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GTA Fan Theories That Just Might Be Right

The Grand Theft Auto series is plenty bonkers. Sometimes the series just tries to see how far it can push things, which is one of the things that people tend to love about it. The willingness to go above and beyond for the sake of an insane gag or exciting set piece means that fans expect a generous dose of wackiness from the franchise. Likewise, the amount of world-building done in each installment lends itself to all kinds of rumors and urban legends surrounding the parts we can't quite understand.


Some of the myths surrounding GTA have turned out to be true, like the existence of Bigfoot and ghostly cars roaming the wilderness outside of San Andreas. However, without a direct confirmation from Rockstar Games, there are just as many Grand Theft Auto theories that seem destined to remain in the realm of fan speculation. Some things in Grand Theft Auto will continue to make no sense, but here are a few fan theories that sound plausible.

Insurance companies are tracking you

Gamers are used to getting a second chance at life when they wipe out in a game. Even the worst video game deaths usually come with a do-over. However, there's a tantalizing conspiracy theory surrounding the quick and inexpensive response from Los Santos emergency services. 


Reddit user gallagher222 theorizes that insurance companies in the GTA universe actually implant ordinary citizens with high tech trackers that allow them to monitor their health. These trackers also act as a kind of GPS, so the insurance companies know where everyone is at all times. This explains why you get a Wanted Level the very second you injure someone, regardless of whether or not the police can see you. The insurance companies then tip off the police, who quickly arrive on the scene thanks to the tracking beacons.

This theory also offers a darkly humorous explanation for the relative cheapness of hospital bills in GTA. In exchange for giving up their privacy and allowing the insurance companies to put tracking chips in their bodies, the people of the GTA universe get lower rates and co-pays on their insurance plans.


Trevor was the real target

The story of Grand Theft Auto 5 is kicked off when a heist goes terribly wrong. Unbeknownst to his crew, Michael has made a deal with the feds: to turn his crew in exchange for his own protection. In the ensuing shootout, Michael's cohort Brad is killed by a sniper and his friend Trevor escapes without a trace. The feds then fake Michael's death and take him into Witness Protection, though the death of Brad will haunt him for the rest of his life.


However, some fans believe that Brad was never meant to die, but that Trevor was actually the sniper's target. This is reinforced by a moment during the prologue when Brad steps directly in front of Trevor just as the fatal shot is fired. In the later chapters of GTA 5's storyline, federal agent Dave Norton continues to refer to Trevor as a loose end, which further strengthens the suspicions that the bullet was always meant for Trevor. 

GTA 5 is a tale of three generations

This is one of the more metafictional fan theories out there surrounding GTA, but it's a really good one. In GTA 5, we have three protagonists: Michael, Trevor, and Franklin. One fan theory posits that the three characters are meant to represent three generations of GTA fans. 


As explained by Redditor CitizenWolfie, Trevor is a frenzied character, which captures the wild mayhem of the first two GTA games. On the other hand, we have Franklin, who represents the kind of "hard knock life" stories we've grown to expect from entries like GTA 3 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Franklin's missions also have a heavier emphasis on driving, much like missions in these installments. Then there's Michael, who CitizenWolfie describes as "almost a postmodern GTA character," representing the more mature and layered characterization of later entry characters such as GTA 4 protagonist Niko Bellic.

CitizenWolfie says out that Rockstar Games has confirmed that the three characters represent three different styles of gameplay. Still, that doesn't necessarily negate this theory. As CitizenWolfie points out, "the three play styles correlate nicely to the three generations of the series."


The legend of John Marston

Aside from a Grand Theft Auto Online mission that ties into the Old West setting of Red Dead Redemption, there isn't a ton of connective tissue between the two Rockstar franchises. However, the presence of a certain book in Grand Theft Auto 5 has led to fans speculating that the events of the RDR games actually did occur in the world of GTA. 


In GTA 5, you can spot a book in Franklin's living room titled Red Dead, which is written by a "J. Marston." This could refer to one of two characters from Red Dead Redemption: John Marston or his son Jack. In the Red Dead Redemption games, Jack Marston is shown to be an avid reader, even sending characters on side-quests to find new books for him. The prevailing theory is that Jack Marston wrote the book to tell the story of his father, meaning that some version of Red Dead's story is canonical in the Grand Theft Auto timeline.

Mt. Chiliad is one big joke

Mount Chiliad has become one of the most hotly-debated pieces of Grand Theft Auto lore. Fans have been working for years to figure out its mysteries, looking for meaning in a series of cave paintings on the mountain. Some people believe the paintings were left by aliens, while others believe the paintings are secret instructions on where to find a special jetpack. None of these myths have been proven to be true, leaving it one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in video games.


On the other hand, there are plenty of GTA fans who believe that there is no secret to be uncovered at Mount Chiliad. Reddit user Black_Hipster believes that Mount Chiliad is essentially one big troll on the part of Rockstar Games, meant to bait conspiracy-minded gamers into looking for things that aren't there. If this is true, then Rockstar succeeded with flying colors. 

As Black_Hipster posits, "Mount Chiliad has no solution. It's just fun to see you struggle."

Leave Franklin alone

One of the more uncomfortable fan theories out there involves GTA 5's Franklin and the game's overwhelming police presence. According to some gamers, Franklin seems more likely to be targeted by Los Santos police than the other two characters, Michael and Trevor.


The prevailing theory is that this is meant to be Rockstar's statement on racial politics in the criminal justice system. While Trevor can open fire on a crowd and escape on his four-wheeler, Franklin will seemingly have the cops called on him for just walking by someone too closely. This has led many GTA fans to think that Rockstar actually programmed the police in GTA 5 to racially profile Franklin. 

One fan claims that he's been attacked by the police on multiple occasions while simply walking down the street as Franklin, with the cops even claiming he's holding a weapon while he was unarmed. Another person says they were pursued by the police simply because they honked their car horn. There are a surprising number of stories from fans that seem to back this theory up. Maybe Rockstar really was trying to make a statement at poor Franklin's expense.


GTA 5's true ending

Grand Theft Auto 5 has three different endings: one in which Franklin kills Michael, another in which Franklin kills Trevor, and a third ending in which the three protagonists team up against their common foes and walk away free men. The idea is that players get to choose their ending, but some fans think that the writers behind Grand Theft Auto Online later made the decision for them.


ScreenRant points out that last year's "Diamond Casino & Resort" DLC for Grand Theft Online features a crime boss who mentions a firefight at the Pacific Bluffs club. This is actually a reference to an action set piece in GTA 5's "Ending C," in which the three protagonists battle it out with the Los Santos Triad. This would seem to imply that the world of GTA going forward has been built around all three characters making it out alive.

It sounds plausible enough, considering nothing outright contradicts Ending C. As ScreenRant concluded, "The GTA Online timeline is a bit messy, so it's tough to say if any GTA 5 story ending is actually canon, but most evidence revealed so far shows C as the true ending."


Your GTA Online character is doomed

Grand Theft Auto Online is an incredibly immersive experience. You create your own character and begin as a new arrival in Los Santos. As you build your massive criminal empire, you come across the other characters in the GTA 5 storyline, working with Lester and company to carry out some wild heists. It's pretty awesome until you realize that the story missions of GTA Online originally took place canonically before the events of GTA 5


So, where is your character? There are some fans who believe this has to mean that your character is either dead or doing hard time whenever GTA 5 takes place. This is compounded during the planning stages for the first GTA 5 heist that Michael and Franklin carry out, during which Lester says he doesn't have any contacts in the area. Either he's covering for your GTA Online character or you're toast.

Of course, later DLCs have taken place following the events of GTA 5, so that pokes some holes in this theory. However, for the longest time, the official timeline seemed to spell certain doom for your beloved GTAO character.

The NPCs are revolting

Grand Theft Auto fans are pretty used to dealing with aggressive drivers at this point, particularly in GTA Online. However, there are some fans who believe that Rockstar has been deliberately making GTA's NPCs angrier and more dangerous over time. This is particularly true for NPC drivers, who occasionally seem hellbent on smashing into anything with a pulse.


Kotaku pointed out that NPC behavior seemed to ramp up every time there was an update for GTA 5. Shortly after the "Import/Export" update went live for GTA Online, players began complaining of NPC drivers seemingly swerving out of their way in a mad effort to crash into the player. It was almost like the game was daring people to keep playing. 

The timing of the update and the increased fender benders in GTA Online would seem to lend plausibility to this theory. The only real question here is why Rockstar would do such a thing. Is this because people keep cheating?