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YMMV / GTA Radio

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Lazlow really The Last DJ like he claims to be, or just a deluded, unlikable has-been/never-was who deserves to fail at his endeavors? GTA V's story hints heavily toward the latter being the case, at least for his incarnation in the HD universe.
  • Awesome Music: Obviously, seeing as they are radio stations. Rockstar usually goes through pains to appropriately pick contemporary and appropriate music for each station.
    • From Vice City Stories: "Holy Diver" (by Dio) during the mission "From Zero to Hero''. Also doubles with Moment of Awesome.
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    • Radio Mirror Park is by far the most popular station in GTA V, and for good reason.
    • Special mention goes to K-ROSE in San Andreas, and Rebel Radio in GTA V. It's country, but somehow it works when you're driving through the woods.
    • From San Andreas: "Personal Jesus" (by Depeche Mode) suits perfectly when you're driving through the desert
    • Rise FM from III features "Innerbattle", "Score (Original Mix)" and also, "Neo (The One)", which is named after Neo from The Matrix. Incidentally, the duo for all three songs formed a band called Shiny Toy Guns that made a song based on the latter song listed.
    • To get an idea of just how much this trope applies, look up the YouTube video for any song ever featured in GTA Radio and check out the comments. If you can make it through the first page without seeing at least three comments about GTA, you've reached the low end of the spectrum.
  • Broken Base: Given the large variety of genres represented, this is bound to happen as different people prefer different stations in different games.
    • A non music example is the DJ of MSX FM in III, MC Codebreaker. He is either The Scrappy because of how he never shuts up, he has a thick accent and often goes on odd rants. Or he is very entertaining and suits the high energy nature of the station perfectly.
    • The soundtrack of IV took a direction of having less classic tracks and more niche ones (This is also the case with V, although to a far lesser extent). Whether this doesn't matter and the games still have a fine music selection or the soundtracks pale in comparison to those from the 3D era seem to depend on the person you ask. There is also a bit of conflict between fans of the IV soundtrack and fans of the V soundtrack.
  • Critical Research Failure: On Wildstyle, Mr Magic claims that he is playing a world premiere of "More Bounce to the Ounce", a song which came out in 1980.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: "Dios mío, you shot him! There's blood!... and pubic hair!... all over the studio!!" And more.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Chatterbox from III provided the humour on the radio that many players ignored the soundtrack stations. In most of the later games, there are usually a few hilarious talk shows to choose from.
    • Hans Oberlander, the DJ of SF-UR has quite a few fans thanks to his fun personality and for being very quotable. It helps that SF-UR is also considered to be one of the best stations in the series.
  • Genius Bonus: Morgan Merryweather often messes up references to classical culture. How many GTA fans are going to know Marcel Proust is French, not Italian?
  • Growing the Beard: Either Vice City for moving away from original music and having a large variety of classic licensed songs in its place, or San Andreas for introducing randomisation to the radio scripts, allowing the radio to react to the main story.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: San Andreas has a radio ad for the American Bank of Los Santos saying that borrowing money for lifestyle is "only a risk if you get into money troubles or the economy changes, which doesn't seem likely!". The game was released in 2004.
    • This could also be Harsher in Hindsight depending on what you think.
    • This was probably intentional. Even in the early 2000's, there were signs that the economy was going south.
    • One of the reality-challenged guests on Vice City's talk radio is a Straw Feminist who has written a book about spending a year disguised as a man, disgustedly recounting the (rather mundane) things men do when women aren't around. Four years later, journalist Norah Vincent published a (much more reasoned and sane) book named Self-Made Man: My Year Disguised As A Man.
    • IV and Episodes From Liberty City takes many jabs towards internet radio, claiming that "no one listens to it". Not only would internet radio become far more popular in The New '10s, but Lazlow Jones' real life radio show became an internet podcast in 2010.
    • V has a radio ad for Cloud devices stating that your data is on everyone else's devices. Much funnier since someone hacked Apple's iCloud and leaked naked photos of celebrities.
    • In 2006, a man in Northern Ireland started a service similar to Fernando's New Beginnings (a dating agency for cheating spouses) that even used the same slogan ("Taking the monotony out of monogamy"). When he went on The Ray D'Arcy show to advertise, listeners lampshaded the whole thing.
    • Episodes From Liberty City's San Juan Sounds had Henry Santos mention that the Dominican Republic was previously close to becoming a US State, which becomes funnier after the Puerto Rico 2012 referendum voted in favour of becoming one.
      Henry Santos: We could have become just like Alaska!
    • There's an advertisement in San Andreas for the sitcome "My Five Uncles", which parodies saccharine programming like Full House while featuring a girl being raised by five gay men in a polyamorous relationship. The whole thing ends up as a hilarious mish-mash of the childhood of Hollyhock from Bojack Horseman and its own Show Within a Show, Horsin' Around.
    • In San Andreas' version of Radio Los Santos, Julio G thinks he's going to be in legal trouble for playing "I Don't Give a Fuck". Actual legal trouble (that is, licensing issues) means it's not in the remaster nor re-releases.
  • Nightmare Fuel: During Pressing Issues, at one point Konstantinos Smith is chanting some sort of spell. In the background you can hear Jenny Louise Crab, the girl traumatized by her parents' murder but dozed up to the eyeball on tranquilizers, go from laughing nervously in the background to sobbing loudly and back to laughing again. The effect is very chilling.
  • Older Than They Think: You'll be very enlightened if you listen to contemporary hip-hop, then listen to the other radio stations in the games. In addition to the obvious hits from the different time periods, they included a lot of songs that have been sampled for famous rap cuts, probably because those are the easiest to license. Examples include the Isley Brothers' "Between The Sheets" (which was turned into The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Big Poppa") and "Footsteps in the Dark" (whose main guitar riff was used in Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day", itself featured in San Andreas), and David McCallum's "The Edge" (which was the basis for Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode").
    • Going off that, in V you can hear "The Next Episode"... then switch and hear the Trammps' "Rubber Band" (sampled for The Game's hit "Hate It or Love It"). Shit's like a hydra.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The radio stations in GTA V have been criticized for having songs that aren't as great as the previous games stations (with notable exceptions such as Radio Mirror Park and Non-Stop Pop FM). The next gen versions fixed all that by allowing the DJs to pick any songs they wanted to add into their stations. Many agree that the quality of the stations have gone up significantly and already great stations are now even better.
  • Shallow Parody: The Take Thats in IV got a lot less subtle, and tended more towards mocking specific people and shows rather than genres. Still didn't prevent it from having its funny moments.
  • Song Association:
    • Lampshaded in IV when the rap station DJ says you'd better like "Flashing Lights" because they are gonna play it again, and again, and again.note 
    • Certain locations or activities always feature the same stations, sometimes even a particular song. After hearing these songs often enough, players start associating these songs with those locations.
  • The Scrappy: East Los FM in V is hated by a lot of people, mainly due to the "El Sonidito" song that plays on there, and also for playing in EVERY taxi, and not being allowed to change the station while being driven in one, unlike in IV. Even worse, it's one of the only two stationsnote  that didn't get new songs for the 8th gen and PC versions.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Radio Station: WorldWide FM in GTA V could've played not just ambient & chillout, but pop music from all over the world. Granted, a few more foreign songs are included in the Playstation 4 & Xbox One versions, but the point still stands.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Karl Lagerfeld as the K109: The Studio DJ comes off as quite odd in a game where almost every other DJ is a high profile musician or DJ in real life.


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