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  • 0% Approval Rating:
    • The Phantom Thieves' approval rating, as evaluated through polls on the Phan-Site, is shown during loading screens and increases with each palace cleared. Following the Medjed incident their popularity skyrockets to the mid 90s, but after being framed for killing the principal and Okumura, their ratings spiral down to 3%. The Phan-Site is even littered with death threats during this period.
    • When the Phantom Thieves are kicked out of Mementos by the Holy Grail, the merging of the Metaverse and reality causes humanity to believe the Phantom Thieves never existed. The Phan-Site rating crashes to literally 0%, and the Phantom Thieves are erased from the new reality.
  • 100% Heroism Rating: By contrast, getting the Phan-Site poll to this number unlocks Satanael, the Protagonist's Rage Against the Heavens ultimate persona, with whom you very stylishly dispatch the final boss. And this comes after months of being public enemy number one in the eyes of the public. Earn Your Happy Ending, indeed.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: The game prompts the player to use the "Protein" consumables before a workout session at the gym for extra Max HP/SP gain. In real life, this is done after exercising to provide needed amino acids to muscles as they recover, but doing so in the game would confuse the players as the Protein consumables also serve as regular HP recovering items in the Metaverse.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Invoked. One Mementos conversation has Yusuke doing this.
    Yusuke: "I'm in the zone now; give me more stimulation!"
    Ryuji: "Dude! Phrasing! I-I know what you mean, but...phrasing!"
  • Action Bomb: Alice's unique "Die For Me!" Special Attack involves an army of giant Killer Teddy Bears with bombs in their chests rushing the enemy before they explode.
  • Actually Four Mooks: A single Shadow on the field can transform into 2 to 6 enemies when you engage them in battle.
  • Adult Fear: Despite the supernatural elements, most of the threats providing tension in the story are very much ones that exist in the real world:
    • Having your civil liberties violated by law enforcement, including being beaten, drugged, and potentially shot and killed, with the entire event being swept under the rug.
    • A well respected school teacher turning out to be an abusive sexual predator, whose actions are being covered up to avoid scandal. Leading at least one student to believe their only option for escape is suicide.
    • Your parent taking the money and credit for your hard work, and having no way to speak out about it.
      • Also, that same parent is responsible for the death of your birth mother, so he could steal her final gift for you for his own profit.
    • Having your family think of you as a burden.
    • Being blackmailed for something you didn't even do, with the threat of ruining not only your hard-earned reputation, but that of your uninvolved family.
      • Being kidnapped, drugged, raped or sold into prostitution by criminals, or watching a friend nearly suffer the same fate.
    • Being trapped in a loveless and abusive marriage that you didn't even choose for yourself.
      • Watching your parent die in an accident or outright murder, and suffering from crippling feelings of stress and guilt as a result.
    • Discovering your younger sibling is involved with a dangerous criminal group, while you failed to realize it.
    • Being betrayed by someone you've come to trust and rely on.
    • Working yourself to the bone to try to earn the right to be treated with respect and dignity, but it never being enough to overcome other people's bigotry towards things about yourself that you can't change.
    • Akechi's entire life is this, knowing his existence as a bastard child drove his mother to suicide, and building a likable public persona because it was the only way to convince anyone to have you around.
    • In general, teenagers being unable to believe in their teachers, their parents, the police, or most other adults, to the point they're willing to engage in larceny and violent assault. The heroes discuss this at a few points, wondering if justice is entirely on their side, or if that even matters.
    • The feeling of being trapped, powerless and with no-one to turn to doesn't stop once you reach adulthood. Plenty of the adults get screwed over by institutions meant to support them.
      • Arguably, Kamoshida could be seen as one such person. He was an Olympic gold-medal winner, not someone you usually think of as a violent sexual predator, but the pressure of society and those around him pushed him to rely more and more heavily on just that part of his life to get by until he wound up where he did.
    • Sojiro gets a particularly nasty one: social services or the courts removing your child from your custody, despite your efforts to keep them safe and well. Especially when this would result in said child being sent back to abusive relatives.
      • Related to the above, Sojiro also has to contend with knowing that social services may even have a point in wanting to remove Futaba from his care; his daughter is a shut-in, missing out on her education and going without the mental health care she needs, both things that would raise serious safeguarding concerns among competent social services. Sometimes, despite doing their best, a parent can fail to provide for their child's needs.
    • Late in the game, Sojiro finds Futaba's calling card while cleaning her room. At this point in the game, all he knows about the Phantom Thieves comes from the media, which is currently painting them as violent criminals due to the Frame-Up with Kunikazu, so his reaction is a mix of anger and fear over the idea that Futaba was associating with such a group. Even after Joker and Futaba manage to explain themselves, he's still worried about the danger they're putting themselves in, but knows that he couldn't stop them even if he tried and can only warn them not to go into a fight they can't win.
    • This extends to Mementos targets, and the ones antagonizing Confidants.
      • The real estate agent trying to make the old couple sell their movie theater is afraid of losing his own job, and believes that if he fails again he will be fired.
      • Tae's boss felt like a fraud who only got his job through his connections, compared to a prodigy like her.
      • The old friend blackmailing Iwai is afraid of becoming obsolete as a new generation begins to take over.
      • Like the second Mementos sidequest about the bullying student being bullied himself, Ohya's boss only comes down hard on her because he lacks her spine to stand up to his superiors, re: their orders for her to stop investigating the source of Shido's intel on cognitive psience. In this case, changing his heart not only makes him repent his spinelessness, but also gives him the courage to cover for Ohya so she can finish her report, a complete 180 from his previous position.
  • Adults Are Useless: One of the big themes of the game is that the Phantom Thieves formed due its members losing faith in adults, most of whom are at worst abusive, greedy and cruel, or at best, just plain apathetic. At the end of the game, Sae promises to make good and damn sure to defy the trope.
  • Adventure-Friendly World: The Mental World of the Metaverse responds to the hidden desires of evil humans by creating massive dungeons, giving you an excuse for Dungeon Crawling and Boss Battles. Its Clap Your Hands If You Believe properties also makes it so even toy guns and fake melee weapons work like real ones, giving your party a way to obtain weapons to fight the monsters that inhabit the Metaverse, despite the heroes being teenagers in Japan, where real weapons (especially guns) are usually extremely hard to obtain. The monsters in it even drop real money, despite being essentially figments of the imagination.
  • An Aesop: Society can be oppressive and corrupt, but that doesn't mean you have to accept that it has to be this way. You may have to do things that you or other people may not think is completely morally right, but if you do nothing, then you're no better than the villains. Don't just accept injustice, do something about it.
    • The last arc of the game makes the additional point that it doesn't matter if there are a few dedicated reformists taking down an equally few number of corrupt people, lasting change cannot happen as long as the population at large remain Apathetic Citizens too lazy or scared to push for and believe in it.
    • Building on that, apathy is, in and of itself, very dangerous, and popularity means nothing: many of the villains get away with their crimes because they're popular or otherwise have a good public persona. And they maintain that persona because people are more than willing to accept things at face value. Even the Phantom Thieves suffer from this, when their popularity skyrockets and they start to believe they can do no wrong.
    • And further building on that, the party members' confidants demonstrate that even if you are "free," and are willing to take your life into your own hands, that alone won't make your life better. That responsibility is hard, and people give it up for a reason, but it will still ultimately pay off if you stay strong and work through that adversity.
    • Vigilante justice can be used solve problems when the justice system cannot, but it is still ultimately a problem that it is necessary, and it alone cannot reform society. You need to actually touch the hearts of the populace in some way in order to show them what problems must be corrected.
  • Affably Evil: The bandit leader in Futaba's palace. A perfectly cordial monster who's disinclined to violence and offers to join forces with you to share the plunder; he's perplexed as to why else you'd be there, if not to raid the tomb.
  • After-Combat Recovery:
    • The "Victory Breath" and "Victory Cry" auto skills restore part or all of a party member's HP and SP after battle.
    • The Persona 3 DLC "Evoker" accessory will automatically restore one bullet to your gun's magazine after battle if equipped.
  • AKA47: None of the guns go by their real names, despite clearly being based on specific models. The fake names include riffs on real names (Franchi SPAS-12 to "Bianchi SBAS", M1911A1 Colt Government to "Governance"), well-known nicknames (Colt SAA as "Peacemaker"), and even generic descriptive terms (Ithaca 37 to "Heavy Shotgun"). These are in-universe examples—the party's guns are all airsoft replicas (the enemy only needs to believe it's being shot at with real ammo).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Goro earns some sympathy from the party during his final battle, and they're even willing to bury the hatchet and join forces with him against his Arch Nemesis Dad. Okumura's brutal death also inspires some pity from the thieves, especially since he was their newest member's father. And while they don't have any noteworthy redeeming traits to speak of, it's not hard to feel bad for Principal Kobayakawa and the SIU Director after the Big Bad discards them like garbage the second they're more useful to him dead than alive.
  • Alertness Blink: Blocky white lines will pop from various characters when they first notice you.
  • Alice Allusion: Alice returns yet again, this time as the ultimate Persona of the Death Arcana.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Haru joins the Phantom Thieves because she wants to atone for her father's actions and redeem him. This ends up for naught as her father is murdered by The Conspiracy and Haru spends the rest of the game having to cope with the guilt. Doing her Confidant also reveals that Haru's fiance is still trying to go through with the Arranged Marriage, but Haru gets out of that with the help of the company's management.
    • Despite everything the Phantom Thieves are unable to move the public through their heists alone, with Shido's change of heart and confessions failing to stop the corrupt system or wake people up. Ultimately, they're forced to steal the Treasure of the entire population at the core of Mementos to have any effect.
  • All in a Row: Party members not only follow around your player character, but will also Take Cover! behind him and help out when you open treasure chests. Walking or running in a straight line long enough will cause party members to move with you in formation.
  • All Myths Are True: Downplayed. Shadows and Persona take the form of mythical figures from every religion and culture on the planet, due to being Anthropomorphic Personifications of the collective human psyche.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: What drives the Phantom Thieves together is that they were all treated as outcasts by people. In particular, Joker's arrival in Tokyo started with pretty much everyone wanting nothing to do with him due to his "record". In fact, Ryuji only becomes his first friend after they're both nearly killed in the Metaverse.
  • Almighty Janitor: The ultimate Bonus Boss and toughest enemy in the game, the Twins, are two prison guards in a run down gulag inside your head. One of whom is an admin with nothing but a clipboard on her. Since they're directly related to Elizabeth, Theodore, and Margaret, this is to be expected, as each of them were the most powerful bosses in their respective games as well. Their comments, should you win, include a hint at this.
  • Aloha, Hawaii!: The Thieves' classroom in Shujin Academy takes a trip to Hawaii partway through the school year. While it's ostensibly a Beach Episode, the cast complains about finding the whole experience boring, since they don't do much outside of their normal routines even though they're in a foreign country. They're also distracted by their Phantom Thieves activity, as they were starting to get really popular just before they left, so ironically, they can't wait to get back home.
  • Alternate Reality Game: As part of the Tokyo Game Show 2015 marketing, the Japanese fanbase was tasked with tracking down and scanning QR codes at various places throughout the country, presented as finding information for the police force against the thief team. Scanning these unlocked the party's character bios on the official website for everyone to view.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Discussed In-Universe by Sadayo, who believes Princess Kaguya from The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter was a Femme Fatale who asked for fancy, impossible gifts and led men to their doom For the Evulz before running away to the moon. (Of course, her version completely ignores the fact that the reason Kaguya set impossible tasks before her suitors was so she wouldn't form any more attachments, knowing she would have to leave Earth behind.)
  • Always in Class One: Averted. Joker's homeroom is 2-D, where Kawakami teaches.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Played for Laughs, as you'll discover dirty laundry in some of the game's Inexplicable Treasure Chests, leading your party members to question who would bother putting dirty clothes under lock and key.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Ryuji gives the Phantom Thieves quite a scare after his apparent death in Shido's Palace.
  • Anime Catholicism: The Christian, likely Catholic, church in the game isn't a bad portrayal but isn't great either. On the surface it looks right but one will notice in place of a crucifix behind the altar there are six vaguely Christian paintings, yet in one scene Yusuke and the player discuss and pose in the crucifixion like there's one present in the building. Also the confessional is arguably placed too openly for its purpose.
  • The Anime of the Game: Persona 5: The Day Breakers, a 30 minute animated special released shortly before the game that shows the Phantom Thieves of Hearts performing a caper in Mementos. A full anime, Persona 5: The Animation, was released in 2018.
  • Animorphism: In the Cruise Ship dungeon, the party occasionally get turned into mice while you're exploring. Yes, even the cat. Before that, the Miniboss Mot/Coffin-Borne God can cast the spell "Cornered Rat" to inflict the transformation on one party member, disabling them for three turns.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The guard command is mapped to the same button as cancelling out of menus, so in case you accidentally mash the button too many times, the game asks for confirmation when you select the guard command so that you don't accidentally waste your turn guarding. This also applies to the localized versions, where the "attack" and "guard" commands were swapped, along with the confirm and cancel buttons.
    • Once you reach The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, you can't go back to the real world. Since the players would have no other way to refill their SP once they run out of items, one of the Velvet Room attendants waiting at the entrance of the dungeon will fully restore the party's HP and SP, and before you enter the shrine at the core of the Prison, you're able to freely go back to the entrance of Mementos in order to run to the clinic or airsoft shop.
    • In the previous games, you could only switch Personas once per turn, so if you accidentally switched to the wrong Persona, you were stuck with it. That restriction still applies, but skills and Personas are now the same menu—you will get locked into that Persona for the rest of the turn, but the lock doesn't activate until you actually choose a skill.
    • If you're having trouble clearing the minigames that allow you to progress on video games, you can read a book that will allow you to input what is essentially a cheat code to make them easier, usually by extending your time limit. Morgana lampshades it by saying that he can understand how you might be frustrated by being unable to beat the game.
    • After defeating a Shadow, any other Shadows who were in the immediate area move quite a ways away so you don't accidentally trigger another encounter. This is especially useful in Palaces, where getting caught too many times could result in a Game Over since you're kicked out of the Palace after the meter reaches 100%.
    • Haru's Confidant starts really late, only starting towards the end of the game. To make up for this however, her Confidant is fairly easy to rank up as a lot of the answers the player chooses will give the most amount of notes.
    • With two exceptions (Futaba's and Okumura's Palaces), there is usually a safe room right near the treasure room of a Palacenote . As such, you can usually make your way straight to the boss of the Palace after sending the calling card and fight them with fresh party members, without having to fight your way through Shadows (and in the case of Futaba's Palace, the first round is a Hopeless Boss Fight, then gives you a full party recovery before the real boss fight begins).
    • There's a series of very long cutscenes after the Casino Palace, so it's broken up by two save points, one after the story catches up to the prologue so that you don't have to fight the boss again if you trigger the bad ending. And another one right before the date changes which allows you to save and take a break so you don't have to go through another lengthy Info Dump in one sitting.
    • A minor detail is that the DVD rental store never actually charges you the late fee for returning a rental late. This might not seem like one, but since a few points in the game force you to go days without the ability to visit the stores, it seems it might be to prevent renting a movie at a bad time to cause any kind of downside.
    • If you've already unlocked a subway destination, Morgana will note this if you try to read a book that would have unlocked it, and time won't pass. This also counts as having read the book in order to make the "read every book" trophy easier to obtain.
    • When Sae tells you to give out your party member's or confidant's identities during the last part of the interrogation, her dialogue can be deceiving. She would look like as if she cares about your welfare and wants to reduce your death penalty. In reality, agreeing with her deal with result in you shot dead by Akechi and of course trigger the bad ending. Fortunately, if you made a choice that would potentially spill your beans, the game will actually ask you to confirm before you do so you have a chance to turn back.
    • After the Casino Palace, since Joker is faking his death to fool the Conspiracy against the Phantom Thieves, you can't go to school for about a month. However, you can still meet up with any of your teammates at the Academy to advance their Confidants, and can still access the rooftop to manage vegetable harvests.
    • On your second finals, you have two questions that you weren't able to go over because you faked your death briefly. The day before during the group study, however, if you picked going over history, Makoto and Ryuji will bring up a lesson that you missed and it just so happens to be the one you needed for the exam.
    • If you die during a boss fight, not only do you have the option to restart the fight right away, but you can also reset the time to an in-game week prior just in case you are underleveled or need to get some supplies. In 4, you only had the option to reset to whatever floor you died on, and could only go back an in-game week if you missed the deadline to complete a dungeon, while in 3, you only had the option to reset to a prior save.
    • In 3 and 4, you had to constantly switch party members if you wanted everyone to level up at the same rate, since EXP was only given to those active in battle. Here, a social link bonus allows all EXP to be distributed to all members even if they aren't in your party, making leveling up much less tedious (and while the social link isn't automatically leveled, it is clearly one of the most important and ultimately easiest to level).
    • In prior games, there was no way to save mid-dungeon. In 3, the only way to save during exploration of Tartarus was to find an access point and warp back to the entrance. In 4, things were a bit easier with the introduction of the Goho-M item, which let you go back to the beginning instantly, but you still weren't allowed to save at a certain floor. This time around, there are safe rooms in each palace, which let you pick up where you left off if you quit the game and want to come back to it later.
    • There's a luck-based ability your allies can get at a certain confidant level to automatically force you or other allies to snap out of certain status ailments mid-battle on their turn. If this is about to trigger, but it's not that ally's turn yet, the game will stop you from using an item or Persona ability to cure the target, preventing you from wasting items or SP on something that's literally about to be fixed anyway, a feature absent in 3 and 4.
    • Locked chests that require a lockpick to open are marked on the map when you find them. Since there are generally more locked chests in a Palace than you will have lockpicks for (especially for the first palace), this makes finding the chests before finishing the palace much easier.
    • Whenever you find a safe room, you can immediately transport to any other safe room, or the palace entrance, without any problems. This makes navigating the palace much easier, since they are not straightforward dungeons like in previous games. You can do the same in Mementos, teleporting to the beginning or end of any block, as well as any rest rooms.
  • Anti-Grinding: The Protagonist's Personas gain experience slower than he does, making it easier to fuse new Personas to get new abilities than fighting random Shadows.
  • Apathetic Citizens:
    • Discussed. Many of the villains bring up the fact they can do the horrible things they've done because the general public are more interested in being told what to do than doing what's right on their own. The Phantom Thieves also decide to continue their activities after the first dungeon to shake others out of apathy.
    • Made a plot point by the final dungeon. Even after getting Shido to confess everything he's done, the public doesn't listen. The Phantom Thieves ultimately have to steal the Treasure of all of Tokyo to get the people to snap out of it.
      • And then played absolutely straight: even after defeating Yaldabaoth in an epic battle in the Qliphoth World with all of Tokyo cheering them on, the Phantom Thieves return to the real world to find that they can't tell if they succeeded, because people don't really seem to be all that different from before.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Only four party members can be used in battle at a time, per series standard since Persona 3. For the first time in the series, you can switch out your party members in battle, but you need to begin the Star Confidant in order to do so.
  • Arc Villain: The first few months of the game has you finding a series of new corrupt target for the heroes' Heel–Face Brainwashing. And while you begin to learn The Conspiracy has been messing with the Mental World of the Metaverse as well, your targets aren't actual members of the group, and are by design acting on their own personal twisted desires.
  • Arc Words:
    • Heinous acts being "unforgivable" comes up a lot. Even a good number of Joker's dialogue options let him say it.
    • "Deal" and "contract" are brought up a lot, the latter during Persona awakenings and the former during Confidant links and important plot points.
    • "Stolen future", and variations of, are frequently mentioned when villains are doing things to screw over the younger generation.
    • The villains who make a public confession after having their heart stolen usually start their announcement with "I have committed acts unbecoming of a [profession]."
    • "Game" comes up a ton. It's usually used by Igor to refer to events going on in the story - even some song lyrics get it on it - and things that are working against the heroes are called a "rigged" or "unjust" game. It's almost always used in villainous contexts, and its true meaning is revealed in the ending: Yaldabaoth's wager against Igor, because the struggle of our heroes and humanity was all just a game to him.
    • Igor and his assistants always find a way to mention "ruin" and "rehabilitation". When Shido mentions "ruin" in a cutscene, you know things are getting serious.
    • The word "justice" gets brought up a ton throughout the game. A central theme of the game is exactly what justice means to different people and whether or not the Phantom Thieves' vigilantism falls under that category.
    • The phrase "I'm counting on you" (or variations thereof, like "counting on someone") is uttered at least once by every member in the team, and a few other major characters.
    • The series-wide "I am thou, thou art I" gets a lot more mileage in this game. Not just the protagonist, but each party member gets their own Persona awakening cutscene, and it's mentioned by narration whenever the protagonist begins and finishes a Confidant. Even Shadows get in on it when you recruit them, as they remember their true selves in the process.
  • Art Evolution:
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • Apparently in the Persona universe, a hurricane in Los Angeles will redirect a plane back to Hawaii. Hawaii is a five hour flight from Los Angeles and a plane flying from Japan to Los Angeles would not have an additional five hours worth of fuel aboard. Meanwhile there are a significant number of airports in California that not only have runways long enough for a typical wide-body jet used for a NRT-LAX route, they're also well within the extra 2 hours flight time that aircraft for international flights carry reserve fuel for.
      • For that matter, a hurricane is a storm that doesn't form quickly, but over several days. If one was close enough to California to affect air traffic into Los Angeles, the flight wouldn't have even taken off from Japan.
      • Moreover, it's incredibly unusual that a hurricane is occurring on the West Coast of the United States. Hurricanes feed upon warm sea water to sustain themselves, and the Pacific Ocean is usually too cold for one to travel far enough to make landfall. Tropical storms may hit Southern California occasionally, but hurricanes are an extreme weather phenomenon that only occur on the Eastern Seaboard.
    • The modern Egyptian town in Futaba's Palace has signs that are clearly written using the Devanagari alphabet, which is used for Indian languages, not Arabic. Somewhat justified in that it's just a Mental World, but it's strange that a supposed genius like her wouldn't know the difference.
  • Artistic License – Religion: Despite employing demonic avatars of the Seven Deadly Sins as a central motif, the story only uses a few of the standard demons associated with a given sin as popularized by Peter Binsfeld: Asmodeus (Lust), Leviathan (Envy) and Mammon (Greed). Meanwhile, Beelzebub (Gluttony) uses the name of the Semitic god he was a demonized form of, Bael. Belphegor (Sloth), Satan (Wrath) and Lucifer (Pride) are completely replaced by Mementos, the Sphinx and Samael. This is likely because Beelzebub, Belphegor, Satan, and Lucifer are all available as Personas.
  • Art Shift:
    • In-game, after winning a battle with an All-Out Attack, the party member who knocked down the last enemy gets a special Victory Pose which ends with their 3D model suddenly turning into a stylized 2D image, giving it more oomph.
    • The massive Info Dump later on in the story of how Joker faked suicide and escaped prison uses cute, stylized versions of several characters to provide visual reference to go along with the explanations.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: In Persona 4, the party members' Shadows came from repressed teenage anxieties and were Obliviously Evil over a desire to be accepted. This game, however, shows what the Shadow of a truly evil person looks like... and it isn't pretty. The Starter Villain's Shadow alone is a sadistic, hedonistic tyrant who takes great pleasure in torturing and killing anyone who wanders into his mental world.
  • Ascended Meme: At some point in the game, it's possible to catch "I've been waiting for this!" among the Phan-site comments, referencing Akihiko's infamous All-Out Attack line.
    • Yusuke Kitagawa says this when Morgana turns into the Morgana car in the desert surrounding Futaba's palace
  • Asshole Victim:
    • The Phantom thieves specifically target adults who have abused their position and taken advantage of others, as well as teenagers and non-famous adults who have let their desires become twisted. Examples include an S&M relationship gone wrong, a college student animal abuser, and... a serial video game cheater.
    • The Conspiracy has its own members killed when they're no longer useful to them, such as Principal Kobayakawa and the SIU director, but considering what the victims were responsible for, it's difficult to feel sorry for them.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The final battle against Yaldabaoth takes place on Christmas Eve.
  • As the Good Book Says...: The title of the boss theme "Rivers in the Desert" is a reference to Isaiah 43:19, tying into the Abrahamic Seven Deadly Sins theme present throughout the game.
  • Astroturfing: An In-Universe example. The Phantom Thieves are partially inspired to steal Okumura's heart by a flood of comments on the Phan-site demanding they do so, along with the fact that Okumura has a Palace in the first place. Of course, this is a setup, as The Conspiracy kills Okumura shortly after the Thieves change his heart in order to frame them for murder. The group then begins to express their doubts about the sincerity of the comments against Okurmura, and Futaba suggests that the Phan-site was hacked to make them appear in such great numbers.
  • As You Know: Thanks to the fact that the bad guys' actions occur out of sight of the Thieves, there's a lot of exposition to get through. This results in two characters, Goro and Shido, telling each other about their schemes, objectives and methods, going so far as to tell each other their own shared history, despite the fact that both of them should clearly know this already. However, they aren't telling each other everything...
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever:
    • Asmodeus isn't quite on the scale of some of the others, but he still towers over the Thieves.
    • Bael's second boss form is a giant vault shaped like a Piggy Bank.
    • Sphinx is about the size of the Pyramid itself.
    • Samael's first boss form is a giant golden lion made up of human bodies.
    • The final form of the Big Bad is a 20 story tall giant robotic god covered in gold and crystal armor.
    • The protagonist's Ultimate Persona, Satanael, who appears to finish the final boss, is even taller than him.
  • Aura Vision: The "Third Eye" ability lets you see the danger level of enemies, which receptacles are hiding treasure, and the identities of potential Confidants by displaying various color-coded auras around the person or item in question.
  • Author Appeal: The game's opening, which is directed by Sayo Yamamoto, has several moments where the characters do spins and glide around as though they're figure skating; Yamamoto is a huge fan of the sport, as evidenced by one of her best known directorial roles.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Most of the Boss Battle themes are techno rock tunes with plenty of electric guitar.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Severe-strength elemental skills are present in the game... and they cost 48 SP — 4 times the SP needed to cast a -dyne equivalent. They have mass-hitting versions that are slightly better, only costing 54 SP — a little over double their Ma-dyne equivalent. If not supported by Spell Master which halves their costs, or backed up by Amp and Boost skills to make the most of them, these skills are incredibly draining and not good for protracted fights.
    • Lucifer, the ultimate Persona of the Star Confidant, first requires you to max Hifumi's Confidant to unlock. Then, you see that his base level is a whopping 93, requiring extensive grinding or a load of cash (with the Velvet Twins' Confidant maxed) to fuse him. He also requires six Personas to fuse, three of which also have fixed fusion recipes that each involve at least three component Personas, increasing the amount of effort (and money) to make him.note  Your end result is a Persona which can learn really powerful skills, not already counting what's already been inherited from its components... but also one without any innate resistances and a weakness. The only justification for making Lucifer is either for Compendium completion, or to use him as a fusion ingredient for Satanael.
    • In general many of the very late game Personas fall here. They usually have great skills, good starting stats, and can also be very sturdy. However, their base stats are often a bit too well-rounded for a player's liking, as stat points allocated to unused stats are wasted points, leaving less room for Min-Maxing. By contrast, weaker Personas can be made much better stat wise by using the sacrifice feature to bump up the Persona's stats to your liking, making more specialized Personas.
  • Background Music Override:
    • "Life Will Change" plays on any day you go to challenge the boss of a dungeon, overriding the regular dungeon, safe room, and battle themes. In fact, it only turns off when you challenge bosses or mini-bosses. For the last few dungeons, it upgrades from instrumentals to the vocal version.
    • Near the end, the happy-sounding background music when walking around town during the day is replaced with the mildly-foreboding "Ominous", and for the protagonist's second-to-last day in town when saying goodbye to everyone, the music is the solemn, bittersweet blues tune "Sunset Bridge".
  • Bad Boss: Several targets are important business owners or politicians who are abusing their power. Perhaps the most notable example is Shido, who is so meticulous in tying up his loose ends that he plots the murder of every single person with any insight into his bloody rise to power, even if they happily helped him get there. His personal assassin, his own son, is the final name on his list. Ironically, he won a competition for who people would most like to have as a boss.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Futaba having a Palace heavily implies that your party has to face her Shadow like the others. However, due to Futaba actually desiring a change of heart (the obstacles presented by the Palace are noted to be manifestations of Futaba's guardedness), her Shadow is not evil—the boss ends up being Futaba's mistaken, demonic cognition of her dead mother instead. Futaba's Shadow, meanwhile, forces Futaba to face her past and distorted memories and becomes her Persona, much like how Personas are acquired in the previous game.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Similar to the Fly and Bat statuses in the Shin Megami Tensei series, this game comes with the "Rattled" status, where a character is transformed into a rat, lowering their defense and making them unable to attack. This can be temporarily inflicted by Mot's "Trapped Rat" spell, and also during Shido's Palace when the party is in the same room as an "activated" statue. In the latter case, it also acts as the level gimmick by allowing the party to travel into small air vents.
    • Though he has no memories of his past, this is what Morgana believes himself to be for much of the story, with his goal being to discover the secrets of the Metaverse in the hopes of turning himself back into a human. It turns out that this isn't the case, and that he was always a cartoon cat creature created by the real Igor from humanity's hope for freedom before Yaldabaoth captured him so that Joker would have someone to guide him on his quest.
  • Battle Couple: If you romance Ann, Makoto or Haru, Joker and his lover can participate in battles together, and gain all the Level-Up at Intimacy 5 bonuses pursuing a romance nets you. In a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, the three of them learn "Protect" at the same time their Confidant turns romantic, which is a passive skill where they shield Joker and withstand an otherwise fatal attack in his place.
  • Battle Theme Music:
    • "Last Surprise" for regular battles, which has the thieves giving Badass Boasts about how their enemies are already finished.
      Better think about your game
      Are you sure the next move's the right one for you?
      Are you sure you won't get out-maneuvered again and again, my friend?
    • "Blooming Villain" for most Palace bosses. While it doesn't have lyrics, it start off dark and pounding, gradually mellowing out into bass before swelling to a triumphant guitar solo, representing the growing confidence of the Phantom Thieves to take down their target.
    • "Life Will Change" for the lead up to the first seven palace boss battles. Instrumental at first, lyrical later, and always badass. The lyrics describe how the villain is powerless to stop the thieves from bringing change to their comfortable microcosms.
    • "Rivers in the Desert" for some of the endgame Boss Battles, which has dueling verses by the heroes and villains about their Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the world.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: One lesson in school covers who has the right to print money in Japan and Morgana ends up commenting that he would like to visit a palace that lets you get as much money as you like whenever you want to. the next palace is Kaneshiro's, a mob boss who exploits young teens to make money for himself while putting them in a position to be unable to fight back, letting him get as much money as he wants at any time to the detriment of those living in Shibuya. Additionally, the money in his Palace are all fake money with his bust printed on them.
  • Beach Episode: Your party goes to the beach with Futaba at the end of August, which involves the members of your party hanging out on the beach in swimsuits, Yusuke buying a pair of lobsters to paint, and other hijinks, including the return of Operation Babe Hunt. Your Class Trip also has you traveling to Hawaii, with a couple days involving the members of your party hanging out on the beach in swimsuits, and an evening spent with an available Confidant of your choosing.note 
  • Beauty Equals Goodness:
    • The main character and party members are notably more attractive in appearance than any of their targets or most of the other antagonists of the game. That said, Goro Akechi is a notable subversion, for despite his handsome looks and seemingly Adorkable demeanor, he's actually both The Mole and the one responsible for the mental shutdowns that have been occurring throughout the past two years.
    • This is even lampshaded in a Yonkoma from the Dengeki Manga Anthology. Shortly after Shadow Kaneshiro is defeated, he laments that it's difficult for someone like him, labeled as poor, ugly, and stupid, to live an honest life, whereupon Skull remarks that the Phantom Thieves are fighting labels themselves. From Shadow Kaneshiro's point of view, they're better-looking than he could ever hope to be, causing him to take this remark as a mortal offense.
  • Beneath the Mask: Shadows and Persona reflect the true feelings of their other selves. For the villains, they generally show the characters' true sociopathic, twisted desires. For the heroes meanwhile, they generally expose their Revenge Before Reason, Well-Intentioned Extremist desires to change the society and adults that've wronged them. And, taking the trope to its logical conclusion, Futaba's Shadow is the positive side of her personality that's been repressed beneath the crushing weight of her guilt and depression.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but they rule their own Palace and serve as major Boss Battles. They include:
    • A giant headed pink demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants.
    • A gray haired man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky golden kimono, too much white face paint, and giant fake eyebrows who can transform into living paintings of two eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
    • A purple fly man with a mustache, bad comb-over and white tuxedo who pilots a giant robot piggy bank.
    • A gigantic sphinx with a sorely mismatched woman's head.
    • A man wearing a copyright free version of Darth Vader's armor, with a generic space helmet instead of the mask.
    • A woman wearing trashy gothic makeup and a leather dress that borders on being Vapor Wear.
    • A man wearing an overly-elaborate general's uniform and a helmet that resembles the Statue of Liberty's head, or alternatively a discount Char Aznable helmet.
    • Not to mention Akechi, who has the campiest All-Out Attack in the game, some of the most ridiculous costumes (including DLC), and his Black Mask outfit is a direct reference to the In-Universe Sentai series Featherman. Yet he's the one responsible for causing the psychotic breakdown and mental shutdown incidents responsible for several deaths.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Each Arc Villain (barring Kamoshida) was being pressured into The Conspiracy by someone in a "Black Mask". Black Mask was in turn working for politician Masayoshi Shido. Then later we learn that the villains and the heroes were being manipulated by the Man Behind the Man, Yaldabaoth, God of Order.
  • Bishie Sparkle: When you gain charm points, three small diamond sparkles form next to Joker's eyes.
  • Bishōnen: If you don't know the legend you could well be forgiven for not guessing that the Narcissus persona is actually male.
    • And of course, among the main cast we have Yusuke Kitagawa, Goro Akechi, and Joker himself, all of whom wouldn't look out of place in a shoujo media work.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Played for Laughs with the outcome of the third Palace. Kaneshiro's Treasure has been stolen and the mission was a success. When the Phantom Thieves open the golden briefcase, they discover that it's stuffed with 30 million yen. Everyone is elated at the prospect of owning 5 million yen apiece... until Yusuke points out that all the money is actually fake. Ryuji is understandably upset with this, but they can still sell the gold-plated briefcase.
    • The Good Ending. Masayoshi Shido and his allies have been thwarted, Yaldabaoth has been vanquished, and the Protagonist finally gets to clear his name. However, he still has to head back home at the end of the year, leaving behind all the friends he made in Tokyo, and with the Metaverse gone, no longer will the Phantom Thieves be able to change hearts to stop corruption since a Palace can still be erected. Morgana manages to survive the collapse of Mementos, but as a cat, not a human. The situation in government is left unaddressed - it's unclear what exactly is going on with Japan's current prime minister. Finally, it's ultimately left ambiguous just how much the destruction of Mementos affected the public consciousness - while the ordinary citizens' apologism for Shido seems to have gone away, they still express frustration and apathy at the state of society, and the authorities appear just as corrupt as ever and are eager to send Joker to jail to save their own reputations. To drive the point home, the last poll on the Phansite, still asking if the Phantom Thieves really exist, comes back at an even 50%.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Discussed. The protagonists' Heel–Face Brainwashing methods would come off as crossing a line if it weren't for the fact their targets are various kinds of serial abusers of power who would otherwise never pay for their crimes. (The lone exception is Futaba, whom actually wants the Phantom Thieves to do it to her). The Phantom Thieves are in fact completely aware of the implications of their methods, and refuse to use it at all during their first mission until a student tried to commit suicide because of being abused by their first target. Even later, the Thieves openly discuss if what they're doing is the right thing.
  • Black Helicopter: In the prologue, you can see some Black Hawks fly near the casino.
  • Bland-Name Product: The party can be seen eating a bag of Calbee Potato Chips and drinking bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite at some points, only with the nondescript labels "Potato", "Nice Cola" and "Lemon" printed on them. Similarly, an ad can be seen for a tablet computer called the "Next P.A.D." that bears a striking resemblance to the Apple iPad. Coca-Cola, Boss, and Kirin vending machines become Cracker Energy, Oyabun (Japanese for "boss"), and Kitten. The retro game console that can be purchased is called the "Famidrive", a mash of the Famicom and Mega Drive. The only legitimate Product Placement in the game is for Calbee's Jagariko snacks.
    • The buffet where the Phantom Thieves celebrate their first victory over Kamoshida is at the Wilton Hotel, as opposed to the real-life Hilton Hotel.
    • This also extends to stores themselves, with popular Japanese convenience store chain "Don Quixote" being renamed "Rocinante" after Quixote's horse.
    • Most of the neighborhoods, all being real places spread throughout the Greater Tokyo Area, share their name with their real-life counterparts. The sole exception is the very neighborhood that Joker lives in, Yongen-jaya; its real-life counterpart is named Sangen-jaya (the latter in Japanese uses the kanji for the number three (三) in its name; the game's version of the neighborhood uses four (四) instead). There's also Destinyland in place of Disneyland, although the park has popped up in other Shin Megami Tensei installments and is located in its proper neighborhood, Maihama.
    • Played with regarding the Sky Tree Tower; while it's meant to be a stand-in for Tokyo Tower, there is a real building in Tokyo's Sumida ward called the Tokyo Skytree, whose construction was completed in 2011. The creators of the game also obtained Tokyo Tower's permission to use its name in the game, but they ultimately didn't. However, they were able to use the proper "Skytree" name for the anime adaptation in Episode 17.
    • Many of the series staple vending machine drinks return, with names like "Mad Bull," "Nastea," "Dr. Salt," "Starvicks," and "Manta" (standing in for Red Bull, Nestea, Dr. Pepper, Starbucks, and Fanta).
    • The movies and DVDs you can watch to increase social stats are Bland Name versions of actual movies and TV shows, such as "Guy Mcver" or "Love, Possibly". There is however, one exception, and that is "Like A Dragon".
  • Blank White Eyes: Humans whose Shadows are destroyed end up with pupil-less white eyes and dark blood bleeding out of their mouths. This includes the subway conductor who crashes a train near the beginning of the game, Principal Kobayakawa around the time of the Hawaii trip, and Haru's dad after the Phantom Thieves steal his Treasure.
    • Played for Laughs with Morgana sometimes when something suitably unbelievable and comedic happens.
  • Blessed with Suck: The player themselves on Merciless difficulty. 2.5 times damage when you strike weaknesses and get critical hits sounds good, right? Have fun downing Shadows so you can negotiate with them instead of accidentally killing them outright. You do eventually find a workaround through the Tower Confidant, but that doesn't come until September at the earliest, about halfway through the game.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Unquestionably the most violent game in the series. Coincidentally or not, the primary color motif is a vivid blood red.
    • Joker is beaten by police at the beginning of the story and spends the rest of the interrogation sequences with numerous bruises, including his wrists being rubbed raw from handcuffs.
    • Characters bleed from their faces when summoning Personas, showcased at its best during their first awakening. Special mention goes to the horrific flood of red that erupts from Joker's face when first calling Arsène, and Yusuke, who grips the floor so hard his fingers bleed.
    • While censored via silhouette, the All-Out Attacks are brutal, concluding with the victim erupting into a shower of blood.
    • The Cognitive Joker is killed via gunshot to the head, causing blood to pour out of the wound before their head collapses with a sickening thud, spraying more blood.
  • Body Horror: Human-shaped Shadows bloodily erupt into demons when you start a battle with them. In a number of Palaces, human-shaped Shadows will also transform into Humanoid Abominations.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • In New Game+, you can optionally fight Caroline and Justine, who serve as the toughest boss fight in the game.
    • If you stay still for a few minutes on a floor in Mementos, you can fight the Reaper, an insanely powerful Shadow meant for end game parties.
  • Book-Ends:
    • "Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There" plays at both the intro and post-credits sequences of Persona 5.
    • Early on in the game, Sojiro drives the main character home from meeting with the school, complaining about having to be saddled with the burden of looking after him. Near the end of the game, Sojiro picks up the protagonist after his release from juvenile hall and goes home with him on friendlier terms. He even lampshades how this moment reminds him of the first time they met.
    • On both Joker's first few and last few days in town, the rumor dialogue that can be overheard consists of citizens expressing frustration, annoyance, and apathy towards the state of modern society.
    • The first and last bosses both have a chalice of sorts that is a part of how they regain health, and their connection between them and the people they hope to abuse as an energy source that needs to be severed in order to beat them. Kamoshida's is the cup based trophy he eats his female victims out of when using "Libido Boost", while Yaldabaoth's "Holy Grail" form is where he can get healed by the parts of humanity who want the "order" he'd give them by making them his slaves. This is fitting, as in Tarot, the Suit of Cups is not only based on the Holy Grail but over time it became the hearts suit of modern playing card decks; on top of both cups acting as a "heart," you need to take from them in the fight to finish it, so the "Phantom Thieves of Hearts" begin and end doing just that on more than just one level.
    • A blue butterfly is seen near the beginning and ending of the Protagonist's journey.
    • The first and last major story targets have their names marked with a '?' at certain points. Specifically, Kamoshida's when you first meet his Shadow, along with the false Igor's after Lavenza has exposed him as such.
  • Boom, Headshot!: In the Bad Ending, Joker gets shot in the head. In the Good Ending, Joker shoots the false god behind this whole mess in the head.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Some of the bosses encountered will willingly waste turns reacting to stat buffs and debuffs. This means that having someone constantly ready to reapply buffs or vice versa may allow the player to bring on the damage with (near) impunity.
    • Life Stones restore 30% of the target's max HP, which means its healing strength will always be relevant regardless of level. If the player's been asking for items from Shadows on a regular basis, there's a good chance that they've got plenty of them in stock by the middle of the game, so Life Stones become great for topping off stray chunks of lost HP in between fights without expending SP.
    • An easy way to restore SP without leaving the Palace is to purchase an "SP Adhesive" accessory from Dr. Takemi. Then you just find a weak enemy and block every turn until you have all of your SP back. However this could take awhile.
    • The best way to get money is to find a boss that's not immune to the "Confusion" ailment, make a Persona with a high Luck stat, and spam the ability "Pulinpa". Every turn the enemy is confused they have a chance to drop money. You can do this to get to ‎¥9,999,999 but it will take a very long time. You'll also need Invigorate 3 or SP Adhesive 3 so you regenerate enough SP to keep spamming Pulinpa.
    • Mishima's Confidant abilities. Gaining bonus XP is not nearly as exciting a power as many of the other Confidant's bonuses, but once you max it out your backup characters will be earning just as much XP as the ones you're using in the party, and not needing to swap people out in order to prevent them from falling behind in levels is huge when it comes to customizing your playstyle.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Similar to Persona 3 in Tartarus, you can end up in a random encounter with the insanely powerful Reaper any time you sit around a floor in Mementos for more than 5 minutes.
  • Bottomless Bladder: As in previous games, there are bathrooms in the game, but you never need to use them - in fact, there's even a toilet in Joker's cell in the Velvet Room, and he can sit on it, but it's used for pondering instead of its intended purpose...
  • Bottomless Magazines:
    • Averted. All guns hold a finite amount of ammunition in their magazines, which in gameplay terms translates to the maximum amount of shots that can be fired by the wielder in a single turn, with reloads automatically happening when their turn comes up again. Each party member also carries a very limited amount of ammo on their person, no more than two to four mags' worth, and cannot be replenished during a Palace/Mementos run aside from using craft-able ammo boxes.
    • Played straight with the Bullet Hail confidant ability, which gives a chance to trigger a gun based All-Out-Attack at the beginning of battles. It doesn't consume your ammo pool and is limited only by time.
    • Played straight with any persona which wields a gun, who can shoot with impunity.
  • Bowdlerize: Unlike previous Megami Tensei games, Yaksini no longer has any artwork depicting her as topless with a visible nipple, leaving only her Godiva Hair-censoring 3D model.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • As per series tradition, the Omnipotent Orb, an accessory which blocks all damage other than almighty. However, you have to have already finished the story once and won the toughest fight in the game against Bonus Boss Justine and Caroline to even get it.
    • Also as per series tradition, the protagonist's ultimate Persona, Satanael, can actually be fused - if you've reached New Game+ and can manage a Level 95 fusion. If you're at that point, most of the game's difficulty is already moot unless you're fighting the aforementioned Bonus Boss, which it ironically seems tailor-made for. Think of it as fusing Orpheus Telos to fight Elizabeth with.
    • The Eternal Lockpick is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a lockpick that won't break after use. By the time you can craft it however, it's trivially easy to have at least a dozen spare lockpicks on hand. Making one isn't really necessary beyond getting the trophy for crafting all infiltration tools.
    • Valentine's Day Chocolate restores all SP to 1 ally, but to get it you have to defeat the Final Boss. Even on New Game+ there's never a real reason to use it, considering you most likely have better management of your time or SP restoring equipment from the last playthrough to use. At best, these items then are really only useful as a means to track the romantic relationships you've taken over the course of repeated playthroughs until you have one chocolate from every possible option, provided you didn't use them.
    • The Business Card, given to you by Sae, should you talk to her during the epilogue is this, given that the Confidant is mandatory and it provides no bonuses whatsoever on NG+ unlike all other Confidant items of its kind. Since the player is near-guaranteed to get it at the end of the game and it carries over to NG+, it at least can be used to mark how many playthroughs of the game the player has gone through.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Atlus published an ad in an actual Japanese newspaper, appearing as a Cut-and-Paste Note, that proclaimed "The Phantom" (Joker) would appear at the February 2015 event that revealed new Persona 5 footage. Sure enough, he ended up appearing as his Calling Card announced, "shot out" the lights, and proceeded to reveal the very first gameplay trailer for Persona 5.
  • Break Up Demand: While helping out Chihaya, the protagonist meets a man who's being pressured to break off his engagement to the woman he loves because his boss wants him to marry the boss's daughter. It's not clear whether an actual ultimatum was issued, but it's clear that his career is in danger if he marries the woman he loves although Joker inspires him to follow his heart anyway.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The game's paid DLC include accessories that boost your EXP or cash after battles, and overpowered Personas with end game stats and elemental protections that you can summon once for free, even in the very first dungeon.
  • Brick Joke:
    • In Madarame's Palace, once the group reaches the Treasure spot, Ryuji thinks the treasure is a self-portrait of Madarame. Later, when the group takes the treasure outside the palace, they find it really is a self-portrait, except it's not the treasure, because Madarame switched it with the real treasure.
    • Morgana has the ability to shapeshift himself into a black Citroën H Van for the Phantom Thieves to travel around in the Metaverse. Come the Good Ending when the Protagonist meets the other Phantom Thieves as he's about to leave Tokyo, not only have they somehow managed to find a Citroën H Van for them to use to drive Joker back to his hometown, Morgana is the one who ended up fixing the van when it broke down. Morgana lampshades the situation.
      Morgana: (while holding a sparkplug on his mouth, a wrench on his right hand, and a screwdriver wrapped on his tail) Why the heck am I in charge of the car again?
  • Broken Aesop: Discussed.
    • Right up to the end, Persona 5's message is quite clear, though it's a bit of a Family-Unfriendly Aesop: "Everyday society largely doesn't give a flying curlywhirly about injustice; they're just a pack of idiot lemmings who will keep their heads down, even if the world is falling apart around them, because they don't want to make life harder for themselves, and they'll let corrupt people get away with anything. Oh, and kids can't trust adults, especially the ones they depend on; they're just trying to exploit you or worse." The Phantom Thieves all experience something like this themselves to various degrees, and even note how people don't really seem to care about the good they're doing. One of the Bad Endings takes this message to the logical conclusion, with the Phantom Thieves letting their misanthropy and dissatisfaction with society get the better of them and throw their lot in with Yaldabaoth so that they can rule as despots through fear of forced heart-changing.
    • In order to get the Good Ending, you have to break this rapidly-decaying Aesop and pull a Decon-Recon Switch. If this option is taken, the message changes to "You have to stand up to corrupt people in power, because everyday society has become apathetic, but since they're overall good people, they can be inspired to do the right thing if given the proper nudge. You can't just give up on the world and do whatever you please without regard for others, because then you're no better than the corrupt people you claim to be above. While many adults are corrupt, there are genuinely good ones, so don't write them off at large."
  • Build Like an Egyptian: The fourth Palace has the Phantom Thieves trying to infiltrate a pyramid in the middle of a desert. The ruler of the Palace is also dressed like an ancient Egyptian ruler.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the game, the protagonist completes his year long probation, and leaves Tokyo to return to his hometown.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: A glowing blue butterfly appears each time the protagonist is about to die in the story, urging him to overcome his impending doom. This includes when he's about to be executed in Kamoshida's Palace and when he's brought into the interrogation room where the conspiracy intends to assassinate him. Similarly, glowing butterflies surround a fallen character when you use revive items or magic on them.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • If you refuse to accept the opening This Is a Work of Fiction disclaimer, Igor proceeds to say "Well, then you can't play this game" and returns you to the Start Screen.
    • Quite a few dialogue options, particularly to IM conversations, have two or three responses that are essentially the same thing. Also, even if Joker says things that seem counter-intuitive, like arguing against taking down a target, either he'll be countermanded by the other party members, or later plot revelations will establish the target as clearly and unambiguously evil and force the party to act against them anyway.
    • This actually becomes a plot point during the Casino palace. When Goro suggests that the party steal her heart on a specific date, you can't go against him, as the other party members will shout you down if you try. Of course, since the party knows that Goro plans to betray them on that date, they can't have you messing things up by taking care of business prematurely.
  • Bystander Syndrome: A major theme of the game is examining this trope. The people of Tokyo would rather let horrible people get away with doing horrible things than stopping them because that's easier than being good. Not to mention, the idea of "It Can't Be Helped" is a huge cornerstone of Japanese society, and as such, the only way for the Phantom Thieves to gain any ground is to break the law and take matters into their own hands. That notwithstanding, however, the game also says that people as a whole are basically good, and that they can be inspired to stand up and act if given the chance.
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    C 
  • Call-and-Response Song: Yaldaboath's boss theme is an instrumental variation - the song begins with a wicked, frantic, industrial rock section that leads into an equally-frantic guitar solo, representing the boss, before seguing into a smoother, more heroic guitar solo, representing the Phantom Thieves. The heroic solo is given a Triumphant Reprise as the background music when Satanael performs his finisher on Yaldaboath.
  • Call-Back:
    • When the Shadow Self of an individual is killed, black fluid oozes from their mouth similar to victims of Shadow attacks in Persona 3.
    • Just like the previous game the first dungeon is a castle.
    • Similarly, this is not the first time we see the effect of an individual if their Shadow Selves are killed instead of being accepted or rejected. In Persona 2: Innocent Sin, after her Shadow Self committs suicide, Yukino becomes an Empty Shell similar to Akechi's victims.
    • The Pyramid, Futaba's Palace, is a massive one and subversion to Persona 4 as well as to Persona 3 FES. Unlike the other Palaces up to that point, the Phantom Thieves are seeking to help someone by healing their mind using the Palaces, just like the characters in 4. At the end, Futaba accepts her Shadow which becomes her Persona. However, the fact that Futaba's Shadow is her repressed positive feelings is a Call-Back to The Answer scenario in 3's Updated Re-release where Metis, Aigis' repressed humanity, is undoubtedly a positive influence on her.
      • It also works a a call back to the Shadow Rise Shadow Teddie fights in 4. Just like in that game, you unlock a new navigator through a Bait-and-Switch Boss.
    • Ryuji is a track team member who suffered a crippling leg injury, just like Kazushi. For bonus points, they both represent the Chariot arcana. He also has a distinct penchant for meat, which means he'd probably get along well with his immediate predecessor, Chie (or fight with her over the last bit of steak). Another old character he has even greater similarities with is Anna Yoshizaka; not only are they both ex-athletes with career ending injuries, they are both seen as delinquents, are powerful Persona users and work for a semi-legal secret group led by someone called "Joker". Bonus points for Ryuji's Ultimate Persona, which originally belonged in the Tower Arcana, same as Anna's.
    • Two of the paintings in Madarame's Palace bear more than a passing resemblance to the protagonists of the third and fourth Persona games.
    • A lot of the endgame is reminiscent of Persona 2 Eternal Punishment. Shido and Goro are basically what would happen if the Sudous were working together and Tatsuya Sudou survived longer. The Conspiracy is extremely similar to the New World Order, with both extending far in places of power. Both Tatsuzou and Shido are confronted on a cruise ship, and shortly after they are defeated, a supernatural villain playing a game with the Big Good after having weakened him is revealed.
    • When using any of the DLC legacy Personas, Joker's call-outs are references to their canonical users. For example, he has an education-related line when using Ariadne, adopts a more cruel tone with Magatsu Izanagi and Asterius, and makes a "Sho"-themed pun with Tsukiyomi.
    • Though they were introduced in this game, the concepts of Palace and Cognitive Existence are hinted in the previous games:
      • Persona: The alternate Mikage-cho was actually a reflection of Maki's ideal world created when she was plugged into a machine known as the DEVA System, which makes the city Maki's Palace. The residents of the alternate world differed than that of the original in order to satisfy Maki (such as the cruel vice-principal becoming a nice man), which resembles a Cognition.
      • Persona 2: Beings born from rumors coming true such as the Last Battalion, the party's Shadow Selves, and the ghost of the still alive Maya. In fact, the way rumor functions in that game makes it a precursor of Cognition.
      • Persona 3: In The Answer, a being known as ??? who resembled the late Protagonist is encountered by S.E.E.S. One character later explained that it was created when S.E.E.S. unconsciously wished to see the Protagonist again.
      • Persona 4: Before being thrown into the TV World, a blurry image of the victims can be seen on the Midnight Channel which eventually spawned into a Shadow Self after the victims were thrown into the TV. These Shadow Selves had the exaggerated appearance and personality of the original, which is how people watching the TV interpret them. Notably, the Shadow Self of the second suspect that the Investigation Team sees on the TV was how the Team interpreted him regarding his actions and their hatred for him. The dungeons of the games are formed from the kidnapped victims' subconscious which function similarly to a Palace.
      • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: Similar to the first game, the entire alternate Yasogami High and the Labyrinths are formed by Chronos using Rei's memories. The students in the school are simply phantoms that perform the same action over and over again.
    • Curiously, the protagonist shares the codename Joker with not one, but two of Nyarlathotep's significant minions in the Persona 2 duology. Like the two of them, he provides a certain service to society that is fueled by rumor.
    • Lavernza's final gift to you the player is the Velvet Key, an item that was needed by the protagonists of Personas 3 and 4 to even enter the Velvet Room. She even says that it was supposed to be given to you at the start, but now it's yours as a keepsake.
  • Calling Card: Played with. You send out a calling card to the target, but it's required in order to materialize the palace's treasurenote , and unlike most instances of the trope you only send it out after you've already made your way through the palace to find where the treasure is.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Characters shout "Persona!" or the actual name of their Guardian Entity when summoning them, and sometimes the party Combination Attack.
    • Asmodeus will tell you he's about to use his "Super Death Spike" exploding volleyball attack the turn before he actually hits you with it.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: The Metaverse Navigation app keeps reappearing on the Protagonist's phone no matter how many times he deletes it, and forcibly sends him to the Metaverse twicenote .
  • The Cameo:
    • Rise and Kanami appear in individual advertisements at subway stations. Ann even gives you the poster of Rise if you hang out with her at Harajuku, which can be put up as decoration in your room.
    • Haru gives you a kumade of Teddie if you hang out with her at Asakusa.
    • You're able to buy goods from Tanaka if you buy a busted laptop from the second-hand goods shop and fix it up.
    • You can catch a glimpse of a Catherine figure in Futaba's bedroom, which she purchased when she went shopping all by herself as the final part of her Social Link.
    • Akechi gets compared to Naoto in one television program.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • The screen will momentarily "crack" whenever you perform an All-Out Attack.
    • One of Morgana's victory animations has him bump into the screen.
  • Canon Identifier: The series gives each player character a Canon Name in expanded material and adaptations, but also distinguishes them by a title from the third game onwards ("The Protagonist" for Persona 3, "Main Character" for Persona 4 and "Joker" for Persona 5).
  • Can't Drop the Hero: The protagonist/Joker always has to be in your active party. While every other party member is required to be in at least one battle (where their Persona awakens), they can otherwise be removed at any time.
  • Caper Rationalization: The protagonists conduct heists in order to literally steal pieces of people's psyche and induce a Heel–Face Brainwashing. The people who are targeted are also very corrupt and largely unsympathetic, to the point that their abuse of power ends up ruining the lives of the main cast unless they are dealt with.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • As part of his interrogation, the Protagonist tells Sae all about the Metaverse and working with a talking cat right from the start, while leaving out details that would incriminate his allies. She has a hard time believing him at first, but is willing to hear him out.
    • Joker can be upfront about the Velvet Room to his fellow Phantom Thieves from the start, but they don't believe his stories about a long-nosed man in a secret room. Dancing In Starlight later makes it clear that they eventually come to believe him, as they are not surprised by the appearance of Caroline and Justine, and indeed the Velvet Room itself.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Physical and Gun skills require a percentage of the caster's HP to use.
  • Catching Some Z's: When people are shown sleeping, Zs come out from their head.
  • Catchphrase: Used by the hacker organization Medjed. "We are Medjed. We are unseen. We will eliminate evil."
  • Celebrity Lie: One day on his way to school, the protagonist eavesdrops on two girls talking about a guy who told one of them he was a Phantom Thief in order to impress her. The lie may have backfired badly on the guy, as the girl is considering sending his picture to the cops when the real Phantom Thieves get framed for murder.
  • Central Theme: Thieves, Rebellion and Justice.
    • Each protagonists' starting persona is inspired by a historical or literary thief, and the party themselves become thieves to reform corrupt or broken members of society.
    • The party's ultimate Personas are based on mythological figures that rebelled against their respective gods and were cast out of the heavens for it.
    • A person's reputation might not reflect their true character and you should make an effort to get to know people, rather than judging them based on rumours.
    • Being wronged yourself doesn't excuse wronging others.
    • Just because someone lets you get away with something doesn't make it okay to do it - taking advantage of someone's kindness, passive nature or inability to confront you without consequences is deplorable.
    • The times when it is a relative or family member show that it can be much harder to stand up against someone you care about or to accept that you feel angry at them. Yusuke in his confidant still felt some affection for his mentor and initially completely refused help from the Phantom Thieves due to denial caused by this affection and Haru still clearly loved her father later in the storyline.
    • Every individual is worth helping - taking down the main bad guys helps a lot of innocent people, but mostly as the player you are invested in your party members and helping them first and foremost.
  • Character Customization: You get to pick your hero's name, and personality through Dialogue Trees. Further, the skill card and expanded fusion systems let you customize the skills and stats of his Personas.
  • Chekhov's Classroom:
    • Class lectures cover topics like the Cognitive Representation concept that serves as the basis for the cognitive projections you encounter throughout the Palaces, Plato's tripartite theory of soul that explains how you're able to heel-face brainwash the villains, and so on. They are also very conveniently timed. For example, a few days after you recruit Makoto, you'll get a question in class about Pope Joan, her Persona and the figure thought to be depicted on the La Papesse tarot card, her Arcana. Morgana takes notice of this.
    Morgana: Subconscious personalities... It's a fascinating topic, and it has a lot to do with us. That teacher's surprisingly smart, huh?
    • In a rather realistic and justified example, any random question you hear in class may be asked on the next exam, so pay attention. And just because you were asked a question doesn't mean that that's the question that will be on the exam. Did the teacher follow up with an additional comment after your answer? THAT could be the question!
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • As early as the first dungeon, it's explained that the people in control can create "cognitive existences" of other people. Basically copies of a person that's shown as the master of the palace sees them (such as the scantily clad copy of Ann that Kamoshida makes), or wants them to be, and this comes up from time to time. This is later used to save the Protagonist from Akechi, because the police station is part of the landscape surrounding Sae's Palace, and she is the master of the latter, so the team relies on her having a cognitive copy of the protagonist in that room, so that Akechi "kills" him, then thinks he's dead.
    • Used again in a darker note after that. In Shido's Palace, a cognitive version of Akechi as Shido sees him (an expendable, bloodthirsty, and completely obedient underling) appears, and because Shido was planning to kill him in the end, he ends up killing the real one.
    • During the field trip to the TV studio Akechi overhears the gang's conversation about pancakes. This is what tips Joker and Morgana off that there was more to him than it seemed, since he understood Morgana it meant he must have been to the Metaverse before.
    • During the second Palace's arc, Morgana mentions that it's possible to slip into the Metaverse without realizing it if it's an area with minimal cognitive distortion (i.e. looks like reality). Tricking Akechi into doing this later forms a key part of the Thieves' plan to fake the protagonist's death.
    • When Joker takes a group selfie before boarding the plane to Hawaii, Futaba messages them to tell them that Ryuji still has rheum in his eyes. Just as they're wondering how she knew that, Futaba explains that she sneaked an app on the protagonist's phone that lets her access the camera remotely. This is the same trick that the Phantom Thieves will use to monitor Akechi's phone calls later on.
    • In the Casino, Futaba makes two identification cards. The alias for the first, "Taro Tanaka," is considered too generic to use (since it's more or less equivalent to "John Doe"), so she gives it to Akechi for him to throw out. Akechi secretly keeps the card, and uses it to win 900,000 coins on his own, enabling the group to meet even the revised total of 1 million needed for the final passage.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • You can find Makoto hanging around the library at school and studying long before she has any involvement in the plot.
    • You can find some of Junya Kaneshiro's henchmen in Shibuya, asking if you're interested in one of the "part-time jobs" that it later turns out they're using to Blackmail students, months before it actually becomes a plot point.
    • TV shows will mention Hifumi Togo, one of your later confidants, as early as June.
    • Throughout most of the game you can find a "Showbiz Manager" in Shinjuku trying to recruit a young teenage girl. His jobs for her get increasingly uncomfortable as the game goes on. It's all but stated that he's the final Mementos target, a manager who molests young idols.
    • Similarly to the Showbiz Manager, there's a homeless man in the Underground Walkway in Shibuya that you can talk to throughout the game and seems to know more than he lets on. As it happens, he's a target in Mementos as well, being an ex-mercenary that's now a hitman.
    • You first see Haru very briefly during the fireworks festival cutscene, and you meet her again during the Class Trip to Hawaii. While you can speak to her, she isn't named by the narrative until later.
    • The head of The Conspiracy is Masayoshi Shido, who turns out to be the guy responsible for the Protagonist's probation. Justified by the fact that Shido was inadvertently getting in the Big Bad's way, and thus they gave the person Shido had most recently wronged the power to eliminate him.
    • The woman that was molested at the beginning of the game is brought up again near the end of the game, where she testifies against Shido to ensure his imprisonment.
    • Akechi is mentioned on television as early as April.
  • Chest Burster: Shadows in dungeons change from human forms to demonic ones by having their demonic selves burst from the chests or out the backs of their human bodies, reducing it to a puddle of back and red.
  • Chucking Chalk: One of the protagonist's teachers hits him in the head with a piece of chalk from straight across the room in one scene. It's possible to get a stat gain by dodging it if you have enough Proficiency.
  • City of Adventure: Unlike the fictional settings of previous installments, P5 takes place in the very real city of Tokyo, though the real district of Sangen-jaya, home to the cafe where the protagonist lives, is replaced with a fictionalized version named Yongen-jaya.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The guiding principle of the Metaverse: if the thought-based residents of the Palaces believe something to be real, then it's real. For example, the Phantom Thieves' guns are at best airsoft replicas that still pack the punch of real firearms because the Shadows can't tell the difference. This also causes a big problem when Yaldabaoth overlays Mementos onto the real world at a time when no one believes the Phantom Thieves are real... causing them to fade from existence. (Thankfully, they end up in the Velvet Room instead of disappearing completely.)
  • Class Trip: Partway through the year, the party members who go to Shujin High School get to go on a trip to Hawaii. Futaba and Morgana stay at home. Yusuke, who goes to a different school, ends up joining them in Hawaii due to plane issues on his school's trip. While the third-years aren't supposed to attend (due to exams), Makoto and Haru end up coming to serve as chaperones, since the senior faculty are tied up with the Phantom Thieves investigation.
  • Cloudcuckooland: A downplayed example. The few mentions that Yusuke makes of Kosei Public High School (the school he and Star Confidant Hifumi Togo attend; you never see it or visit it in-game) implies that it's at least a bit more...colorful compared to the average school, especially the very utilitarian Shujin Academy. For one thing, their school pet is a peacock (Shujin's is a more mundane turtle), a regular item for sale at their school store is a book of eccentric poetry by their principal, and Yusuke receives a gold star for drawing a picture on the back of a test.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • In series tradition, regular, "heroic" Personas have a blue sheen with white highlights, and they are summoned in bright blue flames, while the aura of Shadows and evil Personas is Red and Black and Evil All Over.
    • If you use Third Eye while walking around in the real world, confidants will turn blue with their card/arcana hovering over their head.
    • Using Third Eye in the Metaverse will cause Shadows to appear as different colors. Blue Shadows are at a lower level than Joker, yellow Shadows are at the same level, and red Shadows are at a higher level. Also, treasure you can take turns gold.
  • Color Motifs: Red, in opposition to the somber Persona 3's blue and the upbeat Persona 4's yellow, to underscore P5's themes of danger and rebellion. It also heavily uses black and white for a pizazz-filled "black with white highlights" look.
  • Combination Attack:
    • The "All-Out Attack", where all standing party members attack every downed enemy.
    • "Bullet Hail", where the entire party showers random enemies in bullets.
    • "Baton Pass", where one character gives their turn to another to gain bonuses like enhanced stats.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Protagonist defeats the Big Bad by combining the seven deadly sins into a bullet, which the ultimate Persona, Satanael, then shoots through its head.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Shadows fought as normal enemies usually have the same elemental weaknesses/resistances as their Persona counterparts, but not always. For example, Mara as a Persona is weak to Ice, but the Maras that appear as enemies late into the Mementos Depths are not, and in fact have no weaknesses entirely.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror:
    • The Shujin High School boys' volleyball team (and honestly, the entire school) is so used to Kamoshida owning the place that they're in complete denial about his physical abuse of the students. They call it "training".
    • On a slightly more amusing note, if you take your time completing Kaneshiro's Palace and draw close to the deadline, Makoto will remind you to get it done ASAP, because she has been getting her own friendly "reminders" daily via text. When asked if she's okay, she will reply that she's gotten used to it.
    • Discussed during Okumura's palace, when the group wonders why the robots that serve as the cognitive versions of his employees don't try to resist. Yusuke says that the more present oppression is, the harder it is to live without it, and he learned that while living with Madarame- even after Madarame's exposure and fall from grace, Yusuke can't help but sometimes remember his teacher fondly.
    • This is the problem driving the final dungeon, the Prison of Regression in Mementos Depths. It houses the Shadows of all the masses in society who recognize the corruption and injustice in their society but are too afraid to do something about it, and thus perversely long for the status quo to remain..
  • Console Cameo: When Joker rides on the subway, another passenger plays what appears to be a PlayStation Vita.
  • The Conspiracy: The Phantom Thieves' activities eventually attract the attention of a secret, wealthy organization that seeks to eliminate them for their knowledge of the world inside the collective unconscious.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Once you get free rein over what to do after a Palace becomes available, you'll periodically receive reminders from the rest of your party to work on the Palace. Even if you drop by to advance their Confidants, they initially anticipate that you've approached them to start a meeting. The closer you get to the deadline, the more likely their Confidants would be unavailable for the day, to try and convince the player to advance the plot.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Goro Akechi is known as "the second advent of Detective Prince". The original Detective Prince was Naoto.
    • Posters of Rise Kujikawa and Kanami Mashita can be found in the Shibuya subway station. You can even get a Rise poster to decorate your room with.
    • Black Mask's outfit is a corrupted version of the costumes from Phoenix Ranger Featherman R, the Persona series's Super Sentai TV Show Within a Show that first appeared in Persona 2.
    • Futaba has a set of Phoenix Ranger Featherman R figures in her room.
    • Similar to Persona 3, you can occasionally catch shows on TV that are talking about or outright interviewing characters from previous games.
      • Persona 2: A detective who wears distinctive red glasses (Katsuya Suou).
      • Persona 3: A legendary gumshoe who claims to have punched a bear (Akihiko Sanada). Also, Yukari Takeba is still in college and still acting on the Ranger Featherman show.
      • Persona 4: A female police cadet who apparently can use kung-funote . A convicted killer who claims he did it just because "the world is a shitty place" (Tohru Adachi). The beautiful, young proprietress of the Amagi Inn (Yukiko Amagi). Rise Kujikawa still working as an idol at 20 years old, with a sultry and sexy persona nowadays. Taro Namatame has returned to politics.
    • You can get DLC packs that let you wear the uniforms of students from St. Hermelin, Seven Sisters, Gekkoukan, and Yasogami.
    • In Takemi's Confidant, she makes a phone call and speaks to someone she calls "Uehara-san." Considering that Takemi's calling a hospital, it's entirely likely that she's calling Sayoko Uehara, a nurse who is the Devil Social Link from the previous game.
    • One of the news bulletins on the train mentions an incident at Wild Duck Burger.
    • The theme park Destiny Land comes from Shin Megami Tensei I (and was also occasionally mentioned in other games).
    • The drugstore in Shibuya is Aohige Pharmacy, the same as the one in Paulownia Mall in Persona 3.
    • Several of the vending machine drinks from Persona 3 and 4 return.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • School lessons have a weird habit of relating to whatever's going on in the story, don't they?
    • The characters themselves note the astronomical odds of the fact that the man responsible for the false charge against Joker, The Man Behind the Man to Yusuke and Makoto's abusers, and the man who murdered Futaba's mother and Haru's father are all the same man - Masayoshi Shido.
    • The Metaverse app listening and reacting to Ryuji's sotto voce rant about Kamoshida; thus, Ryuji bears responsibility for entirely on accident taking them to Kamoshida's castle-palace the first time. Also, that Morgana (aka the being created by the real Igor that was supposed to help the Phantom Thieves along their journey) was right in that castle instead of some other palace.
    • Madarame just happens to have a door in his house that sticks out like a sore thumb against the décor inside. How else are the P-Thieves supposed to know where to look for evidence of his treachery?
  • Cool Car: If you didn't already think the Citroën H Van was cool then you certainly will by the end of this game.
  • Cool Mask: All the characters' Persona turn into nifty thief masks when not in use.
  • Copy-and-Paste Environments: Most of the Mementos dungeon is a set of blocks of warped subway tunnels stuck together by random generation, much like the dungeons in previous Persona games. The rest of the game however, and the bottom of Mementos, is custom made.
  • Cosmetic Award: By taking certain confidants on a date to the right place, the player may receive a gift from the confidant. Some of these confidant/location combinations can be difficult to figure out, only occurring between certain confidant levels, on certain days of the week, or after the player has already taken that confidant on a certain nuber of dates before. However, these gifts can only be used to decorate Joker's room — there isn't even an acheivement associated with them. And to make it even worse, the shelf where most of the decorations are kept is on the wall to the camera's right in Joker's room, making them hard to see if you're not in the decorating menu.
  • The Cracker: Medjed, a global organization of "hacktivists" who claim to be just by targeting corrupt businesses by stealing and destroying data. The original Medjed, Futaba, was accurately this, but her "successors" are impostors using the name and reputation for personal gain; Futaba isn't thrilled about this, and it's one reason she opts to help the Phantom Thieves take them down.
  • Crapsack World: There's a reason the Thieves are willing to risk everything to reform the world — they really do have no other choice if they want to live a halfway normal life. Physically and sexually abusive predators are employed as teachers — something both staff and parents are fully aware of and choose to do nothing about. Random accidents caused by "psychotic breaks" could end your life in an instant. The police are in the pocket of corrupt monsters, which sees innocent people arrested and real criminals allowed to go free thanks to their connections. When tragedy or injustice strikes, authority figures can't or won't protect you, bystanders are too apathetic or scared to get involved, and by the end of it you'll be so Conditioned to Accept Horror that you'll probably be one of the faceless masses who just keep their head down in the hope that nobody dangerous notices them. Or worse, you'll snap and figure that if the world's full of rotten people that get away with everything and nobody cares, you might as well be rotten yourself.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Joker's fake death plan is ripe with this. To wit:
    • Makoto found out that inside the Metaverse's interrogation room that not only did their clothes not change inside unlike in pretty much everywhere else in the Metaverse, but the surroundings of the interrogation room were the exact same as the real world. Once Makoto told the rest of the crew about it, they immediately went to check it while keeping Akechi in the dark about it.
    • Futaba found a way to activate the Metaverse Navigation App remotely from her laptop by tricking the phone into thinking the user was tapping the screen — after all, the app still follows the phone's "rules" despite being an explicitly supernatural element. Then, she used this trick to send Sae and Akechi to the Metaverse and timed it to the moment Joker's and Akechi's phones were in close proximity from their GPS data.
    • During the botched Casino heist, the crew prepared themselves an empty briefcase beforehand and merely acted like they were taking the Treasure inside Sae's Palace — being Akechi's first heist, he didn't realize this wasn't their standard procedure. They also made sure before the heist began that the police would be waiting to ambush them and arrest Joker once they completed the heist.
    • If you ask Futaba after you returned back to the cafe post-interrogation, Futaba reveals that Makoto woke up one night realizing the possibilities of a Cognitive Akechi inside Sae's Palace, which the real Akechi could accidentally run into and realize he wasn't in the real world. So the team headed to the Metaverse and Makoto singlehandedly knocked out Cognitive Akechi, and tied him up somewhere inside Sae's Palace far from the interrogation room to prevent that from happening.
  • Critical Hit: Physical attacks have a chance to deal extra damage, which is accompanied by an extended attack animation where the party member uses both their melee weapon and gun, or pops a creepy Slasher Smile if they used a Persona's physical skill instead.
    • At certain confidant levels, teammates can offer to assist in downing or eliminating an enemy, provided Joker's attack didn't do this initially. This can range from a melee attack utilizing their weapon to its full extent, i.e. Ann using a Noblewoman's Laugh and beating the crap out of her target, Ryuji winding up for a grand slam, Yusuke showing his skill as an Iaijutsu Practitioner, etc.; or a ranged attack where both Joker and the teammate line up shots on the target, accompanied by a convenient bullseye background.
  • Cue the Sun: The first shot immediately after defeating Yaldabaoth is a view of the sun shining straight through the bullet hole you and Satanael just shot through his head.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Happens in the final battle with Satanael vs. Yaldabaoth. The latter uses his strongest attack on the party, only for Satanael to completely No-Sell it, and Satanael finishes the fight with a single Sinful Shell to Yaldabaoth's head.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Akechi's (apparent) death could have easily been avoided if the party had just used a Goho-M to escape the shadows surrounding them, assuming they have one.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: When most characters awaken to their Persona in a cutscene, they tend to incapacitate or kill every nearby Shadow instantly, which they then can't reproduce in following battles.
    • Prologue Arsène has access to Eigaon and Brave Blade, two moves that are well beyond what the Arsène you ultimately start with can ever naturally learn.
    • Ann uses a Shadow's BFS when she first awakens, but can only equip whips for the rest of the game.
    • Goemon uses an area of effect freezing attack when Yusuke first awakens, only for Yusuke to lack Mabufu or any other multi-target ice magic in the mini-boss battle that happens seconds later.
    • Satanael, despite being the single most powerful Persona you can fuse in the New Game+, can't obtain its Sinful Shell skill because that what it uses to kill Yaldabaoth in a very memorable cutscene. To make it available elsewhere would render everything else completely moot.
  • Cutting the Knot: All of the Palace boss battles bar the fifth and seventh ones utilize "special orders" that allow you to break through the boss' defenses and defeat them in a more efficient way. Some operations can be avoided, however, and a well-prepared party can just brute-force their way onto the boss with no issues.
    • Shadow Madarame's special order involves having the player attack his four-portraits form with the same Weaksauce Weakness-inducing paint that he can inflict on you. However, the operation won't occur unless Shadow Madarame transforms back into his portrait form for a third time. There's no real need for the extra damage output since his portraits never revive on full health, and on lower difficulties, a sufficiently-leveled party can very likely defeat him before the operation even gets mentioned.
    • Shadow Kaneshiro's order involves distracting him from using his March of the Piggy attack by throwing an item at him. While giving him an item renders him defenseless, you can also just attack Kaneshiro himself while he's on top of Piggytron to knock him over. And given that Kaneshiro only tends to get distracted by valuable items that your party really cannot do without (such as physical/magic ointments and somas), the order, despite Morgana's insistence otherwise, comes off as a rather bone-headed idea.
    • In order to actually damage one boss, you need to perform a special order that has you sending one of your allies to act as a sniper in order to expose the boss's cheating by breaking a pane of glass on the mechanism that makes up the field of battle, which takes up about five turns. You can actually avoid this by only having Joker in your party; Futaba will call the Shadow out for cheating, ensuing the actual boss fight. Also doubles as Developers' Foresight.
    • The final boss of the fourth palace (The Sphinx), generally requires that you shoot it down with the ballista, which prevents it from attacking and greatly increases the damage you inflict with each attack...but if you're patient enough, you can just keep hitting it with long range magical skills. It will take a looooooooong time, though, as even the strongest skills will only inflict about 200 points of damage, and the boss has upwards of 8000 HP (the skills that you'll have normally at the time you fight the boss will inflict about 50-75 damage).

    D-F 
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Due to the interface overhaul in Persona 5, players who later return to previous Persona games after playing it find themselves accidentally wasting turns due to being overly familiar with the newer combat controls. Most notably, in 5 Personas are summoned with the triangle button, and in Persona 3/FES/P 4/G that same button rushes the enemy. Using skills and attacks is based on a simpler list-scrolling based UI which makes it counter-intuitive for players familiar with 5.
  • Dancing Theme: The main characters can be seen dancing around the city in the opening animation that plays before the title screen. The poses and spins make it look like they're ice skating on concrete.
  • Dare to Be Badass: How the Persona awakenings go. The Persona reaches out to the character, urging them to be honest with what they want, form a contract, and cut loose on those holding them down.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Compared to Persona 4, with characters receiving visible, bloody injuries, regular use of Body Horror, the heroes being Anti-Hero thieves, much more dangerous antagonists and some fairly dark plot twists. As just one example, Ann's early game plot really kicks off when her friend Shiho, who is being terribly abused by Kamoshida to start with (to the point of having dead-looking eyes), leaps off the top of a school building, in full view of all her classmates, including Ann. That pretty much sets the tone for the entire game.
    • It should also be noted that unlike Persona 3, most of its dark elements are drawn out from political thriller/horror, such as perverted teachers, political assassinations and ignorance of the masses.
    • It's still Lighter and Softer than Persona 3 tone wise. The topics of the game are as dark or darker than P3's, but the game manages to be generally more upbeat than the rather melancholy P3, ending with an unambiguously happy ending compared to P3's Bittersweet Ending.
    • The DLC Personas come with not only their original variations, but also new "Picaro" forms, which are shades of black and red, and in a Shujin outfit, the idea being that Joker's mask changed their form.
    • The Social Link system, which is presented as a friendship of sorts, was changed to the more morally ambiguous Confidant system. While some relationships are the typical friendships (for example, the party members), others are more like deals or agreements (Ms. Kawakami agreeing to let you slack off in class to prevent her maid side job service from becoming known).
    • The tarot cards all deviated from the designs used in previous games, with most depicting some type of crime/sin/cruelty (For example, the scale in Judgment is unbalanced, favoring money over the heart).
    • The Velvet Room's Summoning Ritual changes from a Tarot Ritual to a guillotine execution, the itemization ritual becomes an electric chair, and a way to use Personas to give EXP to others is a hanging. The Twin Wardens are also both more aggressive towards you than earlier attendants, with Joker being trapped in a cell until he has the spirit of rebellion to break free from this, when he himself was sentenced to execution.
  • Darkest Hour: The game enters this by the time the game catches up to the present day. The Phantom Thieves' reputation is at an all-time low and the Big Bad has used the public's opinion of him to propel his campaign for Prime Minister, putting him in a very good position to get elected. Not to mention that Joker has to fake his own death and the other Thieves are also scheduled for "accidents" later. And somehow the situation still gets worse even after they steal Shido's heart. His evil conspiracy is still going strong without him, their manipulation of the media and law enforcement has all but ensured that Shido will go unpunished despite his confession and change of heart, and Yaldabaoth uses this all as an excuse to put in to motion his plan to Ret Gone humanity, starting with the Phantom Thieves.
  • Dark Reprise: Mementos' theme, "Mementos", was already pretty eerie, but it becomes more ominous and oppressive with the addition of a guitar, strings, and heavier percussion as "Freedom and Security", the theme for the final Palace, the Prison of Regression, located at the bottom of Mementos. It's also used in the credits for the bad endings.
    • Sections of "Tokyo Daylight", an upbeat world theme, make a subtle, minor-keyed reappearance in two late game themes. One is Ark, for Shido's Palace, in the violin melody. The other is the previously mentioned "Freedom and Security", in the electric guitar melody. Both represent the willingness of Tokyo's public to submit to greater powers for order and, well, security.
    • Played with during the battle with Black Mask. During the second phase of the battle, the song "Will Power" plays. Previously this has been a heroic, determined theme played when each of the characters awakens to their Persona. This time, it represents Akechi revealing both his true Persona, Loki, and his identity as the masked villain who's been causing the psychotic breakdowns. It also echoes his own desperation to defeat the Phantom Thieves. The song is used to clearly juxtapose against its previous heroic intentions.
  • Dark World: The Metaverse is a warped version of the real world that grows and transforms based on human desires.
  • Deal with the Devil: Inverted Trope; each character's Shadow, the other self, first manifests as their voice with a Magnificent Bastard air either confronting them about not standing up for others or themselves, or commenting that they had been waiting for them, and offering them a "contract", which results in the Shadow becoming a Persona in exchange for unleashing their rage and hatred on the world that wronged them. However since Shadows are part of them and Persona are Shadows given form by the strength of heart, it basically means it is a contract with themselves to no longer compromise who they are, which is what gaining a persona essentially is.
    • Case and point: Makoto gains her Persona after being pushed around one to many times by one of the villains. She is far happier and more well adjusted after this and decides to make her own path instead of just doing what is expected of her.
      Johanna: You have finally found your own justice... Please... Never lose sight of it again...
    • Near the end of the game, Yaldabaoth offers one towards the protagonist; should he decide to leave Yaldabaoth alone, he would remove Mementos from reality and allow the protagonist to use the Metaverse as long as he desires, playing it completely straight.
  • Death by Despair: Present as a game mechanic — the despair ailment causes the afflicted to not take any actions, lose SP with each turn, and eventually kill themselves. For players, this can be both useful and terrifying; in the case of the latter, should Joker get hit with this and not cured in time - it's an immediate game over. In the case of the former, during Flu Season days, enemies encountered in Mementos have a random chance of being hit with despair as soon as a fight is initiated...this extends to ALL enemies excluding bosses. Which means that yes, the REAPER can have a case of despair and kill itself in an encounter. Using this to the player's advantage is accepted as the best way to rapidly gain levels.
  • Death Glare: The Persona critical/weakness-hitting eye cut-in is now closer to this, showing the characters' pissed off expressions from a more dynamic angle. Special contenders include Yusuke and Makoto.
  • Death of a Child: Or more accurately, teenager. Failing a heist deadline results in the 16-year old protagonist shot dead.
  • Degraded Boss: Several mini-bosses show up later as regular enemies. Done weirdly however, these bosses are often overpowered versions of the normal enemy as noticed when weaker versions of the enemy show up immediately after the boss fight.
  • Dénouement: After defeating the final boss, Joker pulls a non-lethal Heroic Sacrifice to put an end to the conspiracy once and for all by turning himself into the police. After a few months, his fellow Phantom Thieves and confidants rally to get him released from jail. After that, the player can wander across the streets of Tokyo before calling it quits and seeing the game's ending.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • When the player is given the option to name the Phantom Thieves, if the protagonist's name or any of the other party members names are used, the protagonist will go against it as using their real names will be a bad idea. Or, if the player inputs "The Diamonds", which is the name that Ann suggested, she'll have a unique response to it.
    • In the seventh dungeon, the player has to fight five mini bosses throughout the dungeon before securing the treasure route. After defeating the fifth mini boss, the Phantom Thieves are ready to return and call it a day. However, the Goho-M item, which normally warps the Thieves back to a dungeon entrance, cannot be used. This is so that the player cannot skip the upcoming showdown with Goro Akechi.
    • The silhouettes during area transitions change depending on the environment and various contexts. Sick season shows various people wearing face masks. Hot weather has people dress more lightly. The Hawaii trip will show people dressed for the beach, as well as obese people, buff people, and other styles less commonly seen in Japan, since Hawaii is in America.
    • If you fight the boss of the Casino Palace with only Joker, you can't do the special op to expose the boss's cheating. Instead, after awhile, Futaba calls the boss out on cheating, and this enrages them enough that they immediately go One-Winged Angel, allowing you to proceed with the fight.
    • The player has the option of hanging out with several female Confidants during the last period of free time they have in Hawaii. Ann and Kawakami are available if their Confidants have been maxed out and they have been pursued romantically, while Makoto and Hifumi are available if they have at least Rank 5, given that they need certain social stats maxed out for the player to continue further. As such, the dates are treated differently between those groups; while Ann and Kawakami's events are appropriately romantic, Makoto and Hifumi's equivalents aren't since by this point, the player might not have the stats needed to rank their Confidants up enough to pursue them romantically.
      • Similarly, Haru is the default choice for the cultural festival if none of the other Confidants have been accordingly ranked up. As with Hawaii, the girls' events are more romantic this time around... except Haru's, because her Confidant hasn't even started yet.
    • In the sixth palace, you will have to temporarily leave and attend a trial in the real world to help erase a gate further in the dungeon. The narrative foresight comes into the potential date: If you go through the palace on November 2nd and reach the barrier, the trial is held on November 3rd, which is also Culture Day, a national holiday in Japan when trails wouldn't normally be held. This actually gets discussed by the party should this come up.
    • Although unlikelynote , you can actually catch Sleeping or Frozen enemies in a Hold Up but they can't be negotiated with. After all, you can't really talk to someone who can't talk back due to them being asleep or frozen in a block of ice.
    • If you finish a normal encounter with just Joker, he has a unique victory animation.Alternatively...  Similarly, if the party runs from battle, Joker will just keep running, not doing a victory animation at all.
    • Normally, each party member's code name and Arcana appear on the party stats screens and in the Untouchable shopping menu. During the brief interlude between recruiting a party member and giving them their code name, the code name will be absent from both locations. If they're taken into Mementos during this period, whoever is doing analysis will also not mention the character's code name in their combat dialogue.
    • invokedIn the unlikely scenario the player intentionally runs too low on cash to pay for the train fee, Morgana will reveal his "secret savings" and spot Joker just enough for the return trip.
    • The party meets up at Leblanc to study for the finals on December, and during the conversation, the question of whether Joker will want to get married one day is brought up. If he's dating a party member, said girl will react accordingly to his answer and her personality. If he's dating more than one/all of the female party members, they'll give their reactions one-by-one at the same time (thankfully for Joker, without noticing that the others had similar reactions).
    • Despite being the final member of the Thieves as well as a Guest-Star Party Member, Akechi is not only able to join you in Mementos, but even has his own unique dialogue and conversations with all the others while in the Morgana-mobile, which are notably the only times he is shown actually bonding with the team.
    • Sojiro's reaction towards Futaba's uncle having a change of heart in his last event will have different dialogue whether he has learned or not that Joker and Futaba are part of the Phantom Thieves. If he didn't known yet, he assumes it was just a coincidence; if he already knows, he immediately says that he knew Joker pulled it off.
    • Futaba is normally unable to be used in the battle due to her status as the Support Party Member. However, the game has a dedicated HP and SP pool for her to prevent the game from crashing in case someone tried to hack the game in an attempt to make her playable in battle.note 
    • Morgana has navigator dialogue for both Haru and Akechi, despite the fact that both of them join the party after Futaba takes over his navigator duties. In addition, he also has navigator lines for the Bonus Boss battle against Caroline and Justine, which can only be accessed on a second playthrough or later.
    • Downplayed in the case of the Valentine's Day event. While there is an extra scene in the event you are dating more than one girl note  where the player is justifiably called out for standing them up, there doesn't seem to be any acknowledgement of you dating several girls at once. So in the case of two or more of them showing up after Valentine's Day, you are now given a weird scene where upwards to nine girlfriends are chewing the player out without any of them acknowledging any of the other girl's that are also upset with you for not going out with them. It also makes the idea that Sojiro managed to talk all of them down seem more and more implausible.
  • Dialogue Tree: Talking with party members, answering questions in class, doing part-time jobs, and negotiating with demons all involve picking multiple options from a list of potential responses.
  • Diary: As part of his probation, the protagonist is forced to keep a log of his activities in a little black book he stores in his back pocket. However, the game also uses it as a meta-narrative stand in for your Save Point.
  • Difficulty Levels: You can play the game on Safety, Easy, Normal, Hard and Challenge/Merciless. Progressively harder difficulties give enemies higher stats, and makes damage from elemental weaknesses more punishing, making battles tougher. However, the story is unaffected regardless of the player's difficulty choice.
  • Dirty Cop: The cops who apprehend the protagonist drug and beat him to try and get information on his accomplices. The head of the department is also a member of The Conspiracy, and plans to kill the protagonist and their friends to protect his illicit activities. It's also mentioned that the police and prosecutors are likely to plant evidence and frame the thieves in order to pin the various deaths on them.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Assuming you avoided selling your teammates out near the end of the interrogation and thus getting a Bad Ending, you proceed onto Shido's Palace, the Big Bad's palace. It features the climactic battles against The Dragon and the Big Bad.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • Swift Strike is available as early as level 19 for Joker, but causing a guaranteed 3-4 light hits to all foes is a lot more powerful that it sounds. Don't be surprised if you find yourself keeping this skill on most new Persona you upgrade from.
    • Shiki-Ouji is a level 21 Persona that Nulls Phys/Gun/Curse skills, an absurd level of resistance for that early in the game. Given the amount of Phys skills alone you come across, Shiki-Ouji more than makes up for his level in sheer usefulness right out the gate.
    • Itemizing Ame-no-Uzume (which the player would no doubt end up fusing if they're working on the Strength Confidant) will create Senryou Yakusha, a katana for Yusuke that gives an impressive +5 Strength bonus. Even if its power or accuracy will get overshadowed later on, this stat boost continues to be useful into the late- or endgame, where the player would be using his physical skills more than his basic attack.
    • As expected by their Downloadable Content status, the Legacy Personas (Orpheus, Izanagi, Thanatos, Kaguya, Magatsu Izanagi, Messiah, Ariadne, Tsukiyomi, Asterius) are overpowered for how early you get them in the game — you absolutely destroy the < level 10 enemies with the level 20-81 Personas, even on Hard or Merciless difficulty. What really drives them into this territory however isn't just their strength, it's that the first summoning of any of them (even the lvl 80 personas) is entirely FREE of charge. Any summons after this should you use them in a fusion must be paid for of course, but still a free courtesy summon is insane to ignore.
    • During New Game Plus, you carry over all of your money and registered Personas. This means you can summon your late game Personas from the registry as soon as you get access to it. If you hoarded money before beating the game, you can have a team full of level 70+ Persona as soon as the first Palace.
    • Treasure Demons come jam-packed with useful skills that make them great fusion fodder, and will be recruited without demands if you knock them down. The first one, Regent, is a fixed encounter in the second Palace designed to serve as a tutorial for how they work, and cannot be missed. Said Treasure Demon comes with first-tier area-hitting spells for all eight magic elements, which is great if you're missing elemental coverage. Once the Gallows are unlocked, the Treasure Demons become invaluable for imparting bountiful amounts of experience to power-level your Personas in exchange for some money, on top of imparting a random skill they possess.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Most targets of the Phantom Thieves, while not all on the scale of the main bosses, generally are pretty horrible people with crimes ranging from physical abuse to power harassment. Meanwhile, the Mementos mission required to unlock the Tower Confidant involves...a guy who cheats at video games. This is especially strange considering the villain of Makoto's confidant, an actual human trafficker, doesn't experience a change of heart, while this guy does.
    • Some citizens try to invoke this by asking the Phantom Thieves to change the hearts of people they have personal grudges against, like their exes. All this does is annoy the protagonists, who lament that the site is being used by others to whine about people they don't like.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Futaba first awakens Necronomicon, it produces tentacles that abduct her and bring her inside, simultaneously changing her into her Phantom Thief outfit.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: The true villain turns out to be none other than Igor, the guy who's been your main support for creating new personas throughout the entire game. What makes this an even bigger twist is that it's not even the real Igor.
  • Dojikko: The staff at the Akihabara maid cafe seem to be going for this deliberately, contributing to the creepy artificiality of the place's attempts to be cute and charming.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Because of the recent hit to their reputation, the Thieves can't send the usual Calling Card to Masayoshi Shido. Futaba's solution is to hack into all of Japan's airwaves to broadcast their denouncement and challenge of Shido.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: After narrowly escaping from Shido's Palace, Ryuji sacrifes himself to save the team. While the Phantom Thieves are mourning the loss, he walks up like nothing happened. He teases Ann for crying, and she slaps him. Then all the girls back him against a light post while he begs for them to stop or explain. The screen then fades to black for a few seconds, then shows an unconscious Ryuji propped up against a light pole, implying the girls had mercilessly beaten him up. Everyone but him just walks off, talking about what to eat for dinner. Even if one thinks he shouldn't've teased Ann, assault was a complete overreaction. And the game takes it seriously when Ryuji's male coach breaks the kid's leg because Ryuji stood up to his abuse.
    • Don't date more than one girl. Don't. Do. It. When they catch you on Valentine's Day, Sojiro and Morgana abandon you to your fate, and the game cuts to your broken and beaten ass lying on the floor of LeBlanc.
    • This is notably averted more often than not however compared to previous games, especially with the many minor female targets in Mementos, which consist of a lot of abusive mothers/girlfriends who need to be changed for their actions.
  • Downer Beginning: Both the In Medias Res prologue and the actual beginning of the game.
    • The prologue shows the Thieves completing a caper at the casino... only for Joker to be arrested due to a member of the team selling them out, and suffering violent Police Brutality once caught.
    • The game proper opens with the protagonist being framed for assault by a man who he stopped from sexually assaulting a woman. When he arrives at Shujin Academy, he finds out the gym teacher Kamoshida basically owns the place: he physically abuses males who stand up to him and sexually abuses female students, and everyone is too scared to stand up to him. The protagonist and Ryuji accidentally stumble into his mental world, where his Shadow immediately decides to have them both killed, and the two barely escape with their lives. Shortly afterwards, Ann's friend attempts suicide due to Kamoshida's advances, and the three decide to become vigilantes to take him down.
  • Downer Ending:
  • Downloadable Content: The game has multiple digital content that can be bought from the PSN store.
  • Dramatic Thunder: It's only a crack of thunder with no music that accompanies the arrival of Satanael, Joker's ultimate Persona.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: There are some oddities and mistranslations here and there in the English translation of the game, such as:
    • In Sae's first appearance, a police officer is telling Sae in the original Japanese that they got a call from her boss, telling them to allow Sae to interrogate their prisoner. In the English version, it's translated as if the officer's telling her she's about to get a call from her boss, despite how odd it sounds for him to ask the police officer to tell Sae he'll be calling her on her personal phone, rather than asking the officer to hand Sae their own phone, or something similar.
    • Shadow Kamoshida chides his guards for "mistaking [his] Ann for someone like her [the real Ann]", which is confusing because what happened was the exact opposite of what he's complaining about: his guards mistook the real Ann for his cognitive version instead of realizing she was just another "Intruder" like Joker and Ryuji. Essentially the dubbing team swapped the two Anns in this dialog somehow and didn't catch it, as in the Japanese he correctly mocks them for mistaking the real Ann for his "Princess" which was why Ann is brought to him, while the resulting line sounds more like the guards tried to take Princess Ann to the dungeons like the other intruders thinking she was the real Ann.
    • Ryuji will mention his "Folks" at some points in the English translation, despite it being a plot point that his Dad left years ago and he lives alone with his single mother, who explicitly feels ashamed for having to raise him as such, even now.
    • Futaba explicitly refers to Morgana as Mona in one scene shown after her slumber when her heart is stolen. Yet, when it comes time for her to choose a code name, the rest of the team has to explain to her what a "code name" is.
  • Dub Text: While it was present in the Japanese version, the English dub of the game made Akechi's feelings towards Joker more apparent, which includes changing a line that the protagonist can respond to Akechi with from a simple "I'm home." to "Honey, I'm home", with Akechi chastising him for coming home late if it's picked.
  • Early Game Hell: While the game is good in giving multiple options (including skills) to allow you to restore SP, the bulk of these happen later on in the game, making the first palace you tackle a situation where you will regularly run out and either be forced to use expensive items or leave entirely. Several other tactical options, like methods of increasing experience or money earned, are tied to Confidants that become available later in the game, which increases the tedium of progress in the game's first chapter.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At first, it goes for a Bittersweet Ending with the Protagonist turning himself in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so that he can testify against Masayoshi Shido and ensure that he gets a guilty verdict. Because of his prior record, though, the Protagonist gets sent to juvenile hall; however, thanks to the efforts of the rest of the Thieves and the Confidants, they manage to clear him of his prior record, allowing him to go free early.
  • Easier Than Easy: Safe Mode. In addition to making the enemies weaker and the players stronger, it's also impossible to lose. However, choosing Safe Mode locks you into that difficulty for the remainder of that playthrough.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: Zigzagged. Choosing Safety Mode prevents you from changing the difficulty for the rest of the game, and is the only difficulty that does this. However, the game lets you see all the content no matter which mode you're playing on; during the initial difficulty selection, the game even says "this choice will not affect the story."
  • Eccentric Artist: Yusuke is so immersed in art that he tends to view everything through an artistic lens, like being more interested in the plating aesthetic of food than in enjoying how it tastes.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The Metaverse, a region inside the collective unconscious that warps into massive, unstable structures called palaces based on the warped desires of humans and is reached using a cell phone app.
      • Mementos in particular, a manifestation of the Metaverse tied to the Shibuya subway station that's described as "everybody's palace." Its layout is constantly shifting and changing, strong winds are perpetually blowing through it (which the party members will occasionally describe as sounding like screaming), and it starts looking more and more warped and distorted the deeper into it you explore.
    • The Velvet Room, an ever-changing location existing not in space or time but inside the collective unconscious of the human psyche, returns.
  • Eleventh Hour Super Power: Satanael, the protagonist's Ultimate Persona, is called forth with the aid of Yuki and the entire populace of Tokyo choosing to defy authority and believe in the Phantom Thieves, spurring Joker to break the chains holding down Arsène to reveal his true form. In the final battle he only has one move which headshots the final boss, but like previous games, he can be summoned using the maximum amount of fusions in the New Game+.
  • Epiphanic Prison: A major theme of the game is finding how to free yourself of the metaphorical chains society puts on you.
    Katsura Hashino: We may feel some sort of suffocation in this world today, but as long as the world is comprised of relationships among humans, it is a person's character, or a group's character, that will provide the "power" to destroy that "feeling of entrapment".
    • Mementos Depths is the embodiment of this. The entire place is styled as a giant prison, and all the cognitive representations within it express relief that they're stuck inside because it means that they'll be safe, representing humanity's collective Bystander Syndrome.
    • The Velvet Room, being shaped by the feelings of the guest, has Joker's room be a prison, complete with wardens, his clothes being prison attire plus a ball-and-chain while he's stuck in a cell, and executions for fusion. Near the end, when Joker is going to be executed by Caroline and Justine for "failing", he instead rebels against this, gaining his Phantom Thief outfit, and the cell door being removed to represent him "breaking free" from his prison
  • Eureka Moment: A rare villainous example. Being interrupted by an audience member's phone during a TV taping gives Akechi the spark to realize how Joker and Sae might have used their phone to fake his death.
  • Evil Is Visceral: Throughout Mementos, there are large bright red arteries running in and out of the walls. In the final dungeon, Mementos Depths, it's revealed that these arteries carry the perverted desires of the masses for social order down to the Holy Grail, aka the Big Bad Yaldabaoth. When Yaldabaoth overlays Mementos onto reality, blood starts raining from the sky and covering the ground, while huge structures made of bone appear.
  • Evolution Power-Up: Along with the standard stat and elemental resistance upgrades, your Guardian Entities' identities actually power up when your party members reach Rank 10 in their Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" sub-plots; each Persona transforms from an Anthropomorphic Personification of a Picaresque hero to a Rage Against the Heavens mythological figure.
  • Expelled from Every Other School: Joker gets expelled from his high school after getting convicted of assault, and no other school would take him aside from Shujin Academy, which is a stuffy elite preparatory school, all while on probation for the assault. Multiple characters note that, if Joker gets expelled from Shujin, he's going straight to jail.
  • Explosive Decompression: Discussed in the Space Station palace. Futaba cheerfully informs the rest of the party that they won't explode when out in space, but they'll last 30 seconds, tops, if they cover their noses and mouths. Thankfully, since it's the Metaverse, the party can (and must) travel through space between airlocks without problems.
  • Extra Turn: Battles use the "One More!" system from Persona 3 and 4 - getting a Critical Hit or exploiting an enemy's elemental weakness gives you an additional action. The new "Baton Pass" mechanic meanwhile allows you to pass this turn to any party member you've reached Confidant level 2 with.
  • Eyed Screen: Once again, a cut-in of just the character's eyes will appear when you perform powerful Persona attacks.
  • Face Death with Dignity: If you execute Arsène to fuse a new Persona, he confidently states that he'll meet you again at the end of your journey and ends his speech with an Evil Laugh. It probably helps that you can bring him back for a small amount of yen. Noticeably, he's also one of the very few - if not only - Personas who don't enter a despairing pose when facing the Fusion (guillotine), Strengthening (hangman's noose), or Itemization (electric chair) devices.
  • Faceless Masses: Non-important NPCs are generally far less detailed in model, most easily observed by comparing the protagonist to other generic student NPCs since he actually wears his uniform to code as they do. Look and it's easy to notice all kinds of details missing from their uniforms compared to the protagonist, theirs will come off as blurry.
  • Facial Horror: When characters first awaken to their Personas, they have to rip off masks that are part of their faces, causing blood to erupt as they for all intents and purposes rip their own skin off.
  • Famous Last Words:
    • "Ngh...No...It can't...be...! E-Even me...!? G-God...damn it...! Sh-Shid..." SIU Director
    • "My...uto...pia..." Shadow Kunikazu Okumura
  • Fake Difficulty: More in the "time management" aspect of the game than the combat, but the game uses quite a few shortcuts to raise the player's blood pressure:
    • You are regularly cheated out of free time to socialize and build stats, often without warning. Sure, you can't predict everything that will happen in the future (like Sojiro suddenly hijacking you to work in the cafe), but in a game about time management it is frustratingly common for Morgana to refuse to let you go out at night because "you must be tired". Finally, as with Persona 3 and Persona 4, the story ends after nine months instead of the promised year. As a result, similar to the rest of the series, it is very difficult to max all stats and clear all Confidants without either a guide or New Game+, even if you're familiar with the seriesnote .
      • Unlike in Persona 3 and Persona 4, where social links were always available on the same days each week unless there was a plot- or weather- related reason for them to be absent, confidants in Persona 5 don't have consistent, predictable schedules, with a couple of exceptions. While more realistic, it makes things significantly harder on players who are actively trying to plan ahead and budget their time accordingly.
    • Persona negotiation options might be confusing to those who don't know which answers are fitting for which Shadow mood, which might cause them to be pummeled by the free turns the Shadows get if they decide to attack instead of flee.
      • With a little investigation into the Personas' moods on the Enemy Analysis screen, though, you can at least get an idea of what statements to make to which creatures. If a Persona is Timid, be nice and understanding. If they're Irritable, show 'em who's boss and take no crap. For gloomy ones, resort to sarcasm. If they ask you about how you're going to eat them, or what you'll do with them after you kill them? Guess, and write down the results to make it easier in the future, I guess.
    • The Calling Card mechanic drains an additional two days out of your calendar, as you will be unable to do anything on the day you send it, then have to commit to fighting the next day (and therefore be unable to do anything in the eveningnote ).
    • Bosses will frequently use moves that you need to guard against, but will take several turns to charge up. There's not any indication that they won't do the attack immediately, so most players would typically waste turns defending because they don't know when the attack is coming.
  • Faking the Dead: In order to avoid the Bad Ending where he dies, the Protagonist exploits a phone modified by Futaba to activate the Meta-Nav app remotely, and a section of Sae's Palace that looks like the real world in order to make Akechi kill a mental projection instead.
  • Fan Community Nicknames:invoked In-universe, as the popularity of the Phantom Thieves rises, the Phantom Aficionado Website becomes known as the "Phan-site," with its users known as "Phanboys."
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Kamoshida has a harem of topless female volleyball students in his Palace, all writhing and moaning in ecstacy over their "king". Even Ryuji is disturbed. He's also accompanied by a scantily-clad Valley Girl clone of Ann.
      • His boss form, Asmodeus, is a fat, misshapen demon in nothing but a crown, cape and pink speedo.
    • The bunny suit overworld Shadows in the casino have grossly-exaggerated proportions and much, much too eager Jiggle Physics.
    • Shido's Boss form, Samael is a muscular shirtless man whose muscles keep growing more and more grotesquely huge as the battle continues.
  • Fast-Forward Mechanic: You can press start to skip cutscenes and fast forward through dialog. the dialogue fast forward even imposes VHS fast forward effects on the screen.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Invoked. Morgana, Lavenza and Igor spend the entire game trying to help the Protagonist use his abilities to destroy the very Big Bad that empowered and manipulated him.
  • Females Are More Innocent: There are seven palaces, two which are made by women: Futaba Sakura and Sae Niijima. The men who own Palaces and get reformed (Suguru Kamoshida, Ichiryuusai Madarame, Junya Kaneshiro, Kunikazu Okumura, and Masayoshi Shido) have long abused their positions of power and the people around them. Meanwhile...
    • Sae's only real "crime" is her ardent Second Place Is for Losers mentality that has stemmed from pressure at her job and being unfairly compared to her sister, and she's otherwise by-the-book when taking on the Phantom Thieves case. Unlike the other targets, whom the Thieves seek to punish for their crimes, the Thieves target her at Akechi's suggestion, to prevent the investigation from closing in on them, and Makoto also does so in hopes of helping her sister be happier and rediscover her sense of justice, even if she finds it quite painful to face Leviathan. Not only is Sae the only target who doesn't get her treasure stolen (as she reforms on her own), but she allies herself with the thieves after Akechi is outed as Black Mask.
    • As for Futaba, she deliberately targeted herself, as she wanted the Thieves to steal her heart so that she could be rid of her suicidal impulses and put an end to her shut-in lifestyle. In fact, the main problem was that Futaba was blaming herself for something that wasn't in any way her fault.
    • Regarding the Shadows of women who appear in Mementos, however, this is still present, but downplayed. There's a much closer to even mix of men and women culprits in that dungeon, and the women are legitimately bad people who need to change - but there's a gap in how evil the men are versus how evil the women are. The women range from stalkers to abusive mothers and girlfriends, while the Shadows of men in Mementos include murderers and sexual abusers.
  • Ferris Wheel Date Moment: At rank 10 of Ann's confidant, but only if Joker romantically pursues her. She'll confess a few things to him while they're sitting in a stopped ferris wheel, then go in for a kiss.
  • Fictional Painting: The Sayuri, a painting of a young woman looking down and smiling, which delighted the art world in its mystery - who is that woman and why is she smiling? The painting is a self-portrait by Yusuke's mother, and the original version showed her holding the baby Yusuke in her arms. When Madarame took advantage of her death and took Yusuke on as a protege, he painted over her arms so that the baby was no longer visible on the correct prediction that the added ambiguity would make it more appealing (and profitable). Thankfully for Yusuke, Madarame's treasure in the Metaverse and reality is the original painting without any modifications, which is hung on a wall in the coffee shop for safekeeping.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: During the "Maid Investigation", Becky the maid somehow recognises Mishima and Ryuji's voices. Then you get a better look at her face and realise why: She's Kawakami!
  • Flash Step: One of the Protagonist's field abilities allows him to quickly move from cover to cover in the blink of an eye.
  • Food Porn: During the All You Can Eat Buffet Dinner after the Kamoshida mission, you have Ryuji rivaling Chie Satonaka in fondness for meat dishes, Ann describing cake in great detail, and when you get up to get food, you have Morgana describing every type of food on the tables (except veggies).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Among the seemingly unimportant lessons towards the end includes one that brings up the Holy Grail, which turns out to be first form of the Final Boss.
    • There are numerous hints that Goro Akechi is not who he seems to be.
      • Shortly before the climax of the fifth palace, Kawakami comments during a lesson on the danger of crows — cunning creatures who shouldn't be underestimated.
      • He overheard the group discussing pancakes at one point. Except it was Morgana who said it. And only those who been to the Metaverse can understand him.
      • At one point, you have the option to respond to his statement that Joker and his friends are suspicious by saying that he's the suspicious one. For a second, Akechi freezes up in shock before laughing it off. For a moment, he may have thought the Phantom Thieves were on to him and panicked before realizing Joker was being sarcastic.
      • Despite his appearance on the main poster, he's the only one who doesn't appear in the opening.
      • The library carries books on the Persona of each party member as they join. You can never check out a book on Robin Hood.Note 
      • In the chat program, everyone's icon is a color of the rainbow (The protagonist's color is red, for example) except Akechi's, which is a shade of gray.
      • Around the time of Kaneshiro's Palace, there's a cutscene in which Akechi comes across Makoto, seemingly by chance, and takes it as an excuse to be needlessly snide and insulting to her, despite being very polite and charming in his previous appearances. It's an early indication that Akechi is a lot more two-faced than he's initially presented as being.
      • This even extends to the costume DLC. In the Raidou set, he gets the clothes of General Munakata - one of the game's main antagonists. In the Persona 2 set, he's the only one wearing Kasugayama High's - a reform school - uniform. In the SMT if... set, he gets Ideo Hazama's - the Big Bad's - clothes. In the Catherine set, he wears Thomas Mutton (Dumuzid)'s white tie suit.
      • In a very subtle bit of Gameplay and Story Integration, you can't ever Itemize equipment that's exclusive to Akechi.
      • The first time you enter Sae's Palace, Akechi comes up with the codename Karasu for himself (before the other Thieves decide Crow suits their aesthetics better since none of them have Japanese sounding codenames). Ryuji asks if his outfit his all black, which Akechi denies and affirms it's white. It's not until later that we learn Ryuji was technically right on the money and that Akechi's white outfit was nothing but a facade.
    • There are numerous hints that Igor is not who he seems to be.
      • When you first meet him, he says, "Welcome to my Velvet Room" instead of "Welcome to the Velvet Room".
      • He is never shown fusing Personas himself, always leaving the dirty work to Justine and Caroline.note 
      • He's extremely vague about what the protagonist's "rehabilitation" actually entails, and dodges the question every time you try to ask him to clarify.
      • In the game over messages, Igor generally laments your demise. In this game, Igor mocks you and calls your end "foolish".
      • The Velvet Key, something the protagonist of every Persona game since Persona 3 gets upon their first visit to the Velvet Room, is never given to the protagonist by Igor. Instead it's given by Lavenza (though it's called the "Cell Key" in this game) on the last day of the game as the Friendship Trinket for maxing out the Strength Confidant.
      • And of course, the most obvious giveaway is that his voice is drastically different from the real Igor.
      • The story just before the fake Igor is exposed gives a big hint as well, just after the Wham Line. Having been sentenced to death, Joker rebels and summons his Phantom Thief clothes inside the Velvet Room. The Phantom Thief garb only appears when the ruler of a Metaverse location considers you a threat, and also is supposed to protect the person from distortions/being blinded by illusions, metaphorical or otherwise. Joker refusing to lay down and die means he's no longer "just" a prisoner of the Velvet Room; he's now a threat to its master. Igor would never see a Wild Card he's chosen as a threat, so it's virtually Glamour Failure on Yaldabaoth's part - and Joker refusing to go along with "Igor"'s command means he's no longer blind to the truth directly in front of him.
    • Various details hint at the truth of Morgana's situation.
      • Shortly after awakening your Persona powers, Igor mentions 'Palaces' during a conversation of the Metaverse Navigator. Some time later, Morgana calls them by the same name, which seems like a coincidence. It's not; Morgana was created by the real Igor just as the Velvet Room was being taken over, and therefore already knew the term - even through his latter amnesia - rather than having made it up.
      • Morgana believes that his true form is human, reasoning that he's been turned into a cat because of distortions from a Palace ruler. But the entire point of Personas is to protect their owners from those distortions. As Morgana possesses a Persona, he should never have been affected by them. Turns out he was never human to begin with, but a Velvet Room resident created by Igor to guide Joker.
      • Just as Morgana is about to lose consciousness, unable to see Haru standing over him, he wonders who's there before unconsciously asking "Master?", which he doesn't remember saying after-the-fact. This master is the real Igor.
      • Morgana's color scheme is primarily blue and gold/yellow just like most other residents of the Velvet Room.
    • The original quartet has a short discussion outside the second Palace about how easy it is to mistake the real world for the Metaverse. This comes into play again in the final moments of their gambit against Akechi, counting on him not noticing that he's snuck into Sae's Palace when he makes his move to kill the Protagonist.
    • TV programs report on employees of various fast food companies losing their minds and committing various crimes as early as May, hinting at reveals much later in the story regarding Haru's father being involved with the conspiracy and the nature of Black Mask's abilities.
    • On the school trip overseas, Mishima gets dragged around by Ryuji to hit on girls all day long. By the evening he regrets that decision due to seeing Ryuji as too different from him and wonders if getting a girlfriend would be the only way to escape from future events. By the time Valentines Day rolls around, you discover that he is too busy to hang out with you and Ryuji, implying that he got some chocolate from a girl.
    • During the arc where you are being threatened by Medjed, your research reveals that Medjed is the name of an Egyptian god. Then, seemingly unrelated, Futaba's dungeon is Egyptian themed. And she is a big computer whiz. Turns out that "Medjed" was Futaba's original handle as a Playful Hacker before copycats started co-opting the name and she changed to Alibaba.
    • One of the skits in Mementos has Haru praising the Morgana-mobile's interior, to which Makoto comments "If I were to buy a car, it would be one like this." Sure enough, in the Good Ending's epilogue, Makoto is seen driving a Citroën Type-H, a.k.a. the real life panel van the Morgana-mobile is based on.
    • Both Shadow Madarame and Shadow Kaneshiro remark that there's another Metaverse-user running around. Shadow Kaneshiro also warns the Phantom Thieves that 'a chance encounter with them may prove fatal.' Sure enough, encountering them does prove fatal in the Bad Ending.
    • Though subtle, at the buffet on May 5th you eavesdrop on a TV station president and an IT company president. Both of them are members of Shido's conspiracy and appear as minibosses in his Palace. Given that Shido is also in the hotel on that day, it's likely that they were having a shady meeting that resulted on the plan to boost the Phantom Thieves' popularity in preparation to later use them as scapegoats for the Mental Shutdown cases.
    • On August 28th, Futaba visibly reacts when Akechi confides to Joker over his coffee that he was passed from foster home to foster home as a kid. It's later revealed during Sojiro's Confidant that Futaba suffered horribly under the "care" of several of her relatives after her mother's passing, her uncle being by far the worst of them all, until Sojiro managed to gain custody of her after throwing a lot of money at him.
    • On the early morning of October 28th, politician Masayoshi Shido is seen giving a speech in Shibuya criticizing the government for their lack of strong countermeasures against the Phantom Thieves until just recently, calling the current administration obsolete and comparing the country to a "ship that's bound to a rotting dock and destined to sink." If the player was paying attention to it, it's quite possible to figure out the shape of his Palace before even the party once Shido gets outed as the leader of the conspiracy.
    • On June 8th, a text conversation between the Thieves has Yusuke ask for any ideas on a next target for the group. The protagonist is given three possible answers as a reply: a crooked politician, a famous celebrity, or an evil overlord. As it turns out, the Thieves eventually manage to defeat all three of these - Shido, Akechi, and Yaldabaoth respectively.
    • In the first week of the game, specifically April 14th, in the train station you can overhear an office worker wondering if the the bus and rail accidents are the result of terrorism via mind control. It is later revealed this is correct, all done as a way of controlling public opinion, which leads to the main dilemma of the end of the game.
    • The first Persona awakening, Arsène's, foreshadows the end of the game. Arsène tells you exactly how he is going to end it all.
    "I am thou, thou art I... Thou who art willing to perform all sacrilegious acts for thine own justice! Call upon my name, and release thy rage! Show the strength of thy will to ascertain all on thine own, though thou be chained to Hell itself!"
    • Not long after going into Kamoshida's palace for the first time, Ryuji will text you asking how it's possible for him to get away with what he does. One of the options for responding is that nobody cares. At the end of the game nobody cares that Shido confessed to his crimes, which leads the thieves into the final dungeon.
    • At one point, your history teacher gives you a lecture on the French Revolution. Specifically, how many rebels became despots themselves when they took over power. Make a deal with Yaldabaoth, get the bad ending and you do just that.
    • After Akechi's true nature has been revealed, he does an interview during the time of Shido's Palace, but has an internal monologue about how with the Metaverse Navigator, and the Persona "bestowed upon him by the gods", he's eliminated anyone in his way. This hints to the major endgame reveal of how Akechi was chosen by the false Igor as part of a 'game', to incite chaos and distortion across the world, while the Protagonist would do the exact opposite.
  • The Four Gods: The four elemental animal guardians Seiryu, Suzaku, Byakko, and Genbu return as enemies and recruitable Persona. You can also fuse Kohryu after completing Sojiro's Social Link.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Implied. During a break from their group study session at Leblanc by the end of the game, it's revealed that all four girls in the Phantom Thieves are very comfortable with the idea of marrying the protagonist someday were any of them to be in a relationship with him. Save Scumming through Joker's three possible answers to Ryuji's question about his opinion on marriage gives the player a good idea of each girl's thoughts on the matter:
    • Makoto seems to think Joker is a Confirmed Bachelor in the making because she will be pleasingly (if embarrassedly) surprised or look painfully unsurprised depending on whether he likes the idea of marriage or not. That or letting out an annoyed "Oh, come on" if he dodges the question.
    • Haru is stuck speechless with emotion if Joker confesses that he's thought about getting married someday, but answering the opposite will prompt a downcast look out of her as she reasons, mostly with herself, that they're still in high school after all. She'll try to ask for elaboration in case of a Non-Answer, only for Yusuke to soon change the subject.
    • Similarly to Haru, if Joker shows no interest in marriage, Ann will awkwardly argue that's not something he could know for sure just yet. Or blush and giggle to herself if it's the other way around. A noncommittal answer will leave her at a loss, unsure of what he meant by that.
    • Futaba apparently never considered the possibility before, and will let out a startled "M-M-M-Marriage...!?" if her boyfriend says he did. As it was the case with Joker's Love Confession in her Confidant, this is just the surprise talking and she will become despondent if he either says he's never thought about getting married or doesn't give the team a straight answer.
    • Should Haru be romanced, her Rank 10 Confidant Menu description mentions she dreams of a future where she is running a cafe with a new fiance, which is all but stated to be referring to Joker.
  • Framing Device: The protagonist's interrogation is an interesting variation of one. All but one of the in-game months that make up the protagonist's probation are recounted to Sae during his interrogation, which starts at the beginning of the game. Whenever you advance the story by taking out a big target, and every time you initiate a Confidant link except for twonote , the game skips forward to the interrogation, where Sae asks the protagonist to give her the details. While it's made clear that the protagonist mentions how the targets are taken out and all of the supernatural elements that entail, he leaves out names (both party members and Confidants) for everyone involved, even when Sae specifically figures out who the Phantom Thieves all are through logical deduction (like figuring out that her sister Makoto MUST be a Phantom Thief if Joker is telling the truth) - in fact, if you decide to sell out your friends and confidants at the very end of the interrogation, you get a bad ending. Eventually you get to the point where you infiltrate the same casino Palace seen at the very beginning of the game and get captured, and it's revealed that the thieves deliberately let the protagonist get captured in order to get Sae on their side and out detective Goro Akechi as a member of The Conspiracy. Should you successfully answer Sae's questions correctly, the protagonist (who had been addled with drugs up until this point) remembers his plan and initiates it, successfully escaping with Sae and going into hiding. Once the final arc begins, the framing device is no longer usednote .
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Pay close attention to the rapidly-shifting calendar in the interrogation flashforward cutscenes, and it's possible to notice that the date of the interrogation is November 20th, long before this point in the game is reached.
  • French Maid Outfit: The servers at the maid cafe all wear the standard frilly black and white maid outfits, as does Sadayo Kawakami in her second job.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Treasure in every Palace represents one for the owner, being the physical embodiment of the desire twisting the owner's actions. By stealing it, the Phantom Thieves remove its influence, causing the owner to return to their senses:
    • Kamoshida's is a crown which turns into his Olympic medal, representing the pressure he was under trying to live up to everyone's expectations as the hero who brought home the gold for Japan, which led to him becoming a Broken Ace as a result.
    • Madarame's was a representation of the (real)Sayuri painting, showing the inadequacy he felt as a fading artist compared to his younger and more talented students, which turned him into The Svengali.
    • Kaneshiro's are stacks of gold bullion which turn into an actual gold briefcase full of fake bills, representing his insecurity from having been poor and helpless in the past, leading to him becoming a cruel mob boss.
    • The fourth Palace's is actually the owner, Futaba, who is suffering from survivor's guilt and believes she is to blame for her mother's death, which resulted in her becoming a Hikikomori.
    • Okumura's is a mysterious metallic orb, which turns into the model rocket he was denied as a child due to his family's unfortunate financial situation, which led him to grow up to be a Corrupt Corporate Executive who'll do anything to get what he wants.
    • The sixth Palace's is unrevealed, but is suggested to be the police journal of Sae's father, representing the combined weight of his death, the burden of taking care of her sister, and trying to succeed in her career, which led to her becoming a borderline Amoral Attorney and overbearing towards Makoto.
    • The seventh Palace's is the steering wheel to the cruise ship the Palace is on, which turns into Shido's legislator's pin, representing Shido believing deep down that despite all his evil actions, he truly can lead Japan to a better future.
    • The general populace's treasure at the Depths of Mementos is the Holy Grail, representing their subconscious desire to remain apathetic, and free from having to take responsibility for their actions.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The Thieves give this answer to any target who tries to justify themselves with one. Telling them that no matter what happened to them they are all responsible for their own actions
  • A Friend in Need: When in the end the Protagonist turns himself in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so he can testify against Shido, the other Phantom Thieves spend the next month and a half trying to find a way to save their leader. Any Confidants that have been maxed out will also be shown tapping their connection, rallying others and generally doing everything in their power to prove the Protagonist's innocence and earn him his freedom. It pays off in the end, and the Protagonist's record is wiped clean, allowing him to leave juvenile hall a free man.
  • Friendship Trinket: In your last day in town, any character whose Level-Up at Intimacy 5 "Confidant" side-quest you have maxed out will give you an item to remember them by. These items also automatically unlock late-game bonuses from their side-quest if you start a New Game+.

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