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Video Game / Saints Row 2

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All spoilers for Saints Row are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
East side. West side. Your side.

I got gangstas in the crowd, bad bitches at my show
Yeah, it's parked outside, and it's sittin' on fo's
And I luv it, yeah, and I luv it.
Young Jeezy, "I Luv It"

Saints Row 2 is a Wide-Open Sandbox video game released in late 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. It is the second game in the Saints Row series.

It turns out that "Playa" survived the blast at the end of Saints Row, but has spent five years in a coma — the game begins just as he (or she — you can now play as a female character) wakes up. Upon busting out of prison and rescuing homie Johnny Gat from the electric chair, they discover that four forces have risen to fill the void in power left by the Saints' disappearance:

  • The Brotherhood (red), a gang consisting of social outcasts and punks who enjoy tattoos, heavy metal and big trucks. They specialize in arms dealing and racketeering.
  • The Ronin (gold), a Yakuza branch led by the petty son of a Japanese oyabun. They are distinguished by their love of motorcycles and import tuners. They specialize in vices such as prostitution, pornography, and gambling.
  • The Sons of Samedi (green), college kids and hippies led by voodoo enthusiasts and ex-military men. They deal drugs, particularly the popular Loa Dust.
  • Ultor Corporation (orange), a powerful Mega-Corp that has taken over and completely renovated the Saint's Row district, in a project spearheaded by Dane Vogel, who has plans for the rest of the city.

Alive, pissed, a lot more talkative, and with a thirst for vengeance against those behind the explosive attempt on their life, "Playa" becomes "Boss" as they rebuild the Saints from the ground up and embarks on a mission to destroy the other gangs, and eventually become the kingpin of the city.

Provides Examples Of:

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  • Ace Custom: Almost any vehicle can be taken to a garage and modded for extra engine power and durability in addition to cosmetic changes. Additionally, each of the gang leaders (Maero, Shogo, and The General) have a custom vehicle that's got something special about it: Maero's monster truck has boosted durability, Shogo's prototype motorcycle is exceptionally fast, and The General's Bulldog SUV has a roof-mounted machine gun.
  • The Alleged Car:
    • Subverted with rusted and dilapidated versions of the in-game cars, which perform the same as their regular counterparts. In addition, rust and wear are automatically removed upon modification of the car.
    • The Halberd in its base form. It has a low base speed with a high torque and while it is useful for weaving through traffic, its low mass makes it prone to tipping over. It's also one of the weakest cars in the game, with just one or two shots of a shotgun being enough to destroy it.
    • The Quota, a vehicle used by parking wardens, is a three-wheeled car with a low top speed, worse acceleration, and a tendency to spin out of control. One of the harder Chop Shop sidequests requires you to steal one while under a wanted level.
  • The Alcatraz: Stilwater Penitentiary, a prison complex out on a small island between the two halves of the city proper. You start the game there, and later go back to break out another inmate.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Ronin pull this twice, sneaking into Aisha's place to lie in wait for Gat and The Boss, and in the penultimate Ronin mission they perform a much larger attack on the Saints' main crib. The Sons of Samedi also pull this when they capture the Boss and drug them, though they only attack the upstairs area.
  • Always Over the Shoulder: Aiming mode for the non-sniper rifle weapons takes this form.
  • Ambiguously Bi / Ambiguously Gay:
    • Playing as a male leads to some rather odd moments with Pierce, where he jockeys with Shaundi for The Boss' attention. Pierce also has a love for classical music, and his reaction to seeing a female stripper is to say "Damn, those are some nice shoes!".
    • Since the Boss does exactly the same things no matter what gender they are, and nobody else's dialogue is changed, playing as a female Boss lends itself to these moments:
      • Right before a bar is raided by an Ultor Masako team, the female Boss can be seen welcoming a female bartender's flirts... until the Masako breaches and Boss flings the bartender toward the bullets to shield herself, then blows her corpse up with gas to kill the members.
      • In addition to that moment, there's the cutscene mentioned above with the stripper, in which she (The Boss) is laid back, taking in the show with as much satisfaction as a dude would. And the various comments early on in favor of a stripper pole in the Saints HQ, Purgatory. And for at least one of the voices, she has definite chemistry with Shaundi. She's definitely bi, if not an outright lesbian.
      • The way The Boss ogles Shaundi when she's running on the treadmill, Jiggle Physics included.
      • It seems that people in the game see it too; a Saint inquires about the female Boss getting it on with Shaundi.
      • Playing a female Boss, homies made these comments:
        Jane Valderrama: Would this be a bad time to tell you I love you?
        White gangsta girl: Do you guys do the group thing?
      • And Jane more frequently (and affectionately) says, "What would I ever do without you?"
  • And This Is for...: In mission "The Siege", one of your soldiers can be heard saying this on behalf of Carlos.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: One of the possible clients in the Escort side mission is a hippie Granola Girl. She may ask you to assassinate someone because "They eat meat!" Hilariously, the target can also be a girl with her exact same model and outfit.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The activity Snatch revolves around recruiting prostitutes and taking them to whoever you're working for. Normally the amount of allies the player can recruit is based on story completion, but it will always be set to the cap of 3 during the activity regardless of how many the player can normally recruit.
    • Just like Saints Row, the player can skip the animation while hijacking vehicles by trying to enter while on top of them, so long as they aren't moving too fast.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • There is an actually helpful form, in when in some driving/riding shotgun missions, the enemy cars are so wild that they cause as much damage to themselves as you can with your guns. This only applies to the lower difficulty levels though.
    • Homies have awful pathfinding and can get stuck on tables, vehicles, just about anything. They love getting in the way when you're fighting enemies. And God help you if any of them pick up a RPG, because they won't hesitate to fire it even if you're in the way.
  • Artistic License – Physics: This game runs on a mix of Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny.
    • You can literally jumpstart motorcycles. Start a wheelie then hold the accelerator, handbrake and keep pulling your weight back (you may also want to hold the view back button to avoid the camera pointing into the sky). Now the bike is doing a standing wheelie, while spinning the rear wheel. Let go of the handbrake and the bike will literally jump forwards.
    • The way the player gets thrown around in the "Insurance Fraud" missions, particularly when you get knocked around enough to enter Adrenaline Mode - by that point a light smack from a car going at a typical slow suburban speed limit sends you flying high enough to clear pretty much any building in the game outside of the skyscrapers in the actual Saint's Row district.
  • Autosave: The game has this, usually after you complete a mission or capture a stronghold. If you're playing with cheats activated, the game won't autosave until you swtich to a save without them on.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Pimp Cane shotgun. It looks very cool, holds more rounds than any other shotgun, and deals quite a respectable amount of damage, but it has the lowest rate of fire of any gun in the game and you receive it so late in the storyline that, if you don't already have the AS14 Hammer automatic shotgun (or even the unlockable XS-2 Ultimax) by that point, you're probably doing something wrong.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Johnny Gat does this a couple of times while fighting the Ronin in Saints Row 2, although he uses a much more practical and realistic version. Instead of grabbing the blade itself, he grabs the wrists of the person holding the sword.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: In the penultimate mission of the Sons of Samedi storyline, Shaundi and The Boss infiltrate the police station disguised as electricians to get access to the traffic cameras. While the disguises are compromised not too long after, they manage to make off with the cameras.
  • Battle in the Rain: Occurs during the Ronin storyline when Shogo Akuji leads an attack on Aisha's funeral in a desperate attempt to kill Johnny and The Boss. Even if the weather was cloudless and sunny, it turns to rain as soon as the opening mission cutscene begins.
  • Big Bad: Dane Vogel, the Corrupt Corporate Executive of Ultor Corporation.
  • Big Eater: Habitual stoner Shaundi insists on stopping for fast food on each level of her Heli-Assault Escort Mission. While being relentlessly pursued by swarms of Ronin with full intent of blowing her up.
  • Black Comedy: The various radio ads for Ultor products and services don't so much straddle the line between horror and humor as hop gleefully back and forth over the line while chanting "Bet you can't guess which one!" in a disturbingly cheery, singsong voice. Highlights include nuclear power plant workers who credit their heightened productivity thanks to growing additional mutated arms.
  • Bilingual Bonus: When you're up against the Ronin, there's plenty of untranslated Japanese. Even the subtitles in cutscenes just give you "*speaks Japanese*" and leaves it at that.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The pimp cane shotgun that is unlocked near the end of the game. Not only does it hold more ammo than any other shotgun and deal high damage, but when equipped it has a special walking animation with the Boss using it like a regular cane.
  • Blown Across the Room: When The Boss shoots Dane Vogel in the face, the impact somehow sends him flying even though they're only using a pistol.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • The Japanese version of the game removes the ability to take people as human shields and the Hitman and Mayhem activities.
    • The German version of the game features the same changes as the Japanese version, but also cuts the ability to use guns outside of missions, and cutscenes that feature violence or drug consumption are censored by a black screen.
  • Brick Joke: After the completion of Down Payment (mission number three in the prologue), we get this exchange in the ending cutscene.
    The Boss: (with regards to using the abandoned hotel as the Saints' new base) …I don't know, man.
    Johnny: Oh, come on. A stripper pole, some flat screens, maybe some nicer furniture...
    The Boss: You had me at "stripper pole”.
    Johnny: Fuckin' a.
    • At the ending cutscene of the next mission, this bit of dialogue comes.
    Carlos: You guys actually hang out down here?
    Shaundi: I dunno; add a flat screen, some throw pillows, and a hookah and this place would be alright.
    Pierce: You definitely need a stripper pole in this bitch.
    • The brick joke goes even further; as you progress through the game, the hotel undergoes renovations as it becomes more of a proper hideout. When it's fully refurbished, the Saints' HQ gets three stripper poles.
    • To carry the joke even further, every crib you can buy has stripper poles as an available upgrade.
  • Bond One-Liner: At the end of the Brotherhood storyline, this exchange.
    The Boss: (points a pistol at Maero's temple) Any last words?
    Maero: Go to hell.
    The Boss: (pulls the trigger) Sorry; didn't catch that.
  • Book Dumb: The Boss is fairly ignorant. They act puzzled when Tara explains that she is a microbiologist to which Tara replies: "read a book".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Certain activities, once fully completed, give you infinite ammo for a specific weapon type. Your magazines themselves aren't bottomless and you will still have to reload, but your ammo reserves are infinite, so you could say that you have a bottomless number of magazines. There are some weapon types you can't get infinite ammo for normally, but the Gentlemen of the Row mod adds bonuses of that nature for them.
    • Actual bottomless magazines are available through cheats. RPGs are not affected, however, and dual-wielded pistols fire strangely slowly while the relevant cheat is active.
    • In addition, some weapons hold more rounds at once than their real-world counterparts can (shotguns in particular, with the double-barreled shotgun holding 6 shells and the pimp cane holding 16).
  • Buffy Speak: Fittingly provided by Eliza Dushku as Shaundi; when she contacts the Boss about the shipment mentioned heavily in the Brotherhood storyline, she describes it such: "Maero's got enough guns to take over... something that needs a lot of guns to take over."
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Taking a Banger for cover causes the other members to open fire and kill their friend while you take them apart. Doing the same on police officers, on the other hand, will actually have them try to convince you to let the hostage go and stop shooting you until you open fire on them.
  • Buried Alive: Shogo Akuji, son of the leader of The Ronin, gets buried alive by Gat and the Player Character after interrupting Aisha's funeral.
  • But Thou Must!: The obligatory sword-fighting sequences in the Ronin story thread.
    • Also, the whole Brotherhood arc. The alliance that Maero proposes (likely an honest one, as Maero is far from a Smug Snake) is what would seem to be the only rational option for the underdog Saints to take (if the player chooses to play this arc first). However, making an attempt to negotiate a better deal, or even calling a truce later on are not possible options.
  • Butt-Monkey: Pierce. Between competing for Boss' approval with Shaundi and fighting over what to listen to on the radio, he just can't seem to catch a break. Though being the Butt Monkey means that he can stick around. Unlike poor Carlos and Aisha.
  • Buzzing the Deck: As this game introduced air vehicles to the series, it also introduced Barnstorming, which requires you to pilot an aerial vehicle over, through, or underneath specific landmarks. The achievement for completing all fifty Barnstorms is called Maverick Goose.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the final confrontation with the Ronin's leader, on an exploding boat, The Boss quips: "Can we hurry this up? I wanna hit TGI!"
    • Both of the Drug Trafficking activities reference events in the first game:
      • The instance in the Hotels and Marina district has the mission's contractor as Luz Avalos, who will make passing references to the time she spent with Los Carnales.
      • The instance in the Airport District has the player escort Tobias' cousin as he makes deals, who regularly mentions the Boss doing the same thing with Tobias himself in Saints Row.
    • The final cutscene at the end of the prologue references the first game, with the leader of the Saints telling various lieutenants to watch certain gangs and one of them complaining about which gang they were given. The Boss even says the same phrase Julius used in response, and finishes the cutscene with "it's our time now, let's get this shit started" (something that with The Third evolved into a sort of Catchphrase for the Saints).
    • One of the Insurance Fraud missions is from a doctor who says The Boss came recommended by Dr. Gonzalez, who gave an Insurance Fraud mission in the first game. It turns out that Gonzalez was arrested and thrown in prison for said insurance fraud, prompting The Boss to ask the new girl why the hell she wants to try the same thing.
    • A radio ad for an investigative reporter includes a sound bite from the time he said it's preposterous to believe there's such a thing as a zombie gang member wearing Westside Rollerz colors. This refers to one of the secret homies, Zombie Lin, from the previous game.
    • When meeting Mr. Wong, The Boss comments that he had them "running around killin' guys in hot dog suits"; such a figure was on Wong's hitman list in the first game.
  • Canon Welding: Ultor later goes on to oppress miners on Mars. They also have their elite Masako unit. In one of the DLC packs, a character is asked where exactly Ultor is planning on mining, anyway, while you're pursued by Ultor's turreted vehicle prototypes, and the character states "you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
  • Capoeira: The Sons of Samedi fighting style resembles this.
  • Car Fu: Enemies will attempt this if they are in a heavier vehicle.
  • The Cartel: The Sons of Samedi's main means of revenue is selling their trademark drug: Loa Dust.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: In the final mission, Pierce and Shaundi only show up after The Boss has punted Dane Vogel out a window.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: While the game manages to be Lighter and Softer than its predecessor, the game takes a much darker turn around Mission 4 of each gang's storyline. Particularly The Brotherhood; we go from putting nuclear waste in tattoo ink (which The Boss finds hilarious) to the Plotline Death of our youngest and most inexperienced lieutenant via Mercy Kill. After that point, the storyline goes down a much more serious direction.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: There are a number of missions that are conspicuously lacking in checkpoints, given their length and complexity. The ones that really make many players tear their hair out are "Bank Error in Your Favor," "Assault on Precinct 31," and "Salting the Earth...Again."
  • Church of Happyology: The Forgive and Forget drive-thru chain of confessionals are operated by the Church of Philosotology, founded by R. Lon Hibbard.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • How Male Voice 2 demonstrates his love of "Sister Christian".
    • Several songs on the soundtrack, particularly the signature I Luv It which in parts drops one every second word.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kazuo's swordsmanship is much better than the Boss's, and ultimately he manages to corner them during the finale of the Ronin story line. Before Kazuo can finish off the Boss, however, they simply pull out a pistol and gun Kazuo down.
  • Comic Sutra: The Ho-ing minigame requires rhythmic inputs to perform sexual acts that aren't described. All you get are randomized names like the Double-Fisted Rattlesnake.
  • Commonplace Rare: Exaggerated with the Quasar, a Range Rover-esque SUV and the rarest car to find in-game. For some strange reason, the car is only set to spawn driven by richer pedestrians or parked within Downtown, but is set to values so low that there's roughly a 1 in 940 chance before actually seeing one. It's also supposed to spawn around the Suburbs Expansion district, but doesn't due to an error in coding.
  • Compensating for Something: The Brotherhood, fans of excessive tattoos and big trucks, drive the Compensator, a large truck inspired by the Ford F-150.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Same as in the first Saints Row; Mr. Wong still has a translator following him everywhere (complete with still having a limp from when Mr. Wong shot out his knee for a mistranslation), but still responds to statements in stern English when he feels the need.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • Apparently rival gangs have a GPS tracker on you at all times, because whether your notoriety is through the roof or it's just one small group of them angry at you for tapping their bumper, they'll all be on you at a steady rate, even if you're driving one of their vehicles.
    • Similarly, the computer loves creaming you with a swerving civilian in the middle of a firefight, having random civilians actively pursue and slam onto your vehicle in chases (or even turning directly into you at random when you're just driving around the city), obliterating you with one shot with a rocket out of nowhere from an attack helicopter, and so on.
    • Most likely the most egregious example, though, is the aforementioned Escort activity, where you discover that a lightning-quick sports car is no match for... a news van from the 1980's, which will ride your bumper at 100mph.
    • The cars exhibit rubberbanding capabilities that would be more at home in Mario Kart. Enemy gangs will find the way to ram your car from behind, even if you are driving an exact clone of the car they are driving on a highway at top speed.
  • The Con: One of the Septic Avenger missions is given to lower property values for an agent who is having trouble selling. The Boss even lampshades his scheme by asking why anyone would want to buy a house covered in septic waste.
  • Conspicuously Public Assassination: Shogo tries to assassinate Gat and The Boss at Aisha's funeral, the one occasion he can be certain they will show up, no matter how ugly it gets on the street.
  • Continuity Nod: Many characters are reused in the sequel; sometimes without any re-introduction, so they could only be recognized by players of the first game. And because of the PC's expanded customization options (including another gender) and voiced character in the second game, as a Running Gag characters remark on how different the player looks and acts before continuing to treat them as a familiar homie or acquaintance.
    • And when factoring in the Canon Welding, one of the radio ads is for a show called "Red Planet, Red Passion". Second half sound vaguely familiar? The two names you hear most are Parker and Eos, as to remove all doubt. Could be more of a Shout-Out or Mythology Gag due to how it twists the story of the original Red Faction from a miner's rebellion into a sappy love story/soap opera thing.
    • There are still gang tags for the gangs in the first game scattered throughout the city, usually with tags for one of the new gangs painted over them.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Later levels of the Fuzz activity have you breaking up random fights between pirates and ninjas, which the objective terms as breaking up "the battle of the century".
  • Cool Car: The game features several, but special mentions go to the Attrazione and Superiore, two Lamborghini-esque Supercars, the former being the fastest car in the game.
    • The Gang Leader's vehicles also count. Maero has a custom Atlasbreaker monster truck with special Brotherhood decals, The General has the Hounfor, a hearse-like limo he's never seen outside of, and Shogo has the Kaneda, a prototype high-performance motorcycle with glow in the dark decal.
  • Corporate Samurai: Jyunichi, The Dragon to Ronin leader Kazuo Akuji.
  • Crowd Panic: Firing a pistol, using pepperspray, or mugging someone causes nearby pedestrians to start panicking. Some trip, cower or even call the police.
  • Cutscene Drop: The second mission, Appointed Defender, has you approach the courtroom. When the cutscene starts, you burst into the room through a door that otherwise leads to a dead end. However, plenty of missions and activities place the player in the exact area where they finished the objectives.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • Averted in one Sons of Samedi cutscene, where The Boss gets floored from one hit with a simple baseball bat - because that's exactly what it does to people that get smacked with one in regular gameplay. And it was him being blindsided, the first assailant went down under a second.
    • Zig-zagged in regards to Kazuo Akuji. The boss fight against him ends with a Finishing Move of The Boss stabbing him through the heart... then immediately cuts to Akuji gaining the upper hand, effortlessly disarming The Boss, and mocking them for thinking they could beat him in a sword fight. The Boss, however, doesn't forget that they have five other guns on their person, so decides if they can't beat Kazuo in a fair duel, they're gonna cheat.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The Brotherhood arc is a doozy here. Unlike the other gangs who, even when they make it personal, still remain in the realm of what you expect from a gang war, The Boss and Maero do mean-spirited things to the other such as replacing tatoo ink with radioactive waste to keel-hauling a lieutenant on a tow truck and drive him around town for revenge.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Downplayed with Stevie J, the host of the Ezzzy 105.0 radio station. Initially very upbeat and cheerful, after a certain point in the game, Ultor buys out his station and rebrands it as a world music station. Stevie's still the host, but his comments become more bitter and sardonic, even asking listeners to boycott the station.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: If you started the series from The Third and worked backwards here, you will miss a lot of little conveniences like Bo-Duke-Ens or being able to use a parachute anytime you start falling through the air that were only introduced from that installment on. Also, the default key for making a helicopter descend here is the spacebar. In The Third onwards it's Left Ctrl.
  • Dance Battler: The Sons of Samedi unarmed fighting style.
  • Darker and Edgier: 2 is easily the darkest entry in the entire series, especially when compared to the Denser and Wackier plots of The Third and IV. The plot of the original game has the player very much as "just another gangster" although trusted with more difficult tasks, working with the leader Julius to make the Saints the sole gang in the city, somehow making things safer. However, the sequel makes the hero the leader of the bunch and their actions disturbed some players. The tit-for-tat violence with Maero resulting in Carlos' death, and the player's retaliation (locking Maero's girlfriend Jessica in the trunk of her own car, then bringing said car to a monster truck rally, where Maero unknowingly crushes it).
    • Also, when the player meets Julius, he is trying to leave the past behind him. Trying to convince the player to stop the madness and killing, he is ignored, sneered at, and killed. Benjamin King was right in saying the gangs never leave you...
  • Darkest Hour: Assuming you play all of the gang plotlines concurrently, Mission Four involves Aisha being murdered, Shaundi being kidnapped and nearly killed, Gat being hospitalised and Carlos being tortured to the point that The Boss is forced to Mercy Kill him.
  • Death by Disfigurement: Carlos, during The Brotherhood missions.
  • Decapitation Required: Mr. Sunshine doesn't properly die until The Boss lops his head clean off and chucks it in a meat processor.
  • Developer's Foresight: Through process of elimination about its broadcast range, you can discover that "99.0 The Underground" really is being broadcast from a signal tower in the game world. To be precise, it is on Mount Claflin, which overlooks Stilwater University.
  • Did You Get a New Haircut?: A Running Gag that lasts for the entire game. What makes this especially funny is that The Boss was caught in a boat explosion that left them in a coma for years and forced them to undergo reconstructive surgery. Despite all of this and the wacky new character customization options everyone from old homies to rival gang leaders recognize The Boss without fail every single time.
  • Diegetic Character Creation: In the previous game, the Playa is caught in a massive boat explosion and spends the next few years in a coma. As the sequel picks up, they've just woken up and are ready to have the bandages from their surgery taken off, which is where character customisation comes up.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The best pistol, submachine gun, and shotgun in the game are awarded for completing Level 3 in the Projects Fuzz, Downtown Snatch, and Airport Drug Trafficking minigames (and Fuzz and Drug Trafficking are two of the easiest minigames in the game, while Snatch is a cinch if you've got a modified Bear, see below), respectively, so you could theoretically get them before you've even completed the game's prologue. Completing Level 6 in those minigames will give you unlimited ammo for your new weapons as well.
    • As soon as you have your first "crib" (meaning, as soon as you've completed the second mission of the game), you can raise your Wanted Meter rating to four stars, steal a Bear (an Awesome Personnel Carrier with a mounted turret and enough armor to shrug off several guided missile blasts), and take it to your garage, thus ensuring you'll have it for the rest of the game. And once you've killed your notoriety at the nearest Forgive and Forget (or gotten "smoked," whichever), you can take it back out to customize it with improved durability and a nitrous boost for speed.
    • And there is also the Tornado attack helicopter spawning on the roof of police station. It spawns there rarely, but from the very beginning of the game. And your second crib awarded for storyline prologue has landing pad for storing helicopters. And though you are not allowed to take vehicles from storage during mission, this is easily bypassed by bringing your chopper to the mission site. And results are...well, lets just say that 90% of storyline missions are conceived to be challenging for someone walking on foot/driving car.
    • Unlocking the AR-50 with Grenade Launcher is a little tricky (you need one star in every combat trick, plus 3 gold stars in Gang Killing), but it too can be unlocked during the Prologue with effort. The Grenade Launcher allows you to fire Thrown weapons without switching your equipped gun, making some missions extremely easy.
  • Discard and Draw: The AR200 SAW has a bigger magazine than the AR-50 with Grenade Launcher, but trades in the Grenade Launcher.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Averted during the 'Fuzz' activity, which requires you to shoot, beat, chainsaw, and/or burn to death various "criminals", some of whom are just peacefully protesting or skateboarding around town. The reason for the aversion is that A) you're not a cop and thus not worrying about dispensing actual justice and B) the camera crew following you around knows this. They're the ones to hand the player chainsaws and flamethrowers to take to hippies because they know it'll get them the best ratings.
    • The whole Brotherhood plotline begins with this. Maero tries to push a blatantly one-sided deal for the control of Stillwater to The Boss. Their response? Sneaking radioactive waste into his personal tattoo artist's ink supplies, causing him to unknowingly burn half of his chief's face off.
      • Thanks to combining this with Cycle of Revenge, things escalate quickly between the Saints and The Brotherhood. Burn Maero's face? He tortures one of your lieutenants to death. Torture your lieutenant? You kidnap his girlfriend and leaving her in a trunk so he will unknowingly crush her to death at his monster truck rally. After that point it really can't escalate any further and comes down to "It ends tonight."
      • The revenge gets even more disproportionate the sooner the player starts The Brotherhood questline. If you start the Brotherhood missions first, your gang contains three rookie lieutenants, 20 mooks and controls NO territory. That means that Maero is offering a solid part of the city to a gang which has NOTHING more than memories of past glory, just to avoid trouble. The Boss objects to this deal and so starts a massive gang war.
    • Also invoked in gameplay by the cops. Get caught smoking a joint? Better be ready for gunfire. Then again you're supposed to be an escaped inmate.
    • The Boss themselves, if you so choose.
  • Downer Beginning: From the very beginning of the game to the start of the story proper when you strike back against the new gangs, the only real high note is that The Boss turns out not to have died at the end of the first game. The Saints have fallen and the old guard are either dead, in prison, or out of the gang entirely.
  • The Dragon: Jyunichi for the Ronin, Mister Sunshine for the Sons of Samedi, and Jessica for the Brotherhood.
    • The Boss's Dragon is usually Johnny Gat, although if you can agree on which of you is actually The Boss and which is just a hyper-lethal lackey, a Co-OP player fits as well.
  • Drive-In Theater: An old run down one is located next to the Samedi drug farm. It doesn't have any importance to the plot, but is the spot where one of the hitman targets show up.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady and Lady Looks Like a Dude: It's possible to make a character that is listed as one gender in the game, yet has the appearance and voice of the opposite gender with the body shape and voice options.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Boss here is very much ruthless, has little to no comedic quirks, and most scenes with them are played very seriously. The Boss' only redeemable trait is his loyaly to his gang. This is also the only game where the male Boss doesn't have the American voice option.
  • Easy Level Trick: During the mission "Reunion Tour", a truck armed with a timed explosive will begin chasing the player while the timer ticks down. The normal strategy is either to outrun the truck or kill the driver and get far away. Alternatively, the player can simply run into the nearby nightclub and go to the bottom floor, while the truck helplessly drives against the front door until it explodes.
  • Easy Sex Change: You can visit a plastic surgeon at any time and completely change your character's appearance, including gender. And voice and ethnicity, somehow.
  • Elaborate Underground Base:
    • The Saints' headquarters, an abandoned hotel that collapsed beneath street level after an earthquake some years back. As the Saints grow in wealth and power, it is eventually renovated from a burnt-out hellhole to a sumptuous, neon-lit nightclub called "Purgatory."
    • The Pyramid serves this purpose for Ultor.
  • Enemy Eats Your Lunch:
    • In a mission against the Ronin that takes place in a Japanese restaurant, The Boss pauses to take a sushi roll off a plate after killing all the Ronin present.
    • After killing the General at the end of the Sons of Samedi arc, the Boss takes one of his cigars and smokes it.
  • Enemy Mime: In a DLC mission The Boss is attacked completely out of nowhere by a whole gang of mimes.
  • Escort Mission: Quite a few of them. Sometimes you'll have your pick of weapons and vehicles, but most times not.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When getting introduced to the leaders of the rival gangs, their main characteristics are displayed
    • Sons of Samedi: The General shows how ruthless he is by ordering subordinates to be murdered and made an example of, and Veteran Child is shown to be out of his depth by being way too casual to him and Mr. Sunshine.
    • Brotherhood: Maero at least attempts to coexist peacefully with the Saints (by offering them an unfair deal), and is shown to be completely unafraid of violence. Jessica is shown to be a spoiled brat.
    • Ronin: Junichi is shown to be a professional yakuza, while Shogo is shown to have no respect to his subordinates, he stiffs a waiter, then uses Junichi's katana for sabrage, then sticks it into the floor (both are big insults), showing he doesn't respect honor and traditions either.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: It's revealed in the final mission in that Julius was the one who tried to kill The Boss by planting a bomb in Hughes' yacht while the both of them were having a meeting.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Maero, at one point, uses the death of Jessica and Matt being permanently crippled as leverage to force Dane Vogel into providing The Brotherhood with Ultor's assistance.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Being a game set in a morally ambiguous universe, Saints Row 2 is chocked full of this trope. Some examples include:
    • One out of two times the idea of racism really comes up is at the end of the first Brotherhood mission, where The Boss and Carlos meet some of Maero's close companions. One of which include his girlfriend Jessica, who comments that the Hispanic Carlos looks like her housecleaner. No one but her found it amusing.
    • Apparently, "Saints Row" takes place in a universe where racial tensions have nothing to do with gang wars. What makes it more interesting is the fact, that many gangs, especially Carnales (Latino), Ronin (Japanese), Brotherhood (Caucasian) and to large extent also Sons of Samedi (Haitian) are clearly racially defined and based on real-world ethnic gangs.
    • While often times The Boss/Protagonist of the game can come off as an amoral sociopath, they truly care for the members of their gang (the Lieutenants in particular) and often risks their life to save their crew from danger.
    • Johnny Gat is a particularly glaring example as he displays the same loyalty for his crew as his Boss and best friend, truly loves his girlfriend, and tells a rival gang leader that he doesn't want to fight at a funeral. While the funeral was for his girlfriend, Johnny's attitude makes it clear that he would feel the same if it was anyone he cared about. Keep in mind that Johnny Gat is as, if not more bloodthirsty and violent than his boss.
    • Despite being tough on the youngest member of the Saints, Carlos, The Boss is clearly upset and heartbroken when they are too late to rescue him from his torture/execution at the hands of The Brotherhood, and even more so when forced to shoot him in the head.
  • Evil Brit: One of the possible voice options is a rough English accent. You may recognize it as Mr. Sheffield from The Nanny.
    • It's particularly hilarious for anyone who's seen that show before because The Boss does some very, very, very bad things in this game (things Max Sheffield wouldn't even want to hear about), so the "Evil" bit qualifies.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The Boss is, after all, building a criminal empire, and their main obstacle is other criminals.
    • The second DLC, Corporate Warfare, centers around a conflict that pits current Ultor chairman Eric Gryphon against Dexter "Dex" Jackson, your former homie who moved from the Saints to a position as head of security at Ultor.
  • Exact Words: In the "Riot Control" Samedi mission, a mook begs The Boss to give a box of Loa Dust back. So the Boss gives it back... right to the mook's knee.
  • Executive Suite Fight: Though calling it a fight is a bit charitable the Final Boss battle takes place at the top floor of the tallest building in Stilwater in the president of Ultor's own office.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: When they finally meet face to face, The General says to The Boss that he is finding "the experience to be underwhelming."
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the "Orange Alert" Ronin mission, The Boss somehow fails to notice Jyunichi watching them, despite him being a bald Japanese man in bright yellow wearing two katanas on his back.
  • Fake Longevity: A lot of missions require you to drive to their starting point, then drive across a considerable portion of the city to reach the actual first objective. Fail the mission early enough, and you get to do that drive again.
    • The missions in which the Boss rides shotgun while an NPC drives usually involve a scenic tour of Stilwater, rather than a direct route from point A to point B. Particularly noticeable in "Bleeding Out," in which the car drives over seemingly every inch of the city's North Side before heading to the hospital, even as Johnny Gat is supposedly bleeding to death in the passenger seat.
  • Fame Gate: Every story mission costs a respect point to unlock. So you need to acquire respect from side missions and various actions (stunts, taking out rival gangs, cool driving, etc.). Additionally, you get unlimited respect if you pile up enough points.
  • Fantastic Drug: The Sons of Samedi deal Loa Dust. It's made up primarily of high-grade marijuana, but treated with various other chemicals. They never say exactly what the effects are, though it seems to be very popular. During the Mushroom Samba mission all it does is warp the visuals - similar to what happens to the player when attacked with pepper spray or a flash-bang.
  • Fish out of Water: Kazuo is a powerful crime boss back in Japan, but he has no idea how to run an American gang. When he takes control of the Ronin, he ends up being an even worse boss than his son Shogo, who at least understood how different things are in the States.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the Ronin storyline, during the fight in Aisha's home following her beheading at Jyunichi's hands, Johnny quickly gets into battle by taking out a Ronin mook and wielding a discarded katana. He and Jyunichi duke it out, but Johnny gets distracted taking out another mook closing in on The Boss, giving his opponent the chance to attack with a leg strike. A short while later, in the same fight, when Johnny looks away after The Boss tells him to move out of the way, Jyunichi seizes a second and more lethal opportunity to attack which ends the fight, though Gat immediately pays him back with a (presumably) damaging double-handed clap to the eardrums.
  • Five-Token Band: The Saints’ leader and lieutenants in the second game. Shaundi, the white woman; Johnny Gat the Asian, Carlos the Hispanic, Pierce the African American, and The Boss who can be any race or gender or anything in between. You may be a nutty psychopathic crimelord, but you're a non-discriminatory employer.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Mr. Sunshine. A crazy drug dealer who practices dark arts of voodoo.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Although Carlos' death is avenged by the protagonist by getting Maero to accidentally kill his own girlfriend, Carlos is never brought up again after his death. Aisha, on the other hand...
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: After Gat is rescued from the hospital, Shogo sets up a meeting between Kazuo and Vogel. Dane immediately picks up on Kazuo ranting about the meeting in Japanese.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • One of the lines a female Saints member can say is:
    • Dane Vogel makes several very veiled references to his planning the assassination of the entirety of Ultor's board of directors.
    • In one Brotherhood cutscene, Dane Vogel can be seen overlaying drawings of buildings on pictures of Shivington.
    • Before you can officially recruit Carlos into the Saints, you have to help him repo a certain car. It's a hearse. Carlos dies not long into the Brotherhood mission chain, and when called back as a Zombie Homie, he arrives in said hearse.
  • Four Is Death: Each mission chain has a moment that punches you in the gut, all of which happen on the fourth story mission in the chain.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Ronin are partial to fast cars and faster motorcycles...neither of which hold many soldiers and both of which are unusually prone to exploding, even by this game's standards.
  • Funny Background Event: During a Brotherhood mission, prisoners are seen being loaded onto a prison bus during a news report. One of them stops to mug for the camera...and gets a rifle but to the gut. Then he does it again...and gets it in the nuts the second time.

  • Game-Breaking Bug: Poor pathfinding AI. Several of The Siege missions can be failed if one attacking enemy gets caught on something and you can't get to them because they are outside a certain radius from the building you're supposed to be defending. Similarly, any situation in which the Boss rides shotgun while an NPC drives can be failed if the NPC driver gets caught on something or crashes into a randomly generated car.
    • Zombie Uprising. From unfair spawns, to the pathfinding breaking, so that last zombie is so far out of the gameplay area they may as well be in blue hell, discovering you're utterly boned when you have one final zombie to kill is slightly frustrating.
  • Game Mod: Gentlemen of the Row, an overhaul for the PC port of the game.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • After killing Veteran Child four missions into the Sons of Samedi plotline, his radio station, 89.0 Generation X, is bought out by Ultor and becomes 89.0 Ultor FM.
    • After "Thank You and Goodnight!", radio adverts relating to the Feed Dogs won't play due to Matt being severely injured during said mission.
    • During the mission "Burning Down the House", where the player destroys several drug labs throughout Shivington, the neighborhood becomes engulfed in flames from the explosions. For a while afterwards, the player can visit the area, where the buildings will remain on fire while fire fighters roam the streets.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • The game will often allow you to bring along specific "homies" on missions where the story explicitly states that they are supposed to be somewhere else. So you get scenes like The Boss calling Pierce on his cell when Pierce is sitting in the same car, The Boss splitting up the party and then completing the mission with the characters who were supposed to be off creating distractions elsewhere, and Pierce and Shaundi arriving just too late to the Final Battle...even though they were with The Boss all the time.
    • Same goes for vehicles, due to the sandbox nature of the game. At the beginning of each mission, the game puts in front of you the vehicle you should use. This is however completely optional. You may bring an APC or gunship to the beginning of the mission, and use it all along. However when you kill some boss this way, and cutscene starts, expect yourself be in the vehicle you were supposed to use. You can also spend more time behind the stick of a gunship than walking on the ground, but when you are scripted to fly a chopper in the story, expect characters to make fun of or have worries about your lack of skill.
    • Instanced side activities always feature enemies from the gang that controlled the respective neighborhood at the start of the game, which means that if you postpone playing them, you may find yourself fighting enemies that no longer even spawn in regular gameplay, either because the hood is already under the Saints' control, or because that gang has long been eradicated for good.
  • Gender Bender: Averted. While you can now play as a female Boss, Word of God has stated that a female Boss was always canonically female.
    • Though since you can change anything about your physical appearance at the Plastic Surgeon, you are free to play this straight on your own time.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Boss speaks in the second game. All the time. They even have six different voices to use, which say different funny things during missions, as well as when they get drunk. So play the game once as a Dark Action Girl, then as a Spicy Latina, then a Sassy Black Woman, then an Evil Brit, then a Dashing Hispanic, and Scary Black Man.
    • In a more prosaic example, you can find yourself distracted for hours hunting down and killing all the Hitman targets, or chasing after all the cars on Chop Shop lists. The game really twists the knife as you get bonuses with the first, third and fifth lists you finish, all of which are either incredibly useful or ridiculous. Finish all the hitman missions and you'll have hand grenades, satchel charges and unlimited rifle ammo. Finishing all the chop shop lists gets you a go-kart, combine, and 75% discounts at all car repair & mod shops.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: When Johnny beats a Ronin into telling him Kasuo's coming to town, he refers to him as "the oyabun," Japanese for "boss."
    • While the voice actors for Shogo, Kazuo and Jyunichi speak correct Japanese, their delivery is rather stilted and very unnatural-sounding, even if you know what they are talking about.
      • Even worse, there are virtually no family name in Japan called "Akuji". The English equivalent would be having a character with the surname "McEvil"
  • Gray Rain of Depression: It's raining when The Boss has to Mercy Kill Carlos, and then spends sometime just sitting there.
    • It also rains during Aisha's funeral, even if it was a bright, sunny day a few second previously when you showed up to the mission site.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: In the opening cutscence of "Appointed Defender" The Boss casually smacks a beer bottle across the face of a Brotherhood gang member who mouthed off to them. Players can also do this during gameplay by picking up bottles (labeled as "trash" in-game) and using them as improvised weapons.
  • Groin Attack: Shooting someone there may cause them to hold their groin in pain and fall over. If you kill an enemy gang member this way, you will also get a "Nut Shot" bonus. The default "Brawler" unarmed fighting style also contains a few groin hits.
  • Guide Dang It!: There's a Hitman target who you're supposed to find at "the highway exchange in the Factories district" and lure out by drinking beer. Note that said district is pretty wide and covers a good stretch of highway, including a particular Spaghetti Junction-esque part near the middle of the map, so that's the first place you'd think to look...except it's the wrong area. Instead, you're supposed to head to the stretch of highway more toward the east to meet and kill him.
    • Like the first game, you can take a taxi via Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay if you see a taxi somewhere on the streets, and then call the phone number advertised on the taxi with your phone. Nowhere in-game are you suggested to you to do this, and some other phone numbers can be called for an effect of varying usefulness, like calling 911 to get an ambulance to come over which restores your health.
  • Guns Akimbo: The game allows you to carry dual submachineguns and dual pistols.
  • Gun Twirling: The Boss will do this when left idle or while swapping out weapons at a crib.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: There is a streaking minigame which involves the player running around naked. When doing the activity the boss will cover his penis/her vagina with his/her hands.
  • Happy-Ending Massage: One of the Snatch activities involves The Boss heading to a massage parlor in Chinatown that they have apparently been visiting regularly since high school looking to get one of these after spending five years in a coma. Unfortunately, the owner has lost all her workers to pimps and needs The Boss to rescue the girls for her before the place goes out of business. The game never does say if The Boss actually went back for that massage after completing the activity though...
  • Hard Levels, Easy Bosses: Most bosses aren't that tough or powerful, and the challenge usually is in surviving the hordes of mooks before them.
  • Hazmat Suit: Doubles as a fire-proof suit, too!
  • Heel–Face Town: The Saint’s Row district has been taken over by the Ultor Mega-Corp and turned into a shining business district with skyscrapers, clean streets, and private security enforcement. Whereas in the first game, it was the poorest and most crime-ridden place in Stilwater.
  • High-Class Gloves: Impressions includes fancy opera gloves as part of the clothing options.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf:
    • During one mission in the Sons of Samedi's storyline, Pierce changes the radio station in the car to "So Sick" by Ne-Yo and dreadfully sings along, much to The Boss' chagrin.
    • Similarly, every voice available for the player character has a different song that, when it comes up on the radio, they "sing" along with it. And they all sing along to Take On Me by a-ha.
  • Hot Coffee Minigame: Throughout Stilwater, you can find areas that let you unwind through a minigame using the control sticks. It's offscreen, but it's certainly audible, and the accompanying prompts for supposed sexual maneuvers are comic gold.
    • And, like many other diversions in the game, fully completing it unlocks a free Saints-colored pimp outfit.
  • Hot Pursuit: FUZZ.
    • Otherwise, totally averted. The cops honestly don't care about gangster-on-gangster violence or car crashes (unless you crash into one of their cars, and even then they won't chase you) and it takes a surprising number of civilian deaths before they'll even give you a one-star wanted level.
    • Interestingly, this massively depends on whether you commit criminal acts while being seen by a police officer. While out of sight, you can kill civilians, steal cars and vandalize your surroundings nearly to your heart's content - when a beat cop sees you stealing a car, vandalizing or getting drunk/high, on the other hand, that's almost an instant Wanted level.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Maero dwarfs his girlfriend Jessica (and everyone else for that matter).
  • Hypocrite:
    • Sometimes after the song "Face Down" plays on Generation X, DJ Veteran Child hopes the Domestic Abuser the song is about "gets whats coming to him". Numerous times on the station, he is heard berating his ex-girlfriend Shaundi and later kidnaps and nearly kills her.
    • "Stop the Violence" protesters can be found wielding knives.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: The lowest difficulty level in is "Casual".
  • Illegal Gambling Den: One of the Ronin stronghold missions has them set up an underground casino in the community rec center in the suburbs district to help recoup some of their losses from the Saints busting up their criminal operations and robbing their one legitimate casino at the beginning of their storyline. To take over the hood for the Saints the Boss has to smash up their gambling den, steal their profits and then finish off the reinforcements they call in to stop them.
  • Improvised Weapon: Small objects around the world, such as cinderblocks, trash bags, stop signs, and newspaper dispensers, can be picked up and swung around. They're especially useful if thrown.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Trail Blazing. A check point race performed while on fire.
  • Incredibly Lame Fun: Many of the radio ads are this, but the Stilwater Caverns advertisement especially stands out as two announcers try to play up the entertainment value of some flooded tunnels that were created 50 years ago as a side effect of construction and the fact that the caverns feature both stalagmites and stalactites as if they're exciting.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Halfway through the game, the radio station Ezzzy FM is bought out by Ultor and renamed The World. This is announced on the station itself with Dane Vogel stating, "Ultor is proud to own The World!"
  • Inksuit Actor: Dane Vogel looks almost exactly like Jay Mohr with a ton of hair gel. Shaundi also somewhat resembles Eliza Dushku with dreadlocks.
  • Instant-Win Condition: You can complete a mission despite being smoked or busted. For example, finishing Mayhem while the police arrest you shows you the completed screen, followed by the end of the "You're busted!" scene (with no nearby cops), and a mission failed for the next level of Mayhem.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • On your phone, you have a section for homies, with the display showing your lieutenants... except for Carlos.
    • Whenever you have enough respect to do mission, the game notifies you showing the logos for the Third Street Saints, the three rival gangs, and the Ultor corporation. This ends up giving a heads up that you'll be going up against Ultor near the end.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Jane Valderama plays one with pithy comments such as, "Unfortunately for The Brotherhood, not only justice is blind, but she's also a cruel spiteful whore." She's also perfectly willing to finance chaos so she can cover it on the news, and occasionally goes 'embedded' with the Saints to cause some mayhem herself.
  • Ironic Echo: At the end of the starting cutscene in Red Asphalt (Brotherhood mission number four), Jessica ends a phone call with The Boss by means of this tidbit:
    Jessica: Do me a favor. When you're scraping your buddy's face [off the pavement], just remember, Maero gave you a chance to be his partner.
    • At the very end of the next mission, after Maero crushes a car with Jessica trapped in the trunk, the Boss hands Maero the car keys, leading to these lines:
    Maero: What's this?
    The Boss: Do me a favor. When you check the trunk, just remember you should've offered me something better than 20 percent.
  • It's Personal: Each of the gangs give The Boss and his crew a personal motive to take them down: the Sons of Samedi kidnap Shaundi, the Brotherhood brutally torture Carlos to the point that a Mercy Kill is in order, and the Ronin decapitate Aisha.
    • Maero, the leader of the Brotherhood has this with The Boss as well, as they caused him to receive a facial scar, unknowingly kill his girlfriend and later crippled his best friend.
  • Karmic Death: Considering all the crap the people behind the rival gangs, Ultor, and others pulled note , it only seems natural that they get what's coming to them.
  • Kill the Poor: Ultor's ultimate plan for Stilwater: Get rid of the gangs, and then get rid of all the other "undesirables". Too bad the Saints gets rid of the gangs first...
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Dane Vogel's pleading the Boss to not kill him is cut off by the Boss shooting him.
  • Lampshade Hanging: After killing about fifty Sons defending the Saints hideout, Shaundi pops this question of how many there are.
    How can this many people think that voodoo is cool?
  • Left Hanging:
    • At the end of the Ultor Exposed DLC, Tera Patrick swears vengeance on Ultor. She hasn't appeared in the Saints Row storyline since.
    • At the end of the Corporate Warfare DLC, Dex Jackson flees Stilwater and goes into hiding, but The Boss vows to track him down and kill him. He didn't show up in The Third or IV, since the devs have expressed a reluctance to do missions that depend on the player having played Saints Row and Corporate Warfare for context (especially since the first Saints Row was an Xbox 360 exclusive and the second's DLC didn't make it to PC). He finally made his return in Gat Out of Hell.
  • Lighthouse Point: The northern area of Stilwater has a lighthouse that is used to hide a CD. The player also has the option of buying a lighthouse crib on the prison island.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Poked fun at. Wear the same clothes long enough, and people on the streets will take notice, probably via the clothes' stench from being worn so long.
    Random Civilian: Is it “gangsta” to not wash your clothes?
  • Loading Screen: Loading screens show a succession of 2-3 unanimated pictures from the last saved plot-related cutscene, with a yellow filter. They actually are pregenerated pictures instead of being processed with the game's engine, which means that, when such a picture features the Boss, he will only appears as the default character featured at character's creation (black muscular man with a shaved head). On a new game, it shows pictures from the finale of Saints Row
  • Loony Fan: The Crowd Control activity has you protecting a celebrity from these. From the Saints Row wiki:
  • Luck-Based Mission:
    • Trail Blazing. It's not about how much you can hit, it's about how much you have available to hit. Not to mention that the explosive barrels you can use to take out large groups often have a completely barren blast radius.
    • A lot of diversions can end up like this, most notably Insurance Fraud, which requires a large number of vehicles to successfully complete. For some strange reason, otherwise-bustling streets suddenly become near-completely abandoned, and when a vehicle does show up, they like to hit you before you can hit the fire button and get money from it.
      • For Insurance Fraud, it's always best to head for the closest freeway/highway, as there's always a ton of vehicles there. You can also rack up an easy $50K by sky-diving onto the highway from a helicopter at max elevation if you bring one to the mission-start site.
      • Trail Blazing is also incredibly easy when played in co-op, where the second player can freely throw molotovs wherever he pleases, meaning you're performing badly if you end the run with less time than you started with.
      • A better example is any of the missions with an AI driver partner. Enemy spawns are random, your partner's pathing is scripted. Often times enemies come from angles that cannot be targeted, are extra aggressive, or armed with random weapons that cannot be anticipated for. Good luck completing a mission if you take an RPG from nowhere, or your partner gets stuck, or you get rammed from head-on.
      • The 5 and 6 levels of Fuzz really are won or lost based on how close together the various targets are and whether or not you're given an effective weapon against them- trying to take out a fast moving vehicle with a minigun (which requires you to be on foot) or killing a large number of gangsters with the Annihilator missile launcher (which has a small blast radius and isn't as effective against people as it is against vehicles) can be a serious exercise in frustration.
      • The success or failure of Mayhem can hinge on the designated carnage area and bonus targets. Being stuck in an area without fences, patio furniture, garbage or any other small items clustered together to keep your combo meter going can easily ruin a session.
    • Any mission or activity involving enemy attack helicopters can fall into this, as they are armed with homing missiles that are nigh-impossible to reliably dodge and the game doesn't have any form of countermeasures. Basically, succeeding in any scenario where you're pitted against these depends largely on whether the ai decided to either kill you immediately or hover around only using their machine gun.
  • Lured into a Trap: Veteran Child attempts this on the Boss by luring them into Cocks after capturing Shaundi. However, the Boss actually knows that it's a trap, something Veteran Child was unaware of, and has Pierce discover his actual location.

  • Machete Mayhem: The Sons of Samedi's favorite melee weapon.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Dane Vogel is behind all of the gang warfare, or at least manipulating it to his own ends.
    • Jessica qualifies for Maero, as the game implies she's at the very least in charge of the cash and sometimes tactics. She also sets up Carlos' murder after Maero insisted on not taking action against the Saints, which results in him having to do so.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In the opening cutscene, the camera centers on two cops delivering a summary of the first game's ending while walking through Stilwater Penitentiary; at one point, the background features a prison riot with one inmate getting stabbed. About a minute later, Carlos is introduced being escorted to the infirmary for stabbing-related injuries, giving him the chance to talk to the Boss and kick the whole game into motion.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Inverted. The Boss' protege, Carlos, gets killed instead.
    • Played straight with Julius in the epilogue mission. Though he manages to survive the events of the mission itself, the Boss immediately executes him for his betrayal afterwards.
  • Mercy Kill: After the Boss laces Maero's tattoo ink with radioactive waste and scar him, Jessica retaliates by having the Brotherhood kidnap Carlos and towing him around the city from their car's rear bumper. When the Boss finds Carlos, they can't break the chain connecting him to the car and realizes that his injuries are horrific enough that he's whimpering in pain, forcing them to shoot him dead.
    • Even worse The Boss holds Carlos's hand while they are doing it. Then his hands goes slack. You can feel The Boss' heart breaking at that.
  • Misaimed Fandom: invoked In-universe; one woman who calls 89.0 Generation X thinks "Face Down", a song about an abusive relationship, is romantic. Veteran Child thinks the idea is fucked up.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: A radio ad trying to make chess championships seem cool.
    "Knight to Rook 7, Muthafucker!"
  • Mushroom Samba: During the "Bad Trip" mission in the Sons of Samedi storyline, the Boss receives a blow to the head from a baseball bat and a Loa Dust hotboxing inside the General's limo. The rest of the mission has warped visuals and wonky steering.
  • The Musical: This video. Also, any time your character listens to certain songs over a long period of time on the radio, you also get this Trope.
  • Mythology Gag: During the news report on Gat's trial a ticker reports that Benjamin King's autobiography will be turned into a movie where he will be played by Michael Clarke Duncan, who was King's voice actor in the first game.
  • Never Mess with Granny:
    • The judge of Johnny's trial, an old black woman, comes after you with a shotgun when you come to break up the trial.
    • Played straight with some elderly civilians, who will not hesitate to beat up the Boss if provoked.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia: The Boss will always use a pistol in cutscenes even if you were using better hardware just moments ago.
    • On top of that, it's the worst pistol in the game. Considering you get a better pistol in the tutorial section, it's very unlikely the Boss would be using the one shown in cutscenes for the vast majority of the game.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Johnny delivers the mother of all these to Shogo after he attempts to kill Johnny and The Boss at Aisha's funeral, even managing to punch his head through a tombstone.
    • And, for good measure, following each round with an icy "Get up."
    Johnny: Not so fun when you're fighting someone who isn't tied to a chair, is it?
    Shogo: I DIDN'T KILL HER!
    Johnny: You ordered it. (punches his head through the tombstone)
    Shogo: (weakly) I'm sorry...
    Johnny: Well that brings her back, doesn't it? You couldn't even let her have a burial, you fucking piece of shit!
  • Non-Standard Game Over: While most of your Game Overs will be caused by getting killed, it is also possible to get "Busted" if a police officer knocks you down and hand-cuffs you.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Maero, at the beginning, sees the Boss as a "washed-up gangbanger" and for this reason offers them only 20% of his shipment and by extension, 20% of Stilwater. And after the Boss angrily turns him down, he barely does anything in response, still seeing them and the Saints as a nuisance. Then he gets his face burned with radioactive waste, his girlfriend killed, and his best friend crippled, and he then devotes all energy to destroying the Saints.
  • Non Sequitur: Getting your character drunk generally results in them spouting off one or two.
    • Also, shortly after the starting cutscene in Bad Trip (the sixth mission in the Sons of Samedi storyline), Shaundi contacts the Boss asking them what they did to cause the Samedi to attack the Saints' hideout and afterwards, if they are high. Both of her questions are met with a non sequitur.
  • Offscreen Villain Dark Matter: All the rival gangs have seemingly infinite supplies of manpower, weaponry and vehicles. While the amount of foot soldiers, guns and cars is already stretching things a bit, what really brings stuff into this territory is how often they're able to muster speedboats, helicopters and rocket launchers.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • File in the Cake (Sons of Samedi mission two) has a moment in which a bomb the Boss needs to re-enter Stilwater Penitentiary is activated early; the moment the countdown starts, Shaundi and the Boss look at the bomb with an expression that fits the trope perfectly before Shaundi says "You might wanna hurry."
    • Veteran Child (Sons of Samedi mission four) has the eponymous villain drop this after finding out the Boss not only survived his trap, but is coming for him
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Zig-zagged. Both Johnny Gat and Mr. Wong's translator took a shot to the knee over the course of the first game. By the time of this game, five years later, Gat has healed completely, but Wong's translator still requires a cane to get around.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: The Male English voice tends to switch between British and American pronunciations at random. Which is odd, considering the voice actor actually is British.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: You, as the leader of the Saints, are essentially a Batman-style supervillain running on comic-book style physics operating in a world without superheroes restricted to rather mundane means of attempting to deal with you.
    • When you battle Mr. Sunshine, The Dragon of the Sons of Samedi, he reveals that he is a warlock with voodoo powers, and uses a voodoo doll to throw you around. Not only that, but he can get shot a dozen times and still survive.
  • Overreacting Airport Security: Inverted. Wardill Airport puts security in its passengers' own hands, and even encourages them to bring along any and all manner of weapons from home in an ad on the radio.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Jessica's horrifying death would be utterly inexcusable, were it not for her own direct involvement in Carlos' own nightmarish end, and her active participation is leading the Brotherhood itself, making her a legitimate target.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being a sociopath for most of the game, several scenes reveal that the Boss has a softer side:
    • Most notably, their reaction to having to mercy-kill Carlos.
    • The Boss helps settle the long-standing vendetta between Mr. Wong and Kazuo Akuji by fighting the latter on Wong's behalf, before impaling Kazuo on a burning junk boat and treating Wong to the sound of his agonized screaming.
  • Phrase Catcher: The Boss, as a way of lampshading their (sometimes) extreme difference in appearance and, possibly, even gender, from the previous game, is asked by multiple characters, "Did you do something to your hair?" The Boss lampshades this twice as well, responding to Aisha asking it with "yeah, I've been getting that a lot", and interrupting Julius' attempt at it by pulling a gun and shouting "I didn't do shit to my hair!"
  • Poke the Poodle: In an accidental example, due to the way combo chain bonus works, the most efficient way to complete the Mayhem side activity is to get a car and drive it around smashing fences and other landscape details and decorations, rather than actually enacting the intended carnage and murder. The devs are well aware of this, having named the achievement in The Third for completing Mayhem "Fence Killa 2011".
  • Police Brutality: The activity Fuzz is all about this, as you star in a Cops parody and use... well, excessive force to bring in high ratings. Crimes do get solved - if you count the perpetrators being dead as 'solved'.
    Cameraman: Flamethrowers are standard issue...right?
    • Exaggerated when the camera man issues you a chainsaw.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Jessica, who within two lines has told Carlos he looks like her housecleaner.
  • The Pratfall: There is a special "Pratfall Cheat Code" that allows you to perform pratfalls and faceplants for your own amusement.
    • The Insurance Fraud activity, returning from Saints Row, revolves around doing this in traffic.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Some of the Caucasian male Saints speak in a way reminiscent of this trope.
    (generic banter) "Awww yeah bitches! I am the baddest mack daddy gangster in Stilwater!"
    (when the Boss crashes into an object while driving) "You ride yo' cars harder than I ride my hos."
    (if the Boss kills someone) "You playin' for keeps, g!"
  • Previously on…: Loading a saved game gives a montage of the previous mission's cutscene.
  • Product Placement: Stuff downloads off of your Xbox Live account onto your game's billboards automatically. And it's still going on. As of 2010, you can see advertisements for Ugly Americans.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Male voice 2 (while drunk): "Yeah, my gang wears purple. You wanna say something 'bout that?"
    • Which is ironic, considering what he says while sober.
    "Purple... who the fuck came up with that shit?"
  • Railroading: The DLC missions are so full of this you'll want to vomit. You have to do a timed mission in this fishtailing truck, not one of your modified cars. You have to use a machine gun to complete these Escort Missions, rather than the Annihilator RPG that both deals more damage and has a lock-on capability. And you have to defend these hazardous waste trucks from behind the stick of one of the game's clunky helicopters, rather than trying you luck on foot. (That last one is especially infuriating, because it describes the helicopter as being sent to "help you.")
  • Rasputinian Death: Mr Sunshine, from the Sons of Samedi arc is gunned down (as a Boss Fight), arises only to be shot again, gets up again causing Boss to unload their pistol into him, then has his head chopped off and thrown into a meat processor, just to make sure.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters:
    • The Saints headquarters starts off as an abandoned hotel that has collapsed underground, accessible from an abandoned church. After eleven campaign missions have been complete, construction begins, and after twenty-two missions, the hotel's inside is turned into a luxurious nightclub called Purgatory.
    • Any of the properties that The Boss can purchase have the ability to upgrade their interior, including hotel suites and dilapidated buildings.
  • Retcon: Word of God states that if you choose to play as a female in the game, then Playa, AKA The Boss, has always been female, even though the first game had a male-only protagonist.
  • Ret Irony: Cops nearby will sometimes mention that the cop that you just killed was "about to retire"
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The entire Brotherhood storyline. It starts with the Boss getting revenge for being completely shafted in a potential deal with the Brotherhood and insulted. Then revenge for them dragging Carlos behind a truck until he is bleeding heavily and is missing a good part of his face. This results in the Boss having to Mercy Kill Carlos.
    • Also the Ronin storyline after they killed Aisha, nearly killed Gat, and then tries to kill the Boss and Gat at Aisha's funeral.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Late in the Brotherhood storyline the Boss leads a siege on their hideout that ends with them and Maero himself duking it out on top of the roof. Unfortunately, just as the Boss is about to kill Maero with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown Matt steps in to save him and allows him to make a narrow escape before the Boss can finish him off.
  • Running Gag: Various folk (such as Gat, Aisha, etc. etc.) commenting on the Boss' appearance by asking whether or not they've done something with their hair.
    • Becomes an Overly-Long Gag in a later mission where you meet up with Julius at the Saints old hideout.
      Julius: Hey, you look different. Did you-
      Boss: *pulls out a pistol* I didn't do shit to my hair!
    • And Pierce's Butt-Monkey moments and his ideas thwarted. Also Shaundi really getting around... and it helps.
      Boss: Hey Shaundi, you ever date somebody who works at a place called the Pyramid?
      Shaundi: [Thinks] No.
      Pierce: For real?

  • Sarcastic Clapping: The Boss does this to Maero after Boss arranges for Mareo to unknowingly run over Jessica, his girlfriend. Boss even steps out of the shadows while doing it.
  • Score Multiplier: Several activities, such as Mayhem and Insurance Fraud, require you to gain these in order to succeed.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When the boss and Maero come crashing through the roof, into the room where Donnie and Matt are hiding, Donnie, who had been that campaign's Butt-Monkey, decides hes had enough and makes a quick exit stage right. He doesn't appear again. Contrast to Matt, who stayed and got a brick to his head
  • Self-Defenseless: Both pepper spray and tasers are available as nonlethal melee weapons. Anyone hit by either is incapacitated for a few seconds and then returned to normal, including the player character.
  • Shaped Like Itself: The newspaper headline at the end of "Eternal Sunshine" Samedi mission is "Slaughterhouse becomes a slaughterhouse".
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The Ultor Exposed DLC. After all the crap the Boss goes through to get Jane Valderamma the story about Ultor's Zombie Apocalypse experiments, she takes a payoff from Ultor to put all the blame on Tera.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The prison doctor you kill right at the beginning may say "I'll figure out the secret to Dr. Stiles' healing touch if it kills me!" To which a nurse will reply, "It's the procedure that kills you."
    • Dane Vogel happens to be the name of a character on VA Michael Rapport's former FOX sitcom The War At Home.
    • Apollo's coffee is a Fictional Counterpart to Starbucks, and Apollo and Starbuck are the main characters of Battlestar Galactica. The cashier even signs off with "Have a nice day, so say we all".
    • The fast food restaurant Company of Gyro's and it's logo are references to Company of Heroes, a Real-Time Strategy game set during World War II that was published by THQ, which also published Saints Row.
    • There is a building in the Projects labeled Gristle McThornbody's Insurance. This is a reference to an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 featuring Space Mutiny.
    • When drunk, the English-accented Boss may remark that he needs to see about buying some pigs to dispose of bodies.
    • Bystander chatter includes the line "I need scissors! 61!"
    • After killing Mr. Sunshine, the Boss is shown walking away holding his head, exactly like Predator in the sequel after beheading King Willie. These two characters are also very similar.
    • Urban cesspit with huge crime rates where some of the gangs are run (or paid) by an evil mega-corp whose ultimate goal is to tear down and rebuild much of the city? And they're located in the state of Michigan? Are we talking about Stilwater or RoboCop's rendition of Detroit?
    • As in the first game, the sniper rifle's name (the McManus 2010) is a reference to The Usual Suspects.
    • At the Bling Bling jewelry store the player can buy various necklaces along with pendants to put on them, one of which is a large clock.
      • Similarly, the On Thin Ice jewelry store offers a pair of "Retaliation of the Nerds" glasses as one of its eyewear items.
    • Some of the vehicle names are shout outs to The Transformers, including a jeep, a dump truck and a cement mixer, called the Swindle, Longhauler and Mixmaster, respectively.
    • During the katana battle with Jyunichi, some of his Ronin backup may shout that "we won't fail Jyunichi like we failed O-ren!"
    • One of the Hitman targets is a J-POP star called James. Not really too noticeable at first, but if you look close enough at his hair (light grey and shoulder length) and the way he dresses (white shirt with a red tie and black trousers with boots), alongside the fact he's a Japanese icon, it may be referencing another James from an actually Japanese series.
    • Veteran Child is voiced by Neil Patrick Harris. After the mission "Veteran Child", some pedestrians will applaud you for killing VC, calling him "a total Barney".
    • One of the last Sons of Samedi missions, which sees the Boss taking on Mr. Sunshine at his slaughterhouse lair, is named "Eternal Sunshine".
    • You can run into two Gothy bystanders throwing rock-paper-scissors, with one saying to the other, “Now bow to your Prince.” Not just a reference to Vampire: The Masquerade, but also its LARP rules, which use R-P-S as a resolution mechanic.
    • One late game Sons of Samedi mission has the Boss and Shaundi infiltrate the Stilwater Police Department to hack into their system and get a bead on the General's limo, culminating in a massive firefight as the Boss and Shaundi fight their way out of the station against a massive number of cops. The mission's name? "Assault on Precinct 31" of course!
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the final mission The Boss has Dane Vogel at a gunpoint, who desperately tries to talk the gun down by praising the Saints and the Boss. It didn't go well.
  • The Siege:
    • Each gang story arc contains at least one mission that consists, in whole or in part, of the Boss (and any accompanying homies) having to defend a particular location against waves of attacking gangsters.
    • One late Brotherhood mission, literally named "The Siege," reverses the roles, with the Boss and Saints storming the Brotherhood hideout.
  • Slaughterhouse Fight: A late Sons of Samedi mission has the player wipe out a group of Samedi guarding Mr. Sunshine at an old slaughterhouse in the factory district. Since the gang has a heavy voodoo theme and covers the walls with weird symbols and markings it really bumps up the creepy factor.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance:
  • Spiteful Spit: After Gat brings a Ronin in who was snooping around Saints turf in the mission "Road Rage" the protagonist asks him what he was doing. He spits in their face in which Gat responds "That wasn't very nice." and proceeds to bash him into the coffee table. After further interrogation methods fail Gat pulls out a pistol and finishes him off. The protagonist proceeds to spit on him in return.
  • "Spread Wings" Frame Shot: When the Boss delivers a Rousing Speech to the newly-reformed Third Street Saints, they do so in front of the Saint of all Saints statue — an icon of the gang, depicting a young winged woman with a gun in each hand. Towards the end of the speech, when the Boss directs the gang to take over Stilwater, the Hitler Cam very deliberately frames them to make it look like the statue's wings are theirs, casting them as a Luciferan figure (this is much more obvious if the statue is fully restored at this point, which is unfortunately only possible by rewatching the cutscene via a safehouse TV well after the fact).
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Several Masako members pull one on Maero when he bursts into Vogel's office the second time in a row, he doesn't notice until Vogel draws his attention to them.
    Maero: My problems are your problems... or do you need some "fresh air" to remind you?note 
    Vogel: No, see my problem is that a sideshow freak is messing up my paperwork. Your problem is that there's the group of security guards with assault rifles pointed at your back.
  • Storefront Television Display: A particular electronics store in Stilwater has a number of TV screens on its storefront, and the Boss just happens to be walking by when the local channel broadcasts the news of several members of a rival gang being released from prison.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Boss. While they had a few one-liners, at the end of any given gang storyline in the first game, they were otherwise completely mute.
    Boss: Surprised, Aisha?
    Aisha: What, that you're here or that you're talking?
    Boss: Pick one.
  • Sword Cane: Actually a shotgun cane, awarded for completing the second of the Epilogue missions.
  • Take That!: The cutscene for one of the Rampage activities involves reporter Jane Valderama asking you to go on a rampage so that she can cover it and get more viewers than Zack Johnson, a "nutjob lawyer who gets hard at the idea of a lawsuit" crusading against media he deems to be offensive. He doesn't have a lot of support, but apparently makes a big enough ass out of himself that whenever he pulls some stunt, people listen.
    • There was also the ad for the game where it compared GTAIV's mundane activities to the Jackass-style flaming ATV riding, sewage spraying, over the top activities you can do in Saints Row.
    • Russell, one of the target in Assassination side mission, is a guy in a fedora and a leather jacket, who "when not sniffing coke off of prostitutes, dabbles in archaeological studies".
    • In the first Ronin mission, "Saints Seven", Pierce creates an elaborate plan for a heist of a Ronin casino. After listening to him try and explain it, the Boss and Gat decide it would be easier, quicker and much more fun to just shoot up the place instead. It's likely a shot at Ocean's Eleven, but attentive players will also note that Pierce's convoluted plan is almost identical to the overly complex casino heist plan from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as well.
    • There's an in-universe one from radio station Krunch, directed towards fellow station The Mix. "You like pop music? Well go fuck yourself!"
  • Tattooed Crook: Most noticeably the Brotherhood. The Boss uses this to disfigure Maero by dumping radioactive waste in his ink.
    • Boss too, if you want; in fact you have to get at least one tattoo to make one Assassination target show up.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Random drivers: "This car doesn't have a scratch on it, and it better stay that way!" Sometimes averted, as they'll inform you the transmission was going out anyway.
    • When Maero's girlfriend calls the boss to inform them they're killing Carlos, she responds to his threat with a dismissive "Yeah yeah and I'm sure you'll do something very scary". The Boss gets revenge by locking her in the trunk of a car and drives the car to a monster truck rally Maero is participating in where he unknowingly crushes the car she's in.
  • This Means War!: The Ronin storyline. At first treated as a typical turf war, but after Aisha's murder, Boss and Gat settle for nothing short of genocide.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: When Maero's minigun finally runs out of bullets and the Boss is already reloading their pistol, he simply tosses the gatling at the Boss' face and closes the distance. Also possibly poked fun at, since one of your rewards for completing the mission is having that very same minigun added to your weapon cache.
  • Toilet Humor: The Septic Avenger missions, where you take a sewage truck and proceed to paint the town brown.
  • Too Dumb to Live : Shogo. Having the girlfriend of a well-known psycho like Gat killed was dumb enough. Showing up at the funeral looking for a fight? Well, there's a reason he's Buried Alive.
    • Gat even offers him a way out in this exchange:
      Gat: Fuck off, Akuji. I'm not killing anyone at Eesh's funeral. Tonight, tomorrow, you name a time and I will gladly fuck you up. But not now.
      Shogo: How noble. (he and his boys all pull guns) Nobility is sorely overrated. (cue the Boss and Gat killing everyone)
  • Too Injured to Save: In the "Red Asphalt" mission, rival gangsters from the Brotherhood capture one of your lieutenants, Carlos, chain him to a truck, and drag him around the docks at high speeds. No matter how fast you manage to get there and to stop the truck, he will be still alive, butmaimed so badly that he pleads with the Boss to Mercy Kill him. Realizing that nothing can be done for him, the Boss gives him the last dap and reluctantly shoots him in the head.
  • Totally Radical: The radio ad for the "Bling Bling" stores is loaded with a guy saying "gangsta" slang in a normal advertising voice. He then ends the ad by saying "Market research said our name was cool".
  • Tron Lines: The unlockable Kaneda motorcycle has them.
  • True Companions: How The Boss treats his gang members... most of the time.
  • Truth in Television: The Boss' no longer caring about "cleaning up the neighborhood" mirrors what happens to gangsters in real-life: a lot of gangs have, in fact, been formed to establish a semblance of stability in their neighborhoods, but as soon as the money, the drugs and the perks come in the gangsters are simply in it for power.
  • Two-Faced: In the mission "Waste Not, Want Not", the protagonist puts radioactive waste in Maero's tattoo ink, which leaves a very large, very nasty scar on the left side of his face. Just try watching the scene at the end of the mission and try not to cringe. " Jessica...How'd you like Maero's new tattoo?"
  • Underground Level: The first Brotherhood mission has the Boss, Carlos and Maero shoot their way out of the Stilwater Caverns after a police raid breaks up their meeting.
  • UST: The Boss thinks that there's some of this between Pierce and Shaundi, at least with the British voice set.
    "I wish Pierce would quit bitchin' about Shaundi and just fuck 'er already."
  • Vapor Wear: Like the first game, you can customize your underwear. Unlike the first game, no underwear is an option (and depending on what else you wear, this may be obvious).
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The player can murder countless pedestrians during missions, or go on non-canon killing sprees.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Short range: check. Takes time to kill enemies: check. Enemies who are on fire panic and run around blindly, often setting you on fire: check.
  • Villain Protagonist: As opposed to most of the series, where the Boss is more of a Nominal Hero, they're a full-on psychopath here.
  • Villain Song: Dane Vogel refers to "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears for Fears as his "theme music."
  • The Voice: Dane Vogel's secretary, Jaime, is never seen and is only heard speaking to Vogel via intercom.
  • Vulnerable Convoy: One of the Brotherhood missions has the Boss attack a police convoy that is transporting the titular gang members to freedom. When the Boss blows up all of the buses they wise up and try moving the prisoners by boat... no luck though.
  • Wall of Weapons: The inside of The General's limo is a small example; his side of the car is filled with NR4 pistols and K6 Krukov rifles.
  • Weapon Specialization: Each gang has different preference of default weapons they tend to gravitate towards.
    • Members of the Ronin carry katana with them (Jyunichi even has two), as well as VICE 9 pistols, GAL 43 submachine guns, and K6 Krukov rifles.
    • The Sons of Samedi wield machetes and a very wide variety of firearms: their pistols are NR4s and VICE 9s; their SMGs are TK3 Urbans and SKR-9 Threats; their shotguns are 12 Gauges, Tombstones, and AS14 Hammers; their rifles are K6 Krukovs and, in one mission, AR-50 XMACs; and for good measure, they have explosives like RPGs, hand grenades, pipe bombs, and Molotov cocktails.
    • The Brotherhood wield sledgehammers, GDHC .50 pistols, 12 Gauges, SK9 Threats, K6 Krukovs, pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, and RPGs.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Kazou Akuji really doesn't like his son Shogo, and doesn't seem to particularly upset about his death so much as getting back at the Saints for stealing the Ronin's territory.
  • Wham Episode: Mission 4 of each gang's plotline is this, to the point of becoming the game's Darkest Hour if played concurrently.
    • For the Sons of Samedi, we have Shaundi being kidnapped straight out of Saints HQ. She is returned by the end of the mission.
    • For The Ronin, we have Aisha's murder and Gat very nearly bleeding out after losing a katana duel.
    • And, for The Brotherhood, we have Carlos on the asphalt end of a chain, being dragged around the city. His injuries are so severe that the Boss is forced to Mercy Kill him.
  • What a Drag: Early on in the Brotherhood story line, Jessica orders a group of Brotherhood members to kidnap Carlos and drag them through the streets chained to a truck. At the end of the mission, the Boss manages to stop the truck, but Carlos has already been mutilated and lost too much blood to be saved. In the end, all the Boss can do is make their death quick.
  • When Elders Attack: The elderly of Stilwater will occasionally attack you if you piss them off. Applies to some enemies, such as Kazuo Akuji, and The Boss as well if you made them old.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • The game answers this question with "actually, I just did" in the final mission against the Ronin. What had been up until then a straight up sword fight ends with Boss shooting Akuji after losing their sword and Akuji taunts them for their lack of skill.
    Akuji: Did you really think you could match my skill?
    Boss: No. [draws a pistol and shoots him] I'm gonna cheat.
    • Inverted when you HAVE to sword fight him to get to that point. Same with the fight in Kanto Connection, where you are forbidden to use anything but a sword or fists, despite still having all your weapons and no in-universe reason not to use them.
    • Discussed and then played straight with Dane Vogel. Johnny Gat suggests doing this to him after he gives information about the Ronin's operations to the Boss. The Boss talks him out of doing it, but Pierce gets the temptation to do it right before the Boss and Gat come back. The Boss ends up doing it to Dane anyway during the final mission.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Despite Mr. Sunshine taking God-knows-how-many-bullets to the chest, he still gets up. Twice. The Boss makes sure that he stays down by unloading an entire magazine into him after an irritated "For fuck's sake, die already!". Then just to be sure they lop his head off and throws it onto a meat grinder conveyor belt.
  • The Worf Effect: Male Voice 2 invokes this. After completing the final Brotherhood mission, hitting a pedestrian in your car may prompt him to say "If I could kill Maero, what chance did you have?" Fittingly, Maero is actually voiced by Worf.
  • Workout Fanservice: One Sons of Samedi cutscene has the Boss talking with Shaundi during her workout routine, complete with mild Jiggle Physics. Amusingly, they seem more interested in the fact that she can run 5 miles without coughing up a lung than they are over the potential sexiness of the situation.
  • Worth It: After completing a level in Escort, one of the clients will exit the car after saying "I don't have enough money to pay the rent, but it was worth it!"
  • Wrestler in All of Us: You're able to learn wrestling moves after destroying the Brotherhood. The main ones that stick out are the Death Valley Driver and Side Slam during the course of the Brotherhood missions.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Dane Vogel pulls off a pretty good one in "Salting the Earth...Again": either the Boss will be killed by Ultor security, in which case he gets credit for breaking the Saints, or the Boss will wipe out the Ultor board, in which case he gets promoted to chairman of the company.
  • You Bastard!: The secret mission "Revelation", in which you gun down Julius and swear to take over the city.
    • The newspaper articles you collect at the end of every mission emphasize the civilian casualties (which are usually the Boss's fault, since they start most of the fights). There are also frequent references in bystander dialogue to particularly heinous actions taken by the Boss, such as burning down the Shivington projects in one of the Sons of Samedi missions and burying Shogo Akuji alive.



Saints Row 2 has a button-matching minigame when the PC has sex with random people in secluded locations. You don't even get to see anything. Waste of a perfectly good Virtual Paper Doll.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / HotCoffeeMinigame

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