigos!: Yu, Chie, and Yosuke are the founding members of the Investigation Team.
    • Freudian Trio: Late in the game, Yu, Yosuke, and Naoto fit this dynamic.
  • Powerful, but Inaccurate: Available for the protagonist is a Metal Bat weapon. It has tremendous attack, a bonus to critical hits, but horrendous accuracy. The Downpour Sword is its upgraded version, with a slightly smaller attack score but better (although low) accuracy.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Returning from Persona 3 intact (because it's the same engine).
  • Prolonged Prologue: The game takes a good three hours to establish the plot and the charactersnote .
    • Not nearly so bad in Golden. You're given more chances to save, there's an extra section where you can run about the town, and you even get a prompt asking if you want to save around half way through the prologue. Add to that the new 'fast forward' feature that lets you skip through long sections of dialogue, and the prologue isn't nearly so bad.
  • Properly Paranoid: Mr. Morooka assumes all of his students are horny bastards whose sole motivation is to get it on with members of the opposite sex. In the case of the main character, you are free to live up to his expectations. Yosuke isn't that far off either, and neither is at least one male student NPC.
  • Private Tutor: One of the odd jobs/Social Links (The Tower social link, to be exact) you can take is working as a tutor to Shu Nakajima, a younger student. If you stick with it, he goes from an Insufferable Genius obsessed with pleasing his Education Mama to talking things through with her and joining a baseball team (in the epilogue, he reveals he made friends with The Rival he was complaining about).
  • Psychological Torment Zone: The TV world.
  • Put on a Bus: Many social links (obviously not ones with party members) end with the link getting on a bus, thus justifying why the protagonist doesn't see their supposedly close friend anymore:
    • The tutored student, Shu cancels his tutoring sessions and joins the baseball team, having realized that good grades aren't everything.
    • The nurse, Sayoko transfers to another hospital, having reignited her passion for helping people.
    • Saki's brother, Naoki decides to be closer with his family to help them deal with their grief, realizing it'll mean not having as much free time to meet you.
    • The old lady, Hisano moves out of Inaba to live with her children, having come to terms with her husband's death and illness.
    • The drama club student, Yumi realizes that she only liked acting as an escape from her home life and quits the drama club to help her mother.
    • The symphonic band member, Ayane decides to go abroad for a music program.
    • The young mother, Eri stops leaving her stepson at daycare, deciding to spend more time getting to know him rather than avoiding him out of anxiety.
    • The Bus Came Back: Except for Sayoko, the social links will show up again for your New Year's greetings in Golden, to say goodbye to you on your final day in town, and if you romanced them, can be dated at the summer festival, Christmas and Valentine's Day.
  • Ramen Slurp: Really loudly, whenever the characters are in ramen shops.
  • Rated M for Manly: The Man Series is an in-universe example, consisting of books, which when read, increase the hero's Courage.
  • Real Men Take It Black: There is a scene where Ryotaro Dojima asks the player how he wants his coffee:
    Black: Just like me. The easiest kind to make.
    With cream: Huh...? Oh, uh, well... It's just I haven't heard anyone ask for that in a while.
    Cream and sugar: Hah, you have the same tastes as Nanako.
    Surprise me: Alright, I'll pour you a good one.
  • Reality Ensues: Naoto's status as a Teen Genius and Kid Detective sometimes runs into this. No matter how smart you are or how good you are at solving crimes, it doesn't guarantee that the police will want your help, particularly when you've been acting like an Insufferable Genius and challenging the authority of the people who hired you. That said, it's also implied that they didn't think much of her due to her age and gender, and were unwilling to admit that the juvenile suspect they arrested didn't actually do it.
    • When the School Festival rolls around, the player is given an option of voting for the class booth. The player's vote makes no difference.
    • If you talk to Yosuke in a dungeon after completing his Social Link, you'll learn that someone saw your fistfight with him, resulting in him getting in trouble for fighting.
    • When Yosuke is showing off potential weapons to Yu for the first time for them to take to the TV world, they both get arrested. Turns out being RPG heroes is not a good excuse to blatantly carry weapons in broad daylight.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Every Arch-Shadow gives one of these, overlaps with a Breaking Speech.
  • Red Herring:
    • It wouldn't be a proper murder mystery without 'em. Hell, the non-True Endings come from following the Red Herrings instead of continuing to search. The game makes a big deal about finding the truth and not accepting the easy answer.
    • The Junes department store is not particularly popular for running smaller stores out of business, and their jingle might seem to be brainwashing Nanako. Especially considering four of the first five victims are kids set to inherit small family-owned businesses in Inaba, one might start suspecting Junes is behind the plot somehow, or even suspect Yosuke because of this. The fact that it doesn't get brought up in dialogue options might make some players even more suspicious. In truth, it is completely irrelevant.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Unlike Persona 3, you can choose to do this with any, or all, or none, of the potential Love Interests. Some require more work into making this than others.
  • Remonstrating with a Gun: Yosuke does a variant of this early in the game. After offering the main character a choice between a long sword and a dagger, Yosuke gets it into his head that he should use both, and tries a few moves. A cop sees him, and moves in to arrest Yosuke. Yosuke tries to explain himself, while still flailing about with his weapons. He and the main character end up being arrested.
  • Retraux: Void Quest, in all its self-referential, Dragon Quest-like splendor. Repeatedly lampshaded, and Yosuke breaks the fourth wall if you take him into the big boss fight.
  • Refuge in Audacity: While an admittedly rather mild example, some of the costumes you can wear in Golden are pretty out-there. Kanji probably puts it the best in once particular instance:
    Kanji: You don't give a crap. You're in a dungeon in just your swimming trunks and you just do not give a crap.
  • Relationship Values: Cultivating your Social Links allows you to make better Personas.
  • Revised Ending: Golden adds a new ending sequence; the protagonist returns to Inaba a few months later, all of the Investigation Team members turned a new leaf on their lives, being sincere with themselves and their lifestyles coupled with new dressing fashion.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Chie and Yukiko could count, given the whole "Chie is my prince" scenario and their (perceived) dependence on each other. Of course, personal issues aside, they are close friends, and Chie points out that she honestly did want to save Yukiko.
  • Room Full of Crazy: When the characters first enter the TV world, they run into one, covered in mutilated pictures of Misuzu Hiiragi and splattered in blood. Near the end of the game, it's revealed that the room was created by Mayumi's thoughts and acts as the portal to Adachi's lair. In full context, it probably represents her resentment of Namatame's legitimate wife, though the exact circumstances will probably always be hidden.
  • Rousing Speech: Just like in the previous game, You will hear the voices of your maxed-out Social Links right before finishing the final boss.
  • Running Gag:
    • Most notably Yosuke getting owned every three cutscenes.
    • And Teddie trying to "score" with the ladies.
    • And Mystery Food X.
    • Yu has "Calm down." show up more than anything else in his dialogue trees.
    • The phrase "I don't know." shows up often as a dialogue choice. It is also usually the ideal choice during social links.
    • Yu's many opportunities to eat suspicious-looking food items from the fridge, generally resulting in a nauseating description of the food, a boost to Courage, and Yu not feeling well and opting to go to bed early.

    Tropes S & T 
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Saki Konishi, whom Yosuke has a crush on; she ends up becoming the second murder victim, which makes it quite personal for him.
  • Sadist Teacher: Kinshiro "King Moron" Morooka, the brutally conservative Jerkass who is convinced that kids are all horny troublemakers and that the New Kid (you) is nothing but trouble as someone from the city (apparently also giving Yosuke trouble for the same reason). He also goes so far as to state that the deaths of the first two victims were their own fault. In front of a class of teenagers who probably knew one of the victims. Why exactly did it take so long for someone to kill him?
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Adachi does this when you finally corner him.
  • "Save the World" Climax: Starts off with a group of friends discovering the (supernatural and thus unprovable) MO of a Serial Killer and resolving to catch him. If you manage to unlock the true ending it turns out to be a conspiracy by an Eldritch Abomination (disguised as a gas station attendant) to bring about The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Say My Name: NANAKOOOOOO! And also for another reason: ADACHIIIIIII!
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The Protagonist does this when he first summons his Persona, Izanagi. Also occurs during All-Out Attacks.
  • School Idol: Yukiko appears to be one, and Naoto even makes the local news as the "Detective Prince". Rise as well, although it helps that she's also the other kind of idol.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: An attempted Justification is made by Chie suggesting they hide their weapons under them so they are not arrested. Whether this works for you depends on how hard you think about it.
    • Especially unconvincing since not a single main character wears the uniform properly, biggest culprits being Yukiko wearing a red jacket over her uniform and, ironically, Chie herself, with a huge green jacket over any top she may be wearing. (Though she is also the martal artist of the team, and her "weapons" are various leg and foot protectors)
    • It's not that hard of a stretch because most of the team wield weapons that could be easily hidden under their clothes (small knives/wrenches, fans, guns, and footwear),and Teddie could simply hide his gloves/claws in his suit. The only oddballs are Kanji (shields, folding chairs, and a school desk), and Yu himself, who wields 2-handed swords.
    • Averted in Golden, where the player can dress the characters up in whatever outfits they desire.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: All the little differences between the game's Multiple Endings, but perhaps the most prominent of which is the fact that the doctors were able to revive Nanako isn't revealed until after you decide what to do about Namatame. Should you choose to throw him in the TV, Nanako remains dead. You Bastard!.
  • Scripted Battle: The end of the battles with Shadow Rise and Izanami-no-Okami.
  • Secret Relationship: Implied between Yu and his girlfriend, since most of the romance happens in private scenes, and while the party members might notice something's up between Yu and his girlfriend (such as after if Yu mentions going to the summer festival again during the fireworks festival, or talks to a romanced party member in a dungeon), they don't figure it out.
  • Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: Rarely, when going for a regular attack, there is a chance of the character overshooting their attack and stumbling, making themselves vulnerable to extra damage.
  • Self-Deprecation: One is done at the mechanic from the third game, in which you could only control your main character. Shortly before the fight with Shadow Chie, Teddie will contact you and suggest that you switch Yosuke to manual control if you haven't already, because "Compared to you, Yosuke stinks" at fighting. Yosuke, while annoyed to hear that from Teddie, concedes that Teddie has a point, and asks you to control him. Considering that Shadow Chie frequently targets Yosuke's weakness, you'd do well to take their advice.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • In the True Ending, Yosuke asks Yu if he has any plans in May, which is when Persona 4: Arena takes place.
    • In Golden's epilogue to the True Ending, which is set several months later in the summer, Yosuke outright refers to how Yu just wound up running around the Midnight Channel again when he visited in May, which again refers to Persona 4: Arena.
  • Serial Escalation: There are several new Ultimate Personas for the various Arcana, and those that have retained that distinction from the last game are put higher up in their respective rankings, boosting their base levels and stats. Then there's Alice's "Die For Me!" which has gone from a One-Hit Kill spell with an 80% success rate to one with a 100% success rate as long as the target doesn't resist Darkness.
  • Serial Killer: The game's mystery involves trying to figure out who the serial killer is. The game presents two suspects that seem to match the idea of the fictional serial killer. The first is a creepy, socially maladjusted teen obsessed with violent video games, and the second is an eerie, soft spoken nobody with a messiah complex, wanting to "save" people. The reality is, the actual serial killer is played realistically, to a chilling degree. The serial killer is Adachi, who was under the radar for most of the game. Unlike the past two suspects, the serial killer just seems like a regular person... who just happens to be a total psychopath who murders people for amusement.
  • Sexophone: Muscle Blues.
  • Shadow Archetype: One of the more impressive things about this game is that the Shadows follow the Jungian model. They're the parts of a person that they least want to admit exist; denying them only makes them stronger.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Happens a couple of times to Yosuke and Chie. A bit subverted in that it is entirely possible for the protagonist to make the assertion true... unless Chie is all for polygamy, anyway.
  • Shielded Core Boss: Shadow Mitsuo of the "Void Quest" dungeon is surrounded by a shell of ... pixel blocks resembling a gigantic 8-bit sprite (yes, really). Rise informs you that you have to destroy his outer shell before you can attack him directly. He can restore his outer shell by acting three times (First Whisper, then Chant, then Prayer), and uses two of those after losing roughly half his health, so you will likely have to break the outer shell at least twice to win. On the plus side, though, every time you do so, you can gain an All-Out Attack on him, and if you do enough damage while he's reforming his outer shell.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Rise ships Chie/Yosuke and Kanji/Naoto. And, of course, herself/Yu. This can be seen in how she most often skis with Yu in the skiing trip in Golden, albeit with a good reason (Yukiko and Teddie ski too fast for her, Chie and Yosuke are on snowboards, and Kanji's busy teaching Naoto how to ski).
    • Chie arguably ships herself with Yukiko. At the very least, that's the tack that Erin Fitzgerald took with the character in Golden and elsewhere.
    • Yu himself is given the option to ship Kanji/Naoto. On one walk to school, he can suggest that Kanji share an umbrella with Naoto.
    • Before Naoto's revealed as a girl, Yosuke teasingly ships Kanji/Naoto when talking to Kanji, angering Kanji to the point where he storms off. Chie then scolds Yosuke, reminding him that Kanji doesn't find it funny, while Rise is fascinated at the idea of something happening between Kanji and Naoto.
    • Apparently, the Amagi Inn ships Yu/Yukiko, believing that Yukiko's trying to learn how to cook in order to get a guy. When you meet Kasai, one of the waitresses, she refers to you as "the rumored boyfriend," even though at this point, the player doesn't yet have the option to confess to Yukiko.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Frequently a viable strategy, especially against the bosses who come with minions. On the flip side, if all four of your party members can heal...
    • Kanji's shadow boss is a perfect example of the above. The shadow will come flanked with two minions, one who will cast buffs and heal the main boss, and the other who will target Yukiko far more than the other party members.
    • Works for the enemies too. All of your party members' evolved Personas gain an elemental immunity and lose an elemental weakness, except for Yukiko and Teddie, who don't lose their weakness, but get another resistance to go with their immunity. Their peculiarity is that they're the only ones who learn the Media (party healing) family of spells, revive spells and status removal spells. Which means that they're the only ones who can get the Downed status through elemental attacks, when later bosses tend to exploit weaknesses when they discover them.
  • Shorttank: Chie definitely fits the archetype.
  • Shown Their Work: In Golden, there is series of unlockable lectures by Edogawa from Persona 3 explaining Jungian Psychology.
  • Show Within a Show:
    • Phoenix Ranger Featherman R returns yet again! You will often find Nanako watching it downstairs —when else?— on Sundays. Yuuta also becomes a fan during the Temperance Social Link. Golden gives the Investigation Team the Featherman suits as an optional costume.
    • Witch Detective Loveline, one of the books you can get in the game (but only in the Japanese versions of both releases), becomes a show in The Animation and is Nanako's favorite.
    • And of course, the shopping channel, Tanaka's Amazing Commodities!
  • Signature Move: There are spells and abilities that are exclusive to specific Personae, a majority of which cannot be passed through Fusion:
    • Alice has her regularly possessing the destructive "Die For Me!" attack. She summons armies of corrupted Wonderland soldiers and has them skewering her enemies from the sky. Its counter-part is the "Samsara" which is exclusive to Daisoujou.
    • Surt, the fire giant from Norse Mythology has his signature Fire spell Ragnarok. Sometimes, Loki, Thor and Odin join in the fun with Niflheim, Thunder Reign and Panta Rhei.
    • Mara and "Maralagidyne", a "Severe"-tier Fire spell that targets all enemies, is a play on its name, and is infamous for its squicky animation.
  • Single-Issue Psychology: Averted. The party members are put on a path to overcoming their faults after beating their shadows, but it still takes plenty of work to have them fully embrace their insecurities (in this case via spending a lot of private time with them).
  • Skinship Grope: Naoto gets ''felt up'' by the other girls, in the hot springs.
  • Slice of Life: The game takes a page from this genre and defaults to this for Character Development during the breather scenes.
  • Small Town Boredom:
    • Part of the reason Adachi causes the murders, particularly the idea that someone like him would be sent to Inaba.
    • It is also part of Shadow Yosuke and Shadow Yukiko. The former decided to investigate the murders to get some spice in his life, feel special and possibly be regarded as a hero. The latter feels trapped in her role as heiress of her family's inn, but after thinking through her choices, realizes that her perceived lack of choice is the problem, and she wants to manage the inn for the sake of her family and the staff.
    • To a lesser extent, it's also a problem for Eri Minami. She, a woman from the city who married a man with a young son in Inaba, complains that there's little to do besides watching TV and surfing the internet, and it doesn't help that none of the other mothers who have kids at the daycare like her.
  • Schmuck Bait: Golden, adds a Social Link for Adachi. The game even gives you the option to cover for him when evidence points his way. Doing so results in the biggest (creepiest) Downer Ending in the game. Note also that not doing this destroys the social link—or, rather, mutates it into a new link, and if you choose to confront him, you can eventually complete it the normal way and unlock Adachi's Persona.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "The Path is Open", the uplifting song that plays when you complete a Social Link, even if it's by helping the real murderer get off scott free.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: After her death, Saki is subject to quite a few nasty rumors about her being promiscuous, from Mr. Morooka, and a few nameless NPCs, some of whom even believe she was involved with Namatame.
  • Specs of Awesome: Every member of the Investigation Team (except Teddie).
  • Spit Take: The reaction to Mystery Food X from both you and Yosuke.
  • Split-Personality Merge: The end result of a person finally accepting their Shadow.
  • The Spock: Naoto acts like this in order to be taken more seriously by adults.
  • Spoiler Opening: A blink and you'll miss it example, but during Golden's new opening, it shows how the victims are found dead, including Mayumi from a TV aerial, Saki from a telephone pole and Kinshiro Morooka from his apartment window. That last one, however, is quite hard to identify and has his face covered by his tie but is still easy to figure out who it is.
  • Stalker with a Crush: A girl at Yasogami High School, who spends her days in front of the library, longing for her senpai. She does get into contact with him ("her" in Golden) eventually, but that's about the same time her senpai gets really friendly with another girl. She doesn't take it well, ultimately making a rather ineffective attempt to Murder the Hypotenuse, possibly as an effect of the fog that is covering Inaba by then, which is screwing with people's minds.
  • Standard Status Effects: A lot of them are either changed or done away with, with the most notable being Charm and the Distress/Shocked/Frozen statuses that drop evasion to zero. New effects include Confusion, Exhaustion (an SP-draining status), and Enervation (all stats are cut in half, and there's a chance to fall down while using a physical attack or forget what you're going to do when using a skill). The Condition system from the previous game is also dropped. In addition, the Amrita Soda item, which only cured three status effects in Persona 3, can now cure any status ailments save for Dizzy.
  • Stealing the Credit: The Inaba Police, unwittingly. Because of the nature of the Investigation Team's rescues, they can't take the credit for capturing Mitsuo or, presumably, Adachi. To everyone else, the IT are just a group of kids who have a habit of ending up in suspicious places. Yukiko says that it's fine for the group to be proud of what they've accomplished- they just can't tell anyone.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The term "Shadow" has way many more puns than in English:
      • First is that in the Japanese version, the common term for them is in Gratuitous English, whereas it is a general term in English. This game makes the mention that they refer to themselves as "影" (kage), while literally means "shadow" can in some translations mean "reflection".
      • Second is that they use the Royal "We" when they very rarely refer to themselves.
      • Finally, the kanji for "真" (shin) is the same kanji used in Shin Megami Tensei.
    • The ultimate Persona for maxing out Teddie's Star social link? Helel, the Light Bearer.
  • The Stinger: Only with the good ending:
    • As Yu takes his train out of town, the camera cuts between him riding the train and the rest of the group back in Inaba, as Teddie delivers a calm speech stating how no matter how far apart they are, they'll always remain friends. The protagonist, smiling, pulls out and looks at a group picture of the Investigation Team, and the game cuts to a "Fin" on it.
    Teddie: "You, me, and everyone else. There are no barriers. Our hearts are one. Right, Sensei?"
    • Golden adds one with its new bad ending: After burning the only evidence implicating Adachi as the killer and Adachi threateningly promising to keep tabs on his new "partner-in-crime" via cell phone, Yu takes his train back into the city. Adachi walks past the train and Yu, startled, glimpses him from behind. Adachi grins, Yu angrily clutches his cell phone, and the train rides away into a dark tunnel. The implications are dark, to say the least.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: The sheer amount of dialogue in the game (1.5 times the amount in Persona 3) is just staggering. Even the translators were shocked when they realized just how much they had to translate, with less time to do so than for Persona 3. Reaching the first "free" day can take a good 4 hours, give or take 30 minutes, just to get past the introduction.
  • Summon Magic: The "Evoking" of one's Persona in battle.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Everyone's Shadows.
  • Surprisingly Good English: The song lyrics were always in English (except the ending theme), and barring speed are pronounced very well. Understanding it, however...
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Adachi, when he figures out the protagonist and his friends are behind the reappearances of those tossed into the TV. Comes with Ax-Crazy-sounding voice.
    • One third-year who gives you various riddle-related sidequests insists that he's not doing it to get out of studying for exams.
    • In Golden, when King Moron summons you to give you a jersey, he's with a girl who insists that she can get home by herself, and she wasn't going out to party.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Kanji, to Naoto. Needless to say, this only makes his sexuality issues that much worse...though he also, naturally, is the most understanding when dealing with her Shadow.
  • Swirly Energy Thingy: This is the effect used for people who have the ability to enter the TV world when they touch the screen. The entrances to dungeons also look like swirling black and red whirlpools, and act as portals that let you go inside.
  • Take That!: If you agree to hang out with Daisuke and Kou on one occasion, it will net you a special book that you can read to increase your Diligence and Expression. It is described as "a ploddingly-written romantic comedy about a girl who moves to a new town. Vampires are involved." The game then describes it as painful to read, hence the increase in Diligence. Here's a screenshot of the event.
  • Take That, Audience!: An interesting and low-key one. In the Moon Social Link, at Rank 6, you are given the "No turning back" warning, which usually implies that you can become a lover of someone. However, since Ai is In Love with Love, the relationship will be simple play-dates and she will break up with you at Rank 9. This seems to be a good shot at all of the gamers who just look at the romantic subplot as just a way to collect a harem. You can make it romantic if you hold off on becoming Ai's lover but it also requires more work for the protagonist.
  • Taking the Bullet: Characters that you have a Social Link with will take any single-target attack that would kill you in your place once per battle. Most players actually recommend making sure everyone on your team has at least a Level 1 S-Link rank, but Golden instead unlocks this ability at Rank 9. Also, during the final boss fight, as part of a story sequence, the boss will use an attack that has a one-hit KO. She will spam it at you, but the first three times, your allies will take the attack for you.
  • Tarot Motifs: Each Persona and each Shadow in the game is associated with a particular Arcana. Additionally, the game's protagonist can develop Social Links with other characters; each of these characters is also associated with a particular Arcana—the higher level a particular Social Link is, the more of a boost you'll get when fusing a Persona of that Arcana.
    • Shadows tend to be associated with the reversed or negative aspects of the Arcana, as opposed to the positive ones. (For example, Shadow Chie represents jealousy, egotism, and insensitivity to the feelings of others, all things represented by the reversed Chariot.)
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: An in-universe example in one of Kanji's Social Links. He says the dolls he made are "so cute, they'll give you diabetes! The instantly fatal kind!"
  • Team Pet: Teddie fills this role somewhat, but becomes human. The fox from the shrine is probably a better candidate, but it generally does its own thing when you're not bribing it for SP.
  • That One Case: The Hierophant Social Link (and to a lesser degree, the Justice Social Link, where it is mentioned in passing) reveal that Ryotaro Dojima's That One Case is the hit and run that killed his wife.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Both the original game's opening theme Pursuing My True Self, and the Updated Re-release's Shadow World explain quite a lot of the major themes of the game: Finding the truth, facing yourself, and the power of connections.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: During the final battle' with Izanami-no-Okami, the music starts out sounding hopeless. After a few minutes, a piece of the recurring theme "I'll Face Myself" plays, and shortly afterwards the song builds into an amazing instrumental of the main battle theme, "Reach Out to the Truth."
  • There Are No Therapists: Inaba seriously needs a psychiatrist because it's gotten to the point where people are being killed by the Anthropomorphic Personification of their repressed feelings. But at least they have you...
    • On a lesser extent, there are also many people whose problems aren't threatening their lives, but who also admit that they don't have anyone to confide in besides you.
  • Time Skip: Will happen regardless towards the end of the game; the only difference is how much time passes and why. If you're heading towards a bad ending for throwing Namatame into the TV or otherwise failing to confront Adachi, the game calendar rapidly speeds from early-December to mid-March when it's time for Yu to leave Inaba. But if you do reveal and confront Adachi's crimes, you'll have several extra weeks to play around with—before the game speeds towards March, but this time with a montage of all the fun times the team had in-between. Furthermore, in the latter case, the game stops at 3/20, the penultimate day, giving you time to say your last goodbyes, wander around some more, and potentially defeat Izanami and achieve the True/Golden ending.
    • Additionally, unlocking the "Golden Ending" in the re-release will treat the player to an extended epilogue of the protagonist returning to Inaba a year later, showing what the townspeople have been up to since then and with everyone else dressed in new outfits and even hairstyles.
  • The Scrappy: In-Universe examples are the homeroom teachers for 2-2; Kinshiro Morooka (nicknamed "King Moron" by students) and Noriko Kashiwagi who replaces the former after he gets murdered. The former is a Jerkass Sadist Teacher who is strongly implied to be bullying kids, even those from other schools, and is infamous for long, rambling lectures/insult sessions towards his students. The latter is an obnoxiously sleazy Christmas Cake who manages to gross out and disgust her students, especially with her tendency to flirt with the male ones, to the point she becomes an In-Universe Replacement Scrappy, even though everyone still thinks of King Moron as The Scrappy.
  • This Is Reality: Late in the game, the two gossiping students in the Practice Building will be discussing the rumor that the fog is poisonous.
    Almond-eyed student: "This isn't some drama, so there isn't any poison.
  • This Loser Is You: Mitsuo could be construed as a Take That! to some players, being a creepy and ugly guy who hides behind video games. Also, giant floating baby.
  • Third-Person Person: In the Japanese version, Rise sometimes does that and Teddie constantly refers to himself as Kuma (Bear, his name).
  • Those Two Guys: Daisuke and Kou, who are grouped together as the "Fellow Athletes" Social Link.
  • Timed Mission: When someone appears on the Midnight Channel, you must save the person before a specific deadline. Fail to do so and the person dies, giving you a Nonstandard Game Over. Although, the game will give you the option to flash back one week and try again.
  • Too Dumb to Live: See Violence Is the Only Option. You know, when a bunch of people charge in during your confrontation with your other self and actively tell you not to say it... Lampshaded by Kanji near the end of the game.
  • Too Much Information: Said by Chie when Yosuke mentions Junes sells disposable diapers that they could use for their stakeout.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • All of your allies do this if you max out their Social Links. They get a new Persona with improved resistances. Both of your main mage types, Yukiko and Teddie, keep their weaknesses, admittedly while gaining immunity to their favored element and a resistance to another element, while everyone else loses the weakness and gains immunity; in Golden, one of the changes is that all of the Investigation Team's Personas follow the same model.
    • Golden comes with the Investigation Team taking several of these.
      • The entire team now gets a third tier Persona in the later months of the story.
      • Provided the Social Link is high enough, characters not in the active will occasionally run into the battle with a new version of their follow-up attack.
      • Rise will occaisonally interrupt the battle to provide status boosts to the active party, and join in with the All Out Attack.
      • If the All Out Attack doesn't clear the field of enemies, then depending on if they're in the party, Chie & Yukiko, Yosuke & Teddie, or Kanji & Naoto will perform a follow up Combination Attack.
  • Translation Convention: Any release that isn't in Japanese.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Technically.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Return to the title screen via menu command from the game proper, and you'll see, among other things, Kanji, Teddie (and his shadow form, complete with a "Shadow Teddie" textbox!) and Naoto as party members.
    • Even more obvious, the back of the game's box has Kanji and Naoto in your party, Teddie in the real world, and Rise in a level up scene.
  • Train-Station Goodbye: When your friends say their goodbyes at the end of your stay.
  • Troll: The Shadow Selves. Their whole game is to feed off their victim's denial by pissing them off.
  • True Companions: It's a Persona game. Of course this is going to be a major theme.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Chie's follow up attack triggers this after kicking her enemies into the sky.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The protagonist, Dojima, and Nanako living together in one household.

     Tropes U-Z 
  • Uncommon Time: Reasoning, the theme that plays during investigative scenes, is in the unusual 7/4 time signature.
  • Underrated and Overleveled: Every single party member counts. (except MC, Yosuke, and Chie since they are your starting members and join at low levels) All of them join right after getting their Personas and resting for about a month with obviously no experience in using their Personas. All of them join with the appropriate levels and skills for the stage of the game they're in.
  • The Unfavorite: The basketball version of the Strength link covers Kou's belief that he is a case of this as his parents adopted him thinking they couldn't have children, but they wound up having a daughter anyways. He becomes suspicious when they start being less strict with him while grooming his (two-year-old) sister for her responsibilities, but in the end, he realizes that they still consider him family.
  • Unmoving Plaid: Can be seen briefly in the cut scene where everyone falls into the TV the first time.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Zigzagged. Yosuke can stand around in the middle of Junes with a coil of rope and golf club and not draw attention, and the Investigation Team talk about their case in public several times. However, Yosuke waving around a (fake) knife and katana at the food court draws the attention of the police. Things quickly get out of hand.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Late in the game, a politician visits Inaba to do an article about the fog, and interviews an anonymous source, whose photo somehow ends up in the paper. It's bad enough when you keep in mind that people who appear on the TV will show up on the Midnight Channel, but it's even worse when you realize that the person is your young cousin Nanako.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • If you make the right choices at the hospital after the November dungeon, you find out that Taro Namatame was this. He believed he was saving people by throwing them into the TV.
    • The Investigation Team also counts as well, as the more people they saved, the more they convinced Namatame that he was really saving people.
    • If you make it to the True Ending, you find that Adachi, Namatame and the lead character are being manipulated by Izanami. The lead and his friends played the exact role they were meant to play by her: to show her humanity's determination and strength as "Hope" and stop her from hurting the humans she loved.
  • Updated Re-release: Persona 4 Golden for the PlayStation Vita is this, but due to the Vita's superior hardware (compared to its predecessor), it features updated graphics and retains the 3D models for the overworld (as opposed to the Persona 3 remake). It adds a brand new character in Marie, two new arcana (with new Persona summons) & Social Links to accompany them (Marie & Adachi), new events during the original Persona 4 story, more voiced dialogue, new abilities & a third tier evolution for the Investigation Team's Persona, new locations to visit, a new ending, new events during January & the first half of February (skipped over in the original release), a new dungeon & boss battle, and various tweaks to the original release.
  • Uptown Girl: The protagonist (middle class) with Yukiko (Ojou), Rise (popular celebrity), or Ai (Nouveau Riche) are possible pairings.
  • Urban Fantasy: While the game's setting takes places in the countryside, it is set in modern times.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Ailments skills in general, whatever boon they may offer, because of the likelihood of them missing and wasting your turn. A specific variant is Evil Touch/Smile. While it opens up amazing opportunities for instant kills with Ghastly Wail, good luck doing that before the enemy runs from battle.
    • Life Drain. It heals a measly 30 HP for only 3 SP. While it harms the enemy and has a very low SP cost, even the most basic healing spell, Dia, heals more for about as much SP. This is especially redundant in regards to Teddie, who can learn it at the hot springs/beach: Teddie is one of the game's two healers and the one with the second largest SP pool to support it.
    • Tetraja. There's no denying that being immune to instant-kill attacks is useful, but it only nullifies Hama and Mudo spells, rather than reflecting them as Tetrakarn and Makarakarn do. This is kind of dumb, as repelling Hama and Mudo spells is fairly easy to find in Personas across the compendium, in contrast to enemies, who rarely use them enough to warrant Tetraja. So as it stands, if you're worried about them, you might as well have just brought along a persona that does as much permanently and for no cost and without taking up a skill your starting Persona, for instance. This is also a problem for Naoto, as Life Drain is for Teddie, because Naoto already has repulsion spells for physical and magical attacks, far more common to see, and if she's social linked to third tier, it's made obsolete two times over—one because she gains Shield of Justice, and two because her Persona will innately repel the instant death spells. And at that point Teddie and Chie will also block one instant death type each. And depending on the day and your luck, Hama and Mudo can be reflected by a Makarakarn anyway.
    • The Reaper weapons, armors, and Omnipotent Orb you earn for beating the Reaper. They're the most powerful weapons and armors in the game, and the latter voids all attacks excluding Almighty, so they don't disappoint. They can't be earned or created any other way than by defeating the Reaper, but with said Reaper being ridiculously powerful, by the time you're strong enough to do that, you're near the end of the game, or at least halfway into a New Game+. Most players probably aren't patient enough to actually get all of the items and then earn the Omnipotent Orb too, especially as encountering the Reaper is random even if you follow the formula. Of course, by the time you actually are strong enough to accomplish such a feat, there's little need to, as even the True Final Boss will be cake before then. And guess what? All of the things you win from the Reaper, can't be carried over to a new game, and they by complete coincidence don't appear in your inventory list if you try to sell them to Daidara.
    • The Heaven's Blade spell, unique to the Persona Michael, has been nerfed from game breaker to this. It does less damage than Gigantic Fist, and has a lower critical rate than Rainy Death. The critical rate is high, just not high enough to compete with other moves, so it's very situational.
  • Vacation Crossover: At one point, the main cast go on a school trip to Tatsumi Port Island where Persona 3 is set.
  • Vendor Trash: You get paid in Yen at the end of each fight with the Shadows, but the Shadows also drop stuff that you can sell to the blacksmith. Not only will he pay you, but you need to sell him this stuff in order to expand his inventory. You can also get certain gems that you can sell or exchange for items at the Shiroku Pub.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Played with, due to the unusually high amount of false endings the player can achieve. Playing your cards wrong nets either Heaven (Nanako and Namatame's dungeon) or Magatsu-Inaba (Adachi's dungeon) as the last dungeon, and Golden also adds the Hollow Forest (Marie's dungeon) if you completed her Social Link before the end of December. The real final dungeon is Yomotsu Hirasaka.
  • Video Game Caring Potential:
    • The majority of the Social Links fall directly under this during at least one stage or another.
    • In November, it's advised to rescue the victim as soon as possible. Said victim is basically the player character's little sister (actually cousin) that the characters and the player have all grown to love, and she's trapped in a world of monsters. You better not leave her in there for too long.
    • There's an achievement for visiting the aforementioned victim in the hospital while they are trying to recover. This also ups your Relationship Values with the rest of the team.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In Golden, the player can choose to defend and side with Adachi, willingly burning the evidence that could have helped turn the murderer in. In doing so, you betray your friends, your family, and go against the case that you've been trying to solve the entire time. Doing this also maxes out the Jester Social Link, all while a heavenly choir is playing during this cruel moment.
  • Video-Game Lives: Easy Mode in the original version gives you 10 chances just in case you want to be covered by the kid gloves. Contrarian King and Shadow Kanji will most likely make sure you don't have any left by the third dungeon.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Played with.
    • The Investigation Team generally plays this straight, only acting when it looks like the killer is going to make his move. When they do get a lead, they make attempts to head him off at the pass, so they're attempting to subvert it.
    • Namatame thinks he's averting it by throwing people into the TV. But since he didn't know that was what killed them, his Obliviously Evil actions were playing straight.
    • Adachi played it pretty straight, being the villain who initiated all the major plot points in the investigation. As a result, his actions caused Izanami to think humans were bad, since he had the greatest effect on the TV world.
  • Violation of Common Sense: Ever wanted to eat grass, something that shouldn't be moving, or yogurt that was milk last week? You can, and you'll be braver for it!
    "You opened the fridge. There is a bag of wasabi. ... Lick it?"
    • It can't be food?!
    • Fanon took this idea and ran with it. Just check the comments section.
    • Occasionally when you go to the bathroom at school, you can get Rancid Gravy. It recovers SP like any other food item, but casts Silence on the one who eats it.
    • Some of the dialogue options that might seem to offend people are actually the best possible options for advancing their social links. It takes maximum courage for you to tell Dojima that he's distancing himself from Nanako "because (he's) a coward," but he laughs at your nerve and strongly approves.
    • While it's generally best to break people out of the TV at the first opportunity, since the Investigation Team members may insist on going into the TV rather than hang out with you when you get close to the deadline, it's best to wait until just before the deadline to complete Magatsu Inaba, even considering that the fate of the world is on the line, because once you do, the game immediately skips ahead to Christmas.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Whenever you meet an important character and their Shadow, that person will deny the Shadow being a part of them, and the Shadow will try and kill everyone in sight. The party's attempts to defy this doesn't work either; after they've kicked some ass though, the character faces up to themselves. Well, most of the time anyway. Kanji even realizes that Shadows going berserk is a step necessary to their hosts accepting them.
  • Visual Initiative Queue
  • Visual Pun:
    • There are eight statues of rearing horses lining both sides of the way to the entrance of Yukiko's Castle. What did her Shadow say she wanted to "score" with again? A whole harem of hot studs.
    • Kintoki-Douji carries a Tomahawk.
    • Then there's series favorite Mara. Bonus points for those who realize that Mara is also part of the Tower Arcana and learns the skill 'Absorb Physical'. Although Mara doesn't need to compensate for anything.
  • Voice of the Legion: Everyone's Shadow selves.
  • Vomiting Cop: This is how Adachi is introduced, though it's only heard, not seen. He vomits at the sight of the first murder victim. It's unknown whether this was due to genuine panic or if he was just putting on an act.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss:
    • Shadow Yukiko is a very early-game boss, and has a wicked habit of tripping players up. No weakness, and summons a very annoying minion who will heal the boss if it's not dizzied or killed off. The boss itself, once it's down to low health, Turns Red and begins to spam an attack-all fire spell that is quite painful, topping it off on the fact that one of your party members is weak to fire if she doesn't guard, and she can't be removed from the battle team (but has the element the minion is weak against). Even in Golden, where Shadow Yukiko gets the ice weakness, this boss still qualifies because of her and her minion's ability to cast White Wall, which makes them resistant to ice for three rounds, and there's generally only a one-turn window of opportunity before they recast it.
    • Shadow Kanji comes with two flunkies, one of whom can heal him. Heat Riser and Power Charge are among the buffs they will spam before destroying you, and none of the three is a pushover. For reference, Heat Riser casts Tarukaja, Sukukaja, and Rakukaja all at once on one target, and charges will make the next attack (physical, for this case) more than twice as powerful. And you can't remove a charge.
    • Almost any of the bosses (save Shadow Yosuke and Shadow Chie) can be this if one hasn't leveled sufficiently.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The game's main premise in a nutshell.
  • Warm-Up Boss: Shadow Yosuke. If you were paying attention during the tutorial and listen to what Teddie says, you'll do fine. If not, he'll probably kill you. Because you were dumb.
  • Washtub Throw: When the male characters stumble upon the female characters in the hot springs, the latter continuously throw a ridiculously amount of wooden buckets at the former. No amount of Courage the main character can have allows the boys to be able to "hold the line".
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • The Michael Persona of the Judgement Arcana. It starts at Level 72 and has a set full of excellent skills, including Megidolaon, Repel Dark, and Mahamaon, but no matter how much the player levels him, they'll be hard pressed to ever get his stats beyond the fifties. Doesn't apply quite as much as the Persona 3 incarnation, since Heaven's Blade received an extreme nerfing.
    • The Clear Skies Musha in the Hollow Forest in Golden. Scanning it will cause most players to panic, as it possesses not only Primal Force, but Hassou Tobi, the Yoshitsune-unique physical move that hits all enemies 8 times and is considered the strongest attack in the game. The Musha, though, only has a very tiny strength stat, and so can't do much even with those devastating moves.
  • Weapon of Choice: Although they don't state it outright like in 3, the heroes of 4 use weapons that reflect their personality. The Hero uses broadswords, Kung-Fu loving Action Girl Chie has leg greaves, Yamato Nadeshiko Yukiko uses fans, delinquent Kanji just hits monsters with a heavy blunt object, be it a shield or a school desk, Teddie the 'bear' has claws, and Naoto has a gun due to being a detective. Yosuke's dual knives are the only odd man out, but then again, knowing him, he might be Dual Wielding just for Rule of Cool.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: If the protagonist kicks the bucket, the game is over. However, depending on your relationship is with the other party members, an ally will actually jump in front of you and take the damage from attacks if you're close to dying. Doesn't work for attacks that hit everyone, and only works for a given character once per battle. Upon maxing Rise's social link in Golden, she can resurrect you once per battle.
  • Weirdness Search and Rescue: Teddie is set up to fill this role but he's just as clueless as everyone else as to what's going on. Still, he does lead the group to the people inside the TV until Rise takes over the job, and again when he tracks down the real killer.
  • Wham Episode: The events on December 3rd basically cover this, although the rainy days after saving Rise are just as big, if not nearly as emotional.
    • November 5. The subtle tension between you and Dojima comes to a head, resulting in him taking you in for questioning, and you soon learn that the next Midnight Channel kidnapping victim is Nanako. In the course of one night, Nanako is abducted and Dojima is hospitalized, but you learn the kidnapper's identity.
    • Some Social Links also have these. The Rank 3 event of Yumi's social link makes it evident that it's about her relationship with her previously estranged and now dying father. Rank 8 of Shu's Social Link has you overhear his mother confront him about something that happened at school, and being asked to leave without getting any pay or a rank up.
  • Wham Line:
    • The endgame is kickstarted with a phone call sometime after the Dojimas are admitted into the hospital:
    Adachi: Um, I want you to stay calm and listen to me, okay? Nanako-chan's condition suddenly got worse.
    • After the aforementioned events on December 3rd, interrogating Namatame, asking who the first person he threw into the TV was, and his response by pointing at the third Midnight Channel subject Yukiko, showing he had no ties to the murders of Saki and Mayumi.
    • When implicating the Killer, Adachi slipping up and saying something he couldn't have otherwise known:
    Kanji: 'Cause we think... it mighta been you.
    Adachi: What? Th-that's ridiculous! We already know it was Namatame who put them all in!
    Chie: What did you just say...?
    • And before the above, when the player is deducing who could be the killer, they come across Adachi's name on the list of choices, and realize that the evidence points to the possibility that he of all people could actually be the killer.
    • On Rank 8 of Rise's Social Link, her former manager, Inoue shows up one more time, and Rise, thinking that he wants to pester her to go back to showbiz, refuses him again. He then reveals this, which causes Rise to realize that she's thrown her career away.
    Inoue: Okay... I understand. Well, now I can focus on my new job. I signed up as Kanami Mashita's manager.
    • When Inaba gets hit by a very weird cloud of fog, Rise says something which gives Kanji an idea and tries something, only to be horrified that he's correct.
    Kanji: Wha—-!? G-Guys, put on your glasses!
    • A mild one concerning the school trip as part of a cultural exchange. Yosuke forgets where they're going for that, so Yukiko reminds him that they're going to Tatsumi Port Island.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Upon realising something is not right at all about the assumption that Namatame is the killer, the Investigation Team question him about everything, one being on who he tried to "save" first. He points to Yukiko.
    • In the fight with the Killer, Adachi's Eyedscreen in his battle revealing he has a Persona.
    • Near the very end of the game, the gas station attendant suddenly getting a character portrait, revealing her to be far more important than thought.
  • What an Idiot!: In-Universe; The murderer stops just short of outright saying it, but clearly has this reaction if the protagonist destroys the only piece of evidence tying him to the murders in the Accomplice Ending. Making a couple of wrong choices can even get them to say 'what an asshole.'
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • You can call out most of the party (particularly Yosuke) for attempting to kill Namatame in the paths for the Normal/True Endings. Worth noting that choosing this option involves a Precision F-Strike and Yu SHOUTING while getting visibly angry (using the "anger" animation that the other characters use) for the only time during the entire game.
    • In the Bad Ending, Dojima asks you whether you think you made the right choice or not. The game is rather bluntly telling you that you did not.
    • In the Golden exclusive Bad Ending, the player can choose to defend the murderer, Adachi. He even mocks and calls the player out for this.
  • What the Hell, Player?:
    • The first thing Mr. Morooka does with you is introduce you as a "loser" to the classroom. You can backtalk him on this, which gets you on his "shit-list, effective immediately." Given that he's an asshole of a teacher. While shocked (everyone has an exclamation mark above their heads), your classmates don't seem to mind much, though.
    • In the first scene of the Strength S-Link, if you join the basketball club, your choices at one point are "Help out" or "Be an ass and leave".
    • You can reverse Naoto's Social Link by refusing to help her at Rank 5, causing your friend and teammate to run off in tears.
    • In the original version, there are no major repercussions for dating all possible love interests. In the Golden rerelease, you'll be forced to reject every girl but one on Valentine's Day, and the tearful scenes that ensue should probably make you feel like a terrible person.
    • You can potentially just not complete a dungeon and let the victims die in the TV while the murderer is still out there. Thankfully, the game will rewind a week to let you start again, but the scenes can be very upsetting. In particular, if you fail to stop the murderer before Christmas eve is over, Naoto will call you and you can hear her being killed over the phone.
    • If you wait too long to save someone, your party members will get anxious. If you're almost running out of time to rescue the November victim in particular and you say no to going to the TV World to save the victim, your friends will be justifiably dumbfounded and pissed off.
    • It's possible for you to steal Nanako or Dojima's food from the fridge, which results in you gaining a Courage boost without having to go to bed early, like you do if you eat the rotten food.
  • What You Are in the Dark:
    • The characters' respective Shadows.
    • You can date one girl, or you can date multiple girls. The latter carries no repercussions whatsoever in the original version. Come Golden and the Valentine's Day event, however...
    • Forms the crux of the choice that leads to the Bad Ending, much like the previous game. Nanako has just flatlined, and the Investigation Team is alone with Namatame, the one responsible for her condition in the first place. The choice comes down to either pushing him into the TV, dooming him to the Shadows, or sparing him and risk him getting away with his crimes. Depending on your choices, the rest of the party may push Namatame into the TV, leave the case to the police, or continue with the case (the latter of which is the only outcome that doesn't end the game).
  • When You Coming Home, Dad??: Nanako asks Dojima the titular question over the phone more than once. Similarly, Eri's husband is gone on business, leaving his son with a stepmother he barely knows.
  • Where It All Began:
    • For the normal ending, the entrance to the killer's dungeon, is in the same Room Full of Crazy area where the protagonist and his friends first head to in the Midnight Channel.
    • If you get the True Ending, Izanami's dungeon is where Yu experienced his short, easily forgotten dream sequence at the very beginning of the game. This example is lampshaded in the game.
    • In the True Ending, your last moment in the Real-World where you have some amount of control is at the Junes Food Court, dubbed the official Secret Headquarters of the Investigation Team.
  • White and Grey Morality: The antagonists are just mentally unstable and just need help, but ultimately are doing what they think is best. The only exception is Adachi, the actual murderer, but even then, that character does show remorse later and admits that they have a lot of issues and deserve to be in jail. This is especially odd considering the usual MegaTen game out-Grimdarks just about everything.
  • World of Silence: Earn the True Ending, and you find out that this is the kind of world Izanami thinks the apathetic humans want.
  • Westminster Chimes: Played at the end of every school day.
  • A World Half Full: The note of the true ending.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • In the True Ending, the Protagonist is empowered by his social links during the final battle.
    • This line word-for-word flashes across the screen if you use the online feature in Golden to send an SOS signal and if somebody decides to respond to it. This causes your party to recover a small amount of HP/SP.
    • This exact line is also a dialogue option for the protagonist when Teddie is trying to figure out who he is after the confrontation with his Shadow self.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One:
    • You can't stop people from being kidnapped. You can't stop their Shadows from getting pissed. You can't figure out how the culprit kidnaps people for basically the whole game (so you can't actually catch them). You can't stop the first phase of the Assimilation Plot from taking place. You can't make reversing it permanent just by getting Ameno-Sagiri to lift the fog.
    • In the September confrontation with Shadow Naoto, Kanji straight-out tells the rest of the party not to even try to keep Naoto from rejecting the Shadow - they might as well let the victim get it all out, and then they'll just beat the crap out of the Shadow as usual when it does go berserk.
  • You Keep Using That Word: Teddie keeps talking about "scoring" with the female party members. It's not clear that he's actually sure what that means, or whether he keeps saying it because it gets such hilarious reactions from the other characters.
    • The joke is slightly Lost in Translation in the English version of the game. In the Japanese version, Teddie specifically uses the word "gyakunan" to mean "score," a word he learned from Shadow Yukiko. Its meaning in Japanese specifically refers to a woman hitting on a man, which explains a lot of his friends' reactions. Understandably, it would have been a little awkward to translate that into English with the gendered part intact.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Turns out Mitsuo wasn't the Big Bad. And then, neither was Namatame! It ain't Adachi/Ameno-Sagiri either although you're getting close.

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