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The GTA 6 Trailer Moments Inspired By Real-Life Florida Man Events

With "Grand Theft Auto 6" officially returning to Vice City, it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for the franchise's fictionalized version of Florida (known here as Leonida). The updated Vice City would not be a true Florida replica, however, if it didn't add in one crucial thing that has arrived in popular culture in the years since "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" — the iconic "Florida Man." Naturally, the term has been modified to "Leonida Man" to fit the setting of the game.


Florida Man is an iconic meme based on the seemingly endless supply of news articles about people from Florida being arrested for absurd and outlandish things. Even with only one trailer released so far, we've already gotten to see some of the truly wild things Leonida Man might be getting up to in the world of "GTA." Even better, some of them are based on real-life Florida Man events. Here are a few examples.

Crashing a car after dining and dashing

The first "GTA 6" trailer features a news broadcast detailing an overturned car. Underneath the headline it says that the car crashed and flipped — presumably during a high speed chase — after the driver was caught dining and dashing at a restaurant called Peewees. Eating and then leaving without paying for your meal is one thing, but this is just next-level.


This incident also mirrors a Florida Man case from real life. If reformatted to fit the meme, a headline about this particular story might read "Florida Man Hits Denny's Employee with His Car After Refusing to Pay His Bill." The story is actually even more chaotic than that made-up headline would imply, however: After the employee stood in front of the fleeing patron's car to stop them from leaving, the diner collided with the Denny's staff member, throwing them up onto the hood of the vehicle. The employee escaped serious injury, suffering only scrapes to his knees and elbows. The driver, who had tried to run out on a $47 diner tab, ended up needing to come up with $10,000 to make bail after attempting to cheat the restaurant and using their car as a weapon. Most "Grand Theft Auto" players can attest to having found themselves in similar situations when free-roaming in the games, so adding this story to the series isn't too much of a stretch.


Releasing an alligator into a convenience store

One shot in the trailer shows looks like CCTV footage of an alligator crawling slowly and menacingly into a convenience store. While it's unknown if this story or the gator itself will play a role in "Grand Theft Auto 6," or if it's just an out of context scene meant only for the trailer, Florida Man aficionados will no doubt find the shot to be quite tnteresting. The scene may well be based on a real-life Florida Man event — or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say "Florida Boy," in this case.


In June 2018, a teenager was arrested by Florida police after letting an alligator loose inside a Wawa convenience store in the town of Lakewood Ranch. The teen was charged with the crime of illegally possessing or harvesting an American alligator, which is a second degree misdemeanor. If that isn't the most Florida-specific criminal charge possible, then nothing is.

An alligator in a pool

With Vice City and Leonida being based on Miami and Florida respectively, there's room for more than one alligator-related story here. This time, instead of roaming around in a convenience store, the gator at least remained in the water. One point in the trailer shows some sort of animal-handling professional attempting to remove an alligator from a residential pool. This could be based on any number of real-life incidents — with Florida being Florida, this actually happens all the time.


One case from 2023, shared to YouTube by USA Today, shows what looks like a very similar scene. Before help arrives, the gator appears to be taking a leisurely swim around some poor family's pool, not a care in the world. To extricate the animal from the pool, a policeman and some gator-wrangling experts then use what appears to be a similar tool to the Animal Control employee in the trailer. In another incident from 2022, one Florida resident hilariously described a gator an incident in which an alligator suddenly burst through their fence "kinda like the Kool-Aid Man" to get to their pool — which just sounds like something right out of "Grand Theft Auto."