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Visual Novel / Queen of Thieves

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Queen of Thieves is a Romance Game Visual Novel by Voltage Entertainment USA, released through their Lovestruck app for iOS and Android devices. Featuring art by Irene Koh, it debuted in March 2019.

The heroine is a struggling art school graduate hoping to make her big break before she has to return to her hometown in defeat and get a "real job." When the break she was hoping for comes, it's not what she expected: through a series of apparently chance encounters she ends up swept up into the Gilded Poppy, a team of infamous thieves.

The Gilded Poppy steal only the rarest of the rare, and they've chosen the heroine to play a part in their latest heist. All of her skills and talents will be tested to the fullest as she dives headfirst into a world of con games, daring escapes, and thrilling romance with one of her new teammates.

This game provides examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: In Jett's first season, this is how he and the heroine find the safe behind a Concealing Canvas in Hugo's house. The heroine had noticed that the wall painting was the only thing not covered in dust — because it was regularly moved.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity:
    • Vivienne is resistant to her Drugged Lipstick; Ariana says she probably could eat the whole tube and only suffer a hangover the next day.
    • Nikolai is heavily implied to cultivate immunity to poison by drinking it in his tea, a fact confirmed in his third season and motivated by the deaths of his entire family via poisoned wine.
  • Acting Unnatural: In Remy season 2 episode 4, after he and the heroine have a fight in his room, she exits to the common room to find everyone "suspiciously busy."
    Zoe scrolls down her phone too fast to actually see anything. Vivienne paints already-perfect nails. Nikolai holds a book directly in front of his face and suddenly Jett is super passionate about chugging water.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Many of the nicknames that characters are given by the game before their names are revealed are alliterative, including Vivienne's "Chic & Charming," Jett's "Arresting Artist," and Ariana's "Tantalizingly Tatted."
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Remy calls Nikolai "Niko". Upon the heroine trying it out early in Nikolai's first season, he informs her that "Only Remy's allowed to call me that, and he's on thin ice."
    • Vivienne calls the heroine "darling" by default. However, as the heroine realizes on Vivienne's route, that's the kind of language she uses with her marks. When she uses it with the heroine, it's indicative of her deflecting, not taking her seriously, or otherwise putting a distance between them. By contrast, when she's being genuine, she doesn't use the pet name at all.
    • Remy calls the heroine "ma cherie" ("my dear") across routes; on his own, he also uses "mon coeur" ("my heart") and "ma rêveuse" ("my dreamer"). When they travel to Venice in season two, he switches to Italian terms like "cara mia" ("my darling") and "tesoro mio" ("my treasure").
    • In Zoe's later seasons she takes to calling the heroine "sunshine".
    • In the April Fools special "Cat of Thieves", Elizabeth has Russian nicknames for each of the Gilded Poppy members, whom she sees as her kittens.
  • Affectionate Pickpocket:
    • A favored tactic of Vivienne. In the prologue, she leans in close to the heroine to whisper in her ear, and presumably took that opportunity to slip a stolen pearl necklace into her purse, as she was holding the necklace before and the heroine left the shop afterward. She does it again multiple times in her route, embracing the heroine in order to swipe her cell phone.
    • The heroine starts to pick this skill up from Vivienne in her route, even successfully pickpocketing Vivienne herself after surprising her with a hug.
    • In the beginning of Vivienne's second season, Remy hugs the heroine in greeting and she catches him trying to lift her wallet; he had been searching her for the brooch she'd just stolen, but she'd already passed it to Vivienne.
  • After Action Patch Up: In Leon's first season, after he takes a knife to the arm defending Nikolai, there's a heart option to help him patch it up.
  • Ahem: In Jett's first season, he and the heroine are burgling Hugo's place when they hear a throat being cleared and turn to see Hugo himself facing them.
  • Anger Born of Worry:
    • After the heroine has a run-in with the Whitehat in Zoe's route, Zoe gets angry with her. When she apologizes later, she admits that part of the reason she got angry was because she was worried about the heroine.
    • The entire team is very unhappy with Nikolai almost getting himself killed trying to manage things alone in his second season, and they make sure he knows it.
  • Answer Cut: Early in his first season, Nikolai informs the heroine that they'll be breaking into a museum soon so that she can practice for her part of their upcoming heist. Cut immediately to the next night and the heroine hissing incredulously to Nikolai as they break into:
    MC: The Louvre?!
  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Vivienne can't kiss the heroine on the lips without knocking her out if she's wearing her poisonous lipstick. She's gotten around this with kisses to the cheek, neck, and hand.
  • Are We There Yet?: In Jett's episode 4, he bugs Leon on a car ride by repeatedly asking "Are we there yet?" The heroine has the option of joining in.
  • Aroused by Their Voice:
    • In Nikolai's second season, the heroine gets goosebumps at hearing his voice in her earpiece.
      MC: (It's not fair. He should sound like the nerd he is, instead of having the dark chocolate cake of voices.)
    • In Vivienne's second season, when she flusters the heroine with foreign-language sweet-talk:
      Vivienne's voice is naturally pretty soft. But there's a dramatic change that happens when she's laying on the charm extra thick. It drops, like a stone. […] Heavy, dark. She probably practiced it for years, but that doesn't make my response any less real.
  • Badass Boast: Nikolai wastes no time dishing them out.
    Nikolai: I am the master of the impossible. It can defy me as long as it wants, but in the end, I will conquer it.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: All of the members of the Gilded Poppy apart from Vivienne wear suits while on the job, with special mention going to Zoe, who the heroine notes looks like she "might as well have invented the suit" when she first sees her, and Nikolai, who even has a suit as his casual outfit.
  • Bad Liar: The heroine can't come up with a decent cover story to save her life. Part of her challenge in Remy's first season is learning how to convincingly play a role when she's so naturally honest and open with her feelings.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of Nikolai's third episode, the heroine says she thought they might become friends, and he gets a cold look as he reaches toward her saying that's not happening. The next episode reveals he was speaking to and reaching for a pickpocket behind her who had been reaching into her purse.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The "To Be Continued" cards for the third season (in which the cast travels to Hong Kong) sport Chinese text meaning "love" and "adventure."
  • Black Market: The Underbelly, an actual illegal market slash criminal trade bazaar operating in an abandoned railway station.
  • Bland-Name Product: Zoe is a fan of The Sunset Zone.
  • Blindfolded Trip: To keep Il Cerchio's location secret, people entering or leaving are blindfolded and then transported by gondola.
  • Boring Insult: 'Boring' is possibly the worst criticism Nikolai can hand out, and it's how he puts Gerard in his place in their confrontation early in Nikolai's first season:
    Nikolai: You want to be my rival so badly, Gerard. It really is unfair, when I'm so bored with you.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: In Nikolai's second season, he lashes out at the heroine to push her away after realizing that someone from his past is after him. He had decided that the best way to keep everyone safe was to keep them away while he alone dealt with the threat.
  • Break-In Threat: In Nikolai's first season, Gerard leaves a coded note addressed to Nikolai in the boutique fitting room where the heroine is about to try on clothes. The implication isn't lost on Nikolai, and makes him angry enough to lose his cool for the first time that the heroine (and the audience) has seen since meeting him.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: In a heart scene early in his first season, Remy makes a bad imitation of the heroine's manner of speaking as a joke to help her loosen up while they practice her con artist skills. She retaliates with a very bad mimicry of Remy's accent, complete with an excess of Gratuitous French, and they both have a good laugh over it.
    MC: Ma cherie, le Paris is so magnifique! Mais not as magnifique as you!
  • Calling Card: The Gilded Poppy uses the poppy as their insignia and calling card - for example, the burning outline of a stylized poppy that 'signs' the theft from the art gallery in the prologue, which Jett traces out in gunpowder and convinces the heroine to ignite for him.
  • The Caper: The Gilded Poppy recruit the heroine to help them with a heist, the details of which vary by route.
  • Caper Crew: The Gilded Poppy:
  • Caper Rationalization: In Remy's first season, it's bad enough that Parker Vos has a shady reputation, and that he obtained the original of the first filmed kiss simply to hoard it without watching it, but on top of that he has a penchant for seducing happily married women. Remy considers this more than enough of a reason to con Parker and steal the film from him, and the heroine is quickly sold on the caper.
  • Cast Full of Gay: According to a Q&A, Nikolai is pansexual, Vivienne and Zoe are lesbians, and Remy and Jett are bisexual, with Leon as the only straight member of the core cast.
  • *Click* Hello:
    • At the end of Nikolai's first season, a near Relationship Upgrade between Nikolai and the heroine is interrupted by the ominous click of a handgun, courtesy of Gerard coming in through the window of Nikolai's room.
    • In Vivienne's first season, a gun-cock sound effect is heard as Celine shows up aiming a pistol at her during the "escaping" part of the heist.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • Heroine: Pink
    • Nikolai: Blue
    • Vivienne: Red
    • Zoe: Green
    • Jett: Yellow
    • Remy: Orange
    • Leon: Purple
  • Concealing Canvas: In Jett's first season, he and the heroine search Hugo's house for a painting and end up finding it in a safe concealed behind a wall painting.
  • Con Man: Remy fills this role on the team.
  • Cope by Creating: After the events of Jett's season 1 finale, he spends the next season coping by throwing himself into his artwork. The heroine also finds herself doing the same with her own work.
  • Corpsing: In-universe in Remy's first season, when the heroine meets the mark for lunch with Remy coaching her via earpiece, the advice he provides is liberally mixed with snark and she ends up struggling not to break character and laugh at his remarks. Fortunately, the mark is too self-absorbed to notice.
  • Courtly Love: Discussed in Leon's first season, where it's noted that unrequited love of the "pining from afar" variety was thought to be the purest kind. The poetry that the heroine is restoring is notable for depicting requited love.
  • The Cracker: Zoe uses her hacking skills for thievery.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Unsurprisingly for a group of career thieves, the core cast have more than a few troubled pasts between them. Nikolai and Remy lived on the streets of Paris as teenagers, getting by as pickpockets; Remy mentions being kicked out by his family, and whatever Nikolai went through before they met has left him with recurring nightmares so bad that he barely sleeps. Vivienne is cagey about the details of her past but drops hints that it was neither normal nor pleasant, and Leon is Covered with Scars.
  • Dead Animal Warning: In Zoe's second season, Dead Rat King leaves a bunch of dead rats strung up under a bridge for her and the heroine to find on their gondola ride. A few episodes later, Zoe is testing out her full-room hologram projector when it gets hijacked and the surroundings change to a dungeon filled with dead rats.
  • Demolitions Expert: Jett's interest in and expertise with explosives means this is his main role in the crew.
  • Dodge by Braking: Leon does this while fleeing a police pursuit in the prologue. He brakes hard, letting them speed by, then backs up, turns around, and drives off.
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: At the end of Nikolai's first season, Gerard menaces him and the heroine with a gun. He cocks it once as he enters the scene, and again later as they try speaking with him.
  • The Driver: Leon is responsible for driving or piloting for the team during their capers. He demonstrates his skills in the prologue, evading the police when they come after the heroine.
  • Drugged Lipstick: In her first season, Vivienne knocks out the event coordinator meant to meet with Celine by swapping her lipstick with a custom one, which renders her unconscious within seconds of application. Additionally, Vivienne herself habitually wears a lipstick meant to drug whomever she kisses.
  • Elevator Failure: During the caper in Vivienne's first season, she and the heroine are making their escape when the elevator plunges instead of taking them up.
  • Empathic Environment:
    • In episode 10 of Nikolai's first season, a serious argument between Nikolai and the heroine is accompanied by the weather turning to a cold rain.
    • Late in Vivienne's first season, as the heroine, with renewed determination, resolves to get back at Celine after she'd undermined their heist, the sun comes up, filling the previously dark sky with color and light.
    • At the end of Vivienne's first season, after the heroine makes a discovery giving her something to strive towards:
      Staring out the window at the bright blue sky, cloudless and clear, I feel clarity of my own.
  • Enter Stage Window: Gerard comes into Nikolai's room in the Gilded Poppy's penthouse residence through the window at the end of Nikolai's first season, just when Nikolai and the heroine are about to resolve their mutual sexual tension.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Queen of Thieves is the first Lovestruck title since Love & Legends to feature a free prologue common to all routes. The prologue serves to introduce the main cast via the heroine's first meetings with each, providing a snapshot of their personality.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French:
    • On Remy's route, the heroine quickly discovers how much she enjoys hearing Remy speak to her in French.
    • A heart scene in Vivienne's second season has her teasing the heroine with various Italian pet names, plus hinting at the possibilities for French. The flustered heroine responds by joking about the Romance languages not being called that for nothing.
  • Evolving Credits: The "To Be Continued" cards that end each episode are styled as a passport, with extra flourishes such as background art and a quotation related to the setting of each season. As the stories progress from season to season, the passport is updated with exit stamps from the countries in which the previous seasons took place, with the actual "To Be Continued" text fashioned as the departure stamp for the country the current season is set in.
  • Fake Static: In Jett's episode 4, there's an option to end a call with Nikolai by pretending that it's breaking up and making fake static noises.
    Nikolai: [MC], can I trust you not to wreak havoc on the city of Paris on your next outing?
    MC: Nikolai, I can't hear you. I think the call is dropping.
    I make a sound that closely resembles white noise. Jett bites his lip to prevent a laugh from escaping.
    Nikolai: I can see you making static noises with your mouth.
    MC: What? Sorry, we can't hear you!
  • Femme Fatale: Vivienne, of course. The heroine outright uses the term to describe her in a scene early in her first season:
    MC: (I think I finally understand the term 'femme fatale'.)
  • Flower Motifs: The Caper Crew uses the poppy for their name and insignia. Poppies are associated with Laverna, the Roman goddess of thieves, whom the crew pours out libations to on at least one occasion. They are also associated with sleep, dreams, and imagination, as well as representing remembrance of those killed in war; red poppies represent pleasure and yellow poppies mean wealth and success.
  • Flowers of Romance: Midway through Remy's first season, Remy spontaneously presents the heroine with a bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley, and the fact that he's made such a gesture with no connection to the con they're running is one of the first signs that he's developing genuine feelings for her. At the end of his second season, the heroine calls back to the gift by filling Remy's room with lilies-of-the-valley as part of a grand romantic gesture to convince him her feelings are genuine.
  • Foil:
    • Nikolai rarely bothers with social niceties, and despite his genius has some distinct blind spots when it comes to people's feelings, but holds himself and his team to a strict ethical standard. Remy, in contrast, is a social chameleon and expert manipulator who tends to tell people what they want to hear, and is more morally flexible. The two of them even have contrasting Color Motifs, blue for Nikolai and orange for Remy.
    • Similarly, Vivienne uses flirtation and displays of affection as a mask to manipulate others and hold them at arm's length, while Zoe is sarcastic, brutally honest, and sparing with her approval and affection. They also have contrasting color motifs: red for Vivienne, green for Zoe.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: In Remy's second season, the heroine learns that she encountered Remy once before the game's prologue, though she can be forgiven for not making the connection: Remy was in disguise, scouting her for possible recruitment to the Gilded Poppy, and according to Nikolai was infatuated with her from that very first meeting.
  • Frame-Up: As some added incentive for the heroine to join them, the Gilded Poppy go ahead and implicate her as their accomplice by framing her for stealing a pearl necklace and participating in the theft of a vase from the museum.
  • French Accordion: Season one takes place in Paris, the soundtrack for which includes accordions.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: In Nikolai's fourth season, Remy delivers one to the cat:
    Remy: Elizabeth Bennet Nikolaevna Stirling!
  • Funny Background Event: In Remy's second season, as Nikolai tells the heroine about her Forgotten First Meeting with Remy, there's a couple of lulls in the conversation, during which the heroine's narration briefly takes note of the antics going on across the room.
    The dance-off that Zoe and Jett start on the other side of the room is almost enough to distract me.
    The others are starting a raunchy card game now and trying to drag Leon into it.
  • Garden of Love: In Remy's first season, he brings the heroine to a rooftop garden he loves, where they have a moment together.
  • Give Me Back My Wallet:
    • By proxy. In his first season, Nikolai catches a pickpocket in the act of trying to steal the heroine's wallet and makes it clear how much that's not going to happen.
    • "Becoming the Gilded Poppy" reveals that Nikolai and Remy first met when Remy stole Nikolai's watch, provoking a scuffle when Nikolai chased him down to get it back.
  • Great Escape: The beginning of Remy's second season involves breaking him out of a high security prison.
  • Handy Cuffs: Late in her second season, Vivienne is made to put on some handcuffs by Francesca. Soon after, she takes advantage of a distraction by the heroine to slip the chain around Francesca's neck.
  • Headbutt of Love: Late in her second season, Vivienne does this with the heroine as they mend their relationship.
  • Hologram: In Zoe's second season, she makes a device that can cover things with holograms without needing a direct path between them as in a normal light projector.
  • Honor Among Thieves: The members of the Gilded Poppy abide by their own set of principles, among other things never stealing from marks that don't have it to spare. Gerard's distinct lack of such ethics, and his tendency to get people he works with 'disappeared,' are one of the main reasons that Nikolai regards him with such scorn.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: In Vivienne's route, she attempts to work her wiles on Ariana, who isn't affected and tells her not to treat her like one of her toys.
    Vivienne: [laughing] Stop seeing right through me! It batters my ego.
    Ariana: I have to. If I don't call you out on your bullshit every so often, you get absolutely insufferable.
  • I Kiss Your Hand:
    • In Remy's first season, when he's telling the heroine about how the heist will involve her posing as his wife, he slips a wedding ring onto her finger and kisses her hand. Later as she's making a list of types of PDA she's okay doing for their cover, she adds hand kisses, remembering the previous incident.
    • In Leon's first season, when he takes the heroine to his lavender fields, he kisses her hands.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: In Nikolai's first season, the heroine teases Nikolai about going into the bathroom while she changes, to which he replies that he's trying to be a gentleman. When she counters that he's not a gentleman, he gets so focused on winning the argument that he sticks his head back out of the bathroom and completely ruins his own effort to give her privacy.
  • Improvised Weapon: In the beginning of Nikolai's second season, he improvises a weapon from a fencing sword, deliberately breaking it to give it a cutting edge.
  • Indirect Kiss: In a heart scene in Vivienne's first season, the heroine accidentally drinks from Vivienne's wine glass. When Vivienne playfully chastises her, she teases back saying that it's the closest she'll probably get to a real kiss, then deliberately drinks from it again.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: At the start of Remy's second season, the Poppy return to HQ in a glum mood and pass around a bottle of vodka, with Nikolai pouring it directly into his tea.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: At the start of Remy's first season the heroine - starstruck by her first introduction to Paris - remarks with enthusiasm on the sight of the Eiffel Tower. Remy agreeably comments on the landmark's beauty, only for Nikolai to dryly point out that Remy hates the Eiffel Tower. It's a humorous moment, but it also sets the tone for the route by making it clear the heroine can't necessarily trust in Remy's sincerity.
  • Instant Sedation: Nikolai season 2 ends with the heroine being knocked out with a chloroform rag.
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: In the last episode of Remy's first season, the heroine tries several times to tell Remy how she feels about him, only to be interrupted. The last attempt is foiled by the arrival of the police.
  • Jumped at the Call: Having the police looking for her in connection with the Gilded Poppy's thefts gives the heroine extra incentive to join the crew, but she doesn't seem to need that much encouragement to grab onto the opportunity with both hands.
    MC: (Isn't this what I was waiting for? Excitement? Adventure? To escape an ordinary life?)
  • Kansas City Shuffle: In Remy's second season, the heroine steals Casanova's mask by mixing it with a bunch of fakes, seemingly betting on the previous holder not being able to pick it out of the bunch. After they do and leave, it's revealed they were all fakes; she had slipped the real one into her bag as she was pulling out the fakes.
  • King of Thieves: The visual novel is named for the trope, with the title presumably referring to the heroine as she finds her place among the members of the Gilded Poppy. In-story, however, it's Nikolai who's referred to as "Thief Lord" by both the press and the Parisian underworld.
  • Kinky Cuffs: Jett and the heroine play with handcuffs in Jett's first season.
  • Kiss of Distraction: At the end of Vivienne's first season, she kisses the heroine while wearing her red lipstick, and when the heroine wakes up the Gilded Poppy are gone, having left her behind.
  • Knockout Gas: In Vivienne's first season, knockout gas is used during the heist on a roomful of guards, by putting a gas dispenser in the frame of the portrait that the mark had commissioned from the heroine.
  • Lady in Red: Befitting her role as the Seductress, Vivienne's signature color is red and most of her outfits feature it prominently. Even her lingerie is red, as are her lipstick and nail polish.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: In Vivienne season 2:
    MC: Hold on. Let's get one thing straight.
    Vivienne: Do we have to?
    I roll my eyes, even if it's kind of adorable how pleased she is with her own horrible joke.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When the heroine arrives at the Poppy's Venice headquarters at the beginning of Vivienne season 2, the reused background is lampshaded by her commenting on how similar it looks to their Paris HQ. Then the lampshading itself is also lampshaded.
    MC: You all sure do love your trophies. [sees common room] …And maintaining an aesthetic.
    Vivienne: What can I say. We're magpies.
    Zoe: We know what we like.
    Zoe corrects her, and Nikolai chimes in with an excuse of his own.
    Nikolai: When you live a transient life, you find comfort in the constants.
    Jett and Leon are in the middle of decorating his room. I can spot them through the open doorway, huffing as they try to wedge something large through the frame.
    Jett: Christ, that's the heaviest lampshade ever!
  • Laser Hallway:
    • A CG in Nikolai's first season shows Nikolai and the heroine having to get up close and personal to avoid a network of security lasers.
    • In Vivienne's first season, she and the heroine do a practice heist where they lower themselves on a rope through a room full of security lasers.
    • In Leon's first season, he and the heroine run into one of these while stealing something. He's too big to fit through the lasers, so the heroine crawls through.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    • Vivienne pulls this near the beginning of her first season after the rest of the team tricked the heroine into drinking a lot of extremely strong coffee:
      Vivienne: Jett, stop trying to break my— be more careful with [MC].
    • Nikolai in his second season during an argument with the heroine:
      Nikolai: You said you wouldn't leave m—us. Wouldn't leave us.
    • In Nikolai and Remy's first meeting, as shown in "Becoming the Gilded Poppy":
      Remy: I was just concerned about—Elizabeth, okay!
  • The Leader: Nikolai leads the Gilded Poppy.
  • Leitmotif: Each love interest has their own theme music, which plays when the heroine first meets them in the prologue.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Nikolai, stock phrase and all, sums up the situation near the end of Vivienne's first season:
    Nikolai: So let me get this straight. You want us to get revenge. Infiltrate a location that isn't as secure as our first target. In the middle of a city that's currently on red alert, looking for us. With half the prep time, none of the inside contacts. No solid avenue of escape. Is that about right?
    Vivienne: Mm, that about sums it up.
    Bit by bit, like the sun rising, Nikolai's sour expression shifts into a gleeful grin.
    Nikolai: Oh, there's no way I'm going to turn this down.
  • Lost Food Grievance: On the heroine's first morning in Paris on Nikolai's route, she's about to enjoy a croissant when Nikolai hustles the whole crew out for a trip to the Underbelly. She has several opportunities later on in the season to harass him about her lost croissant.
  • Love Epiphany: Near the end of Remy's first season, the heroine must convince Parker that she's falling for him. Drawing on Remy's previous coaching and some advice from Nikolai, she ends up indirectly talking out her feelings for Remy, leading to an abrupt and rather uncomfortable realization.
  • MacGuffin: In "Becoming the Gilded Poppy", Jett's story of how he joined the Poppy involves him stealing some item. Beyond it being valuable enough to steal, the nature of the item is so unimportant that no one even remembers what it was; visually, it's depicted as a pixelated blur.
    I grab the—whatever it was—and slip it into my jacket.
  • Mad Bomber: Jett is very enthusiastic about explosions.
  • Masquerade Ball:
    • The last part of Nikolai's second season takes place at a masquerade ball.
    • The final part of the con in Remy season 2 takes place at a masquerade ball.
  • Meaningful Rename: Neither Nikolai nor Remy is using the names they were born with. Remy's part of "Becoming the Gilded Poppy" shows that the two of them gave one another their new surnames once they resolved to make themselves careers as thieves. "Stirling" for Nikolai, chosen by Remy, refers to sterling silver - a bright, shining precious metal, traditionally used to detect poison, remade into an alloy stronger than it originally was. "Chevalier" for Remy, chosen by Nikolai, means "knight" - and as Nikolai sarcastically notes, "Remy Chevalier" is the most egregiously French name he can think of.
  • Moment Killer: In Vivienne's first season, a moment of vulnerability between her and the heroine is broken by Nikolai knocking on Vivienne's door to call her outside, much to the heroine's frustration.
  • Multinational Team: The Gilded Poppy come from a variety of national backgrounds. Nikolai is Russian, Remy is French, Vivienne grew up all over, Zoe and the heroine are American, Jett is British, and Leon is from Hong Kong.
  • Noodle Incident: In Nikolai's first season, Remy reacts with dismay when Nikolai declares he needs more coffee, hinting at some kind of fun story that the heroine doesn't get the chance to ask about:
    Nikolai: I need more coffee.
    Remy: You absolutely don't! Do you remember what happened last time?
  • Omniglot: Vivienne speaks English, French, Mandarin, Italian, and Spanish.
  • One Last Job: Midway through Leon's first season, he admits that he plans for the season's heist to be his last job with the Gilded Poppy, after which he intends to retire.
  • Operation: Jealousy: In Remy's second season, Giovanni and the heroine realize immediately that Remy is trying to set them up together to dissuade the heroine's feelings for him. Though entirely uninterested in one another in any romantic sense, they decide to turn the ploy around on Remy to make him realize how ridiculous he's being.
    Giovanni: Why don't we give him what he thinks he wants... until he realizes exactly how much he doesn't want it?
  • Origins Episode: The special story "Becoming the Gilded Poppy" features the main cast telling the heroine the story of how the team came together. Each episode is a Whole Episode Flashback from the point of view of the character telling that part of the story.
  • Parlor Games: A premium scene in Remy's first season involves Remy and the heroine playing Truth or Dare.
  • Percussive Pickpocket:
    • When Nikolai demonstrates his pickpocketing skills in a premium scene in his first season, he starts by "accidentally" bumping into a man on the dance floor and lifting his wallet in the process.
    • In Vivienne's first season, she trips the heroine into the event coordinator, spilling the contents of the woman's bag. As she helps her collect her things, she swaps her lipstick with a custom one.
    • A heart scene in Vivienne's second season has her and the heroine pull a pincer move on someone — the heroine bumps into him while Vivienne lifts his wallet.
    • In Vivienne's second season, the heroine bumps into someone and drops the paints she needs for a forgery. The person she bumped into helps her pick them up, and later she realizes that they've been switched.
  • Percussive Therapy: After an argument late in his first season, Nikolai offers the heroine the opportunity to vent her aggravation by taking some swings at him with one of his fencing sabers. It's especially effective because the root of their argument was each of them feeling that the other doesn't trust them - letting her whack at him with a weapon, even a safely blunted practice weapon, serves as proof that Nikolai trusts her and that she can trust him.
  • Playing Hard to Get: In Remy's second season, the heroine, at the advice of the rest of the Poppy, decides to play it cool with Remy to give him space to realize his own feelings and let him come to her.
  • Public Exposure:
    • In Nikolai's first season, he offers to model for the heroine while shirtless from fencing practice.
    • In Vivienne's first season, she strips down to model for the heroine. And then sends the resulting artwork to a mark as sample artwork, to the heroine's disbelief.
    • In Nikolai's second season, he poses nude for the heroine so she can make a painting to get into an auction house.
  • Right-Hand Cat: Nikolai the Thief Lord and criminal mastermind has a pet cat, a Russian Blue named Elizabeth. In Remy's first season, the heroine watches him petting Elizabeth and remarks that he looks "very super-villain."
  • Ruling Family Massacre: Nikolai's family was rich and influential, and they were murdered for political reasons.
  • Sanctuary of Solitude: At the start of Leon's second season, he stops at an empty church to take the time to calm and center himself.
  • Scenery Dissonance: In Nikolai season 2, when he tells the heroine about his Dark and Troubled Past: "the explanation clashes nastily against the cheerful, sunny day."
  • Scotty Time: The heist in Nikolai's first season hinges upon the heroine being able to successfully forge a painting - a newly-discovered Van Gogh which is about to be unveiled at the Louvre - with only fifteen minutes in the presence of the original to do most of the work. The trope comes into play during the actual heist, when Zoe informs the heroine that the security setup has changed - instead of the expected fifteen minutes, she now has ten. With some encouragement from Nikolai, she manages to pull it off.
  • Secret Test of Thieving Skill: While they don't have her (knowingly) steal anything, the heroine's encounters with the members of Gilded Poppy throughout most of the prologue are one long audition for the role they plan to offer her with their Caper Crew. Nikolai assesses her artwork at her stand in Central Park, Vivienne tests her ability to recognize fake jewelry, Zoe confirms her knowledge at the art gallery, and Zoe and Jett both test her willingness to take risks and flout authority.
  • Self-Destructing Security:
    • In Remy's first season, Parker is keeping a rare film in a container that will destroy its contents if forced open.
    • In Remy's second season, when he and the heroine first see Casanova's mask on display, Remy explains that they can't steal it from there because of how it's mounted — without the key, removing the mask by force will destroy it.
  • Serial Homewrecker: Parker Vos is a greedy man who collects valuables simply because they are valued by others, such as a rare film that he never even bothered watching after obtaining it. This attitude extends to his relationships — he prefers his women to already be in relationships, so he can seduce them away from their partners.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Late in his first season, Nikolai gives the heroine his shirt to change into (complete with updated sprite) after she's been drenched in the rain and doesn't have any dry clothes. Though they haven't yet had sex or even kissed, both acknowledge the intimacy of her wearing his clothes, and it serves to amplify the sexual tension between them - especially when Nikolai tells her to keep the shirt because it looks good on her, and she later teases him by telling him she wore his shirt to bed.
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: In Remy's first season, after the heroine follows Parker onto his yacht, Remy swims out to check on her. A CG is dedicated to showing him rising from the water, dripping with his t-shirt clinging to him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Even Nikolai's most casual outfit is just a suit without the jacket on, and he wears a full tuxedo lacking only the tie when on the job, which the heroine notes makes him look like "a heist movie antagonist."
  • Sherlock Scan: During the heroine's first encounter with Nikolai in the prologue, he makes a series of observations about her background, personality, and current situation based on the display of artwork she's trying to sell. In his third season, he and Casimir have a brief battle of Sherlock scans.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • On Nikolai's route, Remy takes every opportunity to push the heroine and Nikolai together. It's at least in part just for the fun of getting reactions out of Nikolai, but he also genuinely thinks the heroine is good for Nikolai and is visibly delighted when it seems the two are getting closer.
    • On Remy's route, Nikolai likewise puts his hand in to help Remy and the heroine along, though his advice is mixed with a certain tone of "If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him" warning.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The prompt for the premium scene in episode 5 of Nikolai's first season is "Draw Nikolai like one of your French girls."
    • The heroine is incredulous that they're breaking into the Louvre; Nikolai replies, "What, like it's hard?"
    • The underside of Zoe's skateboard has a picture of JD on it.
    • When the heroine does a Weight and Switch in Nikolai's second season, one of the movies she can reference is "the archaeologist movie."
    • Episode 3 of "Becoming the Gilded Poppy" has Remy and Vivienne posing as an American couple named Jack and Rose.
    • Near the end of Nikolai's fourth season, we learn that Elizabeth the cat is named for the heroine of Pride and Prejudice.
    • In Vivienne's fifth season, the MC picks Nadia's pocket of a matchbox when confronted and lights a match. One of the dialogue choices is:
      MC: Looks like you've been… outmatched.
      It takes a second for it to click, but I feel nothing but pure satisfaction when Nadia grimaces at my pun.
      MC: (YEAAAAAH!)
  • Side Bet:
    • Zoe, Jett, and Leon seem to engage in frequent side bets. In the prologue, Zoe has bet Leon a beer that he (driving a car) won't get to their rendezvous point before the rest of the team (in a helicopter), while Jett has bet Zoe two drinks she can't land the helicopter with nothing but her tablet.
    • During the jailbreak in Remy's second season, there's a bet going on who can escape first. Nikolai ends up owing Vivienne a gelato after she beats him to the rendezvous point.
    • Everybody in the Gilded Poppy has money riding on whether or not Nikolai and the heroine will get back together in his fourth season, after breaking up at the end of the previous season. One dialogue choice can have the heroine calling them all cowards and upping the ante by another ten thousand euros.
  • Single-Issue Wonk: In Jett's episode 4, when he's bugging Leon during a car ride, the heroine has the option of distracting him by asking his opinion of Banksy, which sets him off on a rant.
    MC: Hey, Jett...
    Jett: [grinning] Yes, love?
    MC: What are your thoughts on Banksy's stuff selling for millions at auction? [Jett's smile drops]
    Leon: Don't get him started...
    Jett: [scowling] Banksy is a sell-out of the lowest order. And here's why...
  • Slipping a Mickey: Attempted by Vivienne in one of her first meetings with Nikolai and Remy, as seen in "Becoming the Gilded Poppy". She slipped a drug into Nikolai's drink, but he spotted her doing it.
  • Smoke Out: Smoke bombs from Jett are used to make escapes on various occasions. Quite a few are filled with glitter, to Nikolai's eternal dismay.
  • Starving Artist: The heroine's art has found her little fame so far, and before being recruited by the Gilded Poppy she was on the verge of having to give up and move back home.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Vivienne is 5'9", and her heels accentuate it further.
  • Steal the Surroundings: In the finale of Remy's first season, the heroine and the rest of the Gilded Poppy get past the multiple layers of security on the room on Parker's yacht where he's stored the rare film that is their target, only to discover that he's rigged the box it's stored in to destroy its contents if tampered with - not only that, but the box is bolted to the shelf it's displayed on. Zoe says she can disarm the booby trap, but it'll take time and Remy can only keep Parker distracted for so long. The solution the heroine suggests delights the entire team: just steal the entire yacht and everything in it, by having Leon pilot it away down the Seine.
  • String Theory: A promotional video released prior to the game's launch shows the main cast's headshots as photos tacked up on an investigator's corkboard, surrounded by scribbled sticky-notes and linked together with a network of string.
  • Take That!: In Leon's first season, when Nikolai mentions breaking into the Louvre at night to see it alone:
    Jett: I'm surprised you still want to after that terrible film came out.
    Everyone laughs and groans.
    Remy: What was it called?
    Zoe: 'The Rembrandt Cipher?'
    Jett: Ugh. Now there's something we can agree on.
  • Tattooed Crook: Jett has tattoos visible on much of his exposed skin, as does Vivienne's contact Ariana.
  • Team Pet: Elizabeth, Nikolai's Russian Blue cat.
  • The Tease:
    • Nikolai is very well aware from the start of his route that the heroine is attracted to him, and he takes every opportunity to tease her with strategic invasions of her personal space and deliberate innuendo. As their relationship develops it becomes a case of mutual teasing, each trying to provoke the other into giving in first.
    • Vivienne, meanwhile, weaponizes her sex appeal as easily as she breathes, and on her route the heroine is discomfited to realize that she acts this way primarily with her marks.
  • Title Drop: In a heart scene near the end of Nikolai's second season, the heroine calls herself "the queen of thieves."
  • Too Good to be True: In a heart scene in her first season, Vivienne admits that she sometimes finds the appeal of the heroine's potential a little worrying, musing about her being planted for Vivienne to find.
    MC: You think I'm like a fed or something? A double agent?
    Vivienne: That's a fun way to put it. Yes...a trap. Bait. That's how you feel sometimes. So I'm always a little scared to get too close, before I feel the trap snap shut around my wrist...
  • Translation Convention: For the most part, whatever language the characters are speaking - such as French during seasons set in Paris - is depicted in English (or whatever language the app is set to). There are some exceptions, however, primarily for comedic effect.
  • True Companions: The Gilded Poppy are all close. In a heart scene in Vivienne's first season, the heroine thinks that though Vivienne claimed not to have a home, her home is wherever the crew is.
  • Undercover as Lovers:
    • In Remy's first season, the heist they're planning requires Remy and the heroine to pretend to be married.
    • This appears to be a favorite con for Remy; in Jett's episode of "Becoming the Gilded Poppy," it's mentioned that the two of them once pretended to be married for a con, with a premium scene that goes into a little more detail.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Nikolai and Remy have been a duo for over ten years and are as close as brothers... and, just like brothers, can very often be seen giving one another a hard time. Pranking Nikolai seems to be one of Remy's main hobbies, and Nikolai isn't above retaliating in kind.
  • Weight and Switch: Nikolai's second season has the heroine stealing a painting on a weight sensor by replacing it with an equal weight, complete with a reference to "the archaeologist movie."
  • When I Was Your Age...: The Gilded Poppy tease Leon in Jett's first season:
    Leon: I've known Jett for years but honestly... He reminds me of myself back in the day.
    Zoe: [snorts] Back in the day when you had to walk to school barefoot...
    Remy: In the snow...
    Vivienne: Uphill both ways.
  • Workout Fanservice: In Leon's first season, the heroine walks in on him lifting weights shirtless — a CG is dedicated to the moment.
  • You Are Not Alone: In Zoe's first season, when the Whitehat threatens to reveal her past misdeeds to the Poppy, she decides to tell them herself, fully prepared to have to leave the group. None of them want her to go; they reassure her and voice their support, and when she reveals that she was blackmailed, they are outraged on her behalf.
  • You Must Be Cold: Subverted and lampshaded in a heart scene from Nikolai's first season, as part of his ongoing verbal sparring with the heroine. Not only does he not offer her his jacket after observing that she's getting cold, when she suggests that he could, he objects that then he'd be cold.
    MC: That's not very romantic!
  • Zip Me Up: A premium scene in Nikolai's first season wrings the trope for all the sexual tension it can possibly stand, with the heroine and Nikolai each teasing the other by requesting help with various articles of clothing.