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Villain Overview

You forget a thousand things every day, pal. Make sure this is one of them.
~ Michael's most famous quote.
A few weeks ago, I was happily retired, sulking by my swimming pool. And my psychotic best friend shows up out of nowhere, to torture me over mistakes I made, honest mistakes I made over a decade ago! We, our little posse, are flat f-cking broke, but hey, let's go out and spend two million dollars on a tandem-rotor f-cking chopper, so I can go steal nerve gas from f-cking terrorists! Forgive me, you ignorant f-ck, but sarcasm is all I f-cking got! Sarcasm! And a room full of you c-nts!
~ Michael de Santa to Trevor Philips, Dave Norton and Steve Haines (Paleto Score Setup)

Michael Townley (born either 1968 or 1965), later Michael de Santa, is one of the three playable protagonists in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. He is an infamous and retired bank robber living in Los Santos under the federal witness protection program.

Michael's story centers around how his seemingly idyllic and halcyon lifestyle is brought to a halt as his past demons and morally compromising mistakes come back to haunt him. All the while, his midlife crisis pushes him to his ultimate snapping point. He is also the archenemy of Devin Weston and Steve Haines.

He was voiced and motion captured by Ned Luke.


Michael is a tall, quite muscular yet slightly overweight Caucasian male in his late forties with grayish-black hair and green eyes. His casual outfit is a gray suit with a white shirt, gray trousers, black leather belt and black leather shoes. He is six feet and two inches tall, and is also two-hundred and ten pounds according to his ID card in subtle option for the big one.


Michael is a very complex person, even confused by his "good and evil" personality. He has a darker and violent side to him. He has an exceptionally short temper, which fills him with rage and causes him to not think at times. One example would be where he caught Amanda having an affair with her tennis coach. He chases the coach to a mansion and pulls it off a hillside thinking it was the coach's (however, nearly everyone around Michael (except Franklin), including the tennis coach himself, knew that the mansion was too expensive for him to afford on his salary). Another example would be Michael smashing Jimmy's flat-screen television after the latter rudely told him to leave his room.

Michael is a highly egotistical man; he will often complain about his own well being and safety, rather than his team mates, before doing a dangerous and life-threatening mission as well as doing the same when someone does not support him, his decisions and/or criticizes him. One example would be the arguments that he has with Amanda, as she'll often criticize him for his rude and conceited behavior, to which Michael will arrogantly bring up the fact that he was the one who made their lives a lot more wealthy with the decisions he made. Another example would be how he criticizes Trevor for calling Franklin to help him out with murdering the O'Neil brothers, Trevor himself stated that Michael only thought about himself instead of the trouble.

He is also shown to be very sarcastic when he constantly made snarky remarks about Trevor's meth lab. After the two men pick a quarrel with each other, Michael angrily contends that sarcasm is the one thing he can use, as he doesn't have many things left in this world. Furthermore, Michael easily makes bad judgment calls, such as him expecting almost everyone he works for to pay him or his friends, like Devin Weston or Martin Madrazo, only to be betrayed or screwed over in the end. He also has a large willingness to make large moral compromises, one example for each of his deals with the FIB. The latter demonstrates much hypocrisy, as he'll often criticize Trevor for his ability to kill and thieve at his own pleasure without remorse, even though he does exactly the same thing.

Another trait that plagues the latter's personality is his ability to be dishonest or vaguely admit the truth with much ease; whenever Trevor brings up a subject involving Brad, Michael will often change the topic and once Trevor immediately realizes that Brad is dead, Michael continued to make lies about his grave being empty instead of it actually containing the former's corpse. He is also massively dishonest with himself on occasion, the biggest lie would be that he constantly tells himself that giving up everything and everyone he knew in his previous life so that he can join the witness protection program was worth it.

Despite all of the negatives, Michael does possess a good side to his personality. Such as him being a very considerate individual, as he paid Franklin for doing what he was forced to do and drive through the front of his boss' business, even though the latter broke into Michael's mansion. Despite all the problems he has in his family, he dearly loves them but is frequently angered with Tracey's social life, Jimmy being jobless, lazy and a video-game addict and Amanda spending most of his money and cheating on him. However, after reuniting with his family, Michael's family issues slowly started to dissolve.

Being the opposite of Trevor, Michael is thorough and rational when it comes to crime. This makes the others leave him to the planning and leading of robberies and missions, as he is usually the one to come up with a plan to a heist, alongside Lester. He also shows consideration for people caught up in robberies, an example is that, if you choose to impose as guards for the Union Depository heist, he'll give the guard he blackmailed a bar of gold for helping them get past security.

Michael will also always put his family's safety above anything else, going as far as to make a moral compromise with the FIB to ensure his family was not in danger. When Trevor first came back to find Michael in his house, Michael immediately put himself in front of Jimmy, not knowing what Trevor was going to do. When Devin Weston sent Merry Weather to Michael's house to kill his family, Michael instantly abandoned his movie premiere to engage the hostile forces, rescue his family and subsequently move them to a new location. Michael's care about his family is finally reciprocated by Amanda towards the end of the game, at which time she makes him promise not to get killed.

Towards the end of the game, Michael has started to accept his borderline-sociopath personality, with him stating in the final cut-scene of the Deathwish ending that he still hates himself, but at least he knows the words for it. Michael has also started to work on his anger issues when his family came back. This can be shown when hanging out with friends, Michael will have appeared to have become more calm and passive when insulted by Trevor.

One example is where Trevor calls Michael "fake and plastic," like Los Santos, to which Michael agrees to, albeit while commenting sarcastically about Trevor's "normal" behavior. Michael will also begin to show a large amount of regret due to the decisions he's made. This is evident when he hangs out with Franklin; he expressed great distaste for his decision to join the witness protection program, seeing as the decision itself was hollow and only created more problems as well as causing much more hatred for not only for himself but the people around him as well.

Powers and Abilities

  • Gifted Intelligence: Despite Michael lacking any higher education, Michael still possessed a keen eye for strategic planning as well as gained expert knowledge in high profile criminal activities such as pulling off extremely dangerous heists or engaging in other criminal activities. Michael also developed knowledge on the use of vehicles and even took up flight school in order to properly prepare for the Merryweather Heist.
  • Expert Marksmanship: Michael is an expert in the usage of weapons, especially fire arms. Out of all three of the protagonists, he is the most capable marksman.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: Michael's special ability is the power to focus his impressive marksmanship skills in order to achieve a bullet time like effect for a short period of time. In this state, he can rapidly kill multiple armed assailants before they can even properly react to his attacks.
  • Physical Conditioning: During his youth as a full time bank robber, Michael possessed incredible strength, mobility, and endurance due to his hardened career as a criminal. Despite his retirement and weight gain, when Michael returned to a life of crime, he eventually managed to recover a lion's share of his former physical vigor. Michael also recovered his former expertise in hand to hand combat as well as feats of athleticism such as running, parkour, cycling swimming.
  • Piloting skills: Altough Trevor usually acts as the crew main pilot, there have also been numerous instances in which Michael acts as the pilot, mainly shown in the Merryweather heist. He is good enough a pilot that even Trevor praises his piloting skills.


Michael was born in 1965, possibly in the Midwest, which would explain why he spent some of his earlier criminal career in North Yankton. As a child, he didn't have the advantages his children have and grew up in a poor environment with his parents, where his father drank and hit him. During his time in high school, Michael was an all-state football quarterback.

As time moved on, Michael eventually became a criminal, with his first bank job being in the outskirts of Carcer City, in 1988, where he was able to steal $10,000. In the same year however, he had been arrested twice at the age of 20. While in prison, Michael was able to master many skills, sometimes through bizarre events, such as learning how to do tattoos by tattooing his name on his cellmate's buttocks.

As the years went on, Michael met Trevor Philips while robbing someone under a bridge and was able to induce the latter into robbery as well. Both men were hugely successful at their profession. But while the friendship between them was in fine condition, it was later strained as Michael met his future wife Amanda, who was a stripper at the time. Michael was even able to buy Amanda some breast implants, which would help with her stripping as well as her days as a hooker. This led to Michael becoming a pimp and creating his own prostitution racket.

While the couples love for one another grew over time, Michael and Amanda married each other while living in a trailer park in the Midwest. As time moved forward, Amanda soon gave birth to their two children, Tracey and Jimmy. Michael, who was able to see that he has a lot more to lose if he was ever killed or imprisoned, grew more cautious over time as a criminal, much to Trevor's annoyance.

At some point in 2004, Michael met FIB agent Dave Norton. Michael struck a deal with Norton to give Trevor and Brad up to the FIB and fake his death in the process, in exchange for a cut of his accumulated millions and letting Norton "kill" him in the upcoming bank heist in Ludendorff, North Yankton, making Norton's career as the agent who took down the "Most Wanted Man in America".

However, the robbery turned out to be a disaster: after Trevor murdered a guard, he, Michael and their accomplice Brad Snider were ambushed by over a dozen police officers ready to arrest or kill them. During the getaway, their driver was killed by pursuing police; Michael took the wheel and drove the crew to the ambush spot he and Norton had agreed on, where he claimed there was an escape chopper waiting. However, things yet again deviated from their plan when Brad was accidentally shot by Norton (later succumbing to his wounds) after he walked in front of Trevor.

Michael took the second bullet as planned, (although the lack of blood loss implies that he was wearing a bulletproof vest), and acted as if he believed the wound fatal, imploring Trevor to leave him behind. Enraged beyond sense. Trevor proceeded to massacre numerous police officers before barely escaping the ambush (to Michael's chagrin) with his life.

After the incident, Michael Townley was pronounced dead, and true to his word, Dave arranged for Michael to receive a comfortable stipend and a relocation to a large to Los Santos mansion, where he and his family lived under the surname "De Santa" (a longtime alias of Michael's); thus, Michael received an off-the-books way to safely retire from his former criminal life and spend time with his wife and kids in exchange for a monthly five-figure "hush money" payment to Norton in exchange for his silence.


He has betrayed everyone he's ever known. He's got you involved with the Federal government, and he's messed up several business ventures of mine. He has got to go. And you know what? I'd like to say that this isn't personal, but it is personal. (Franklin: But the Feds man, the Feds have told me to kill Trevor, and I obviously can't kill 'em both.) The Feds. Steve Haines. Dave Norton. I own shopping malls I would not employ those two clowns in, and I make one phone call, their careers? They are over. So are you gonna, A. Listen to some fifty grand a year pension hunter, or B. A billionaire? Who even the president lets finger his wife. Or C? Try and be really stupid and save those two idiot mentors of yours and have everybody in the Goddamn state crawling up your ass. A, B or C? Time's ticking pal, beep beep beep and your answer is?
~ Devin Weston attempting to make Franklin kill Michael.

Shortly after successfully raiding the Union Depository, Devin Weston arrives at Franklin's house, once again attempting to have Michael killed. He then lays out Franklin's options: Kill Trevor, kill Michael, or try to save both of them.

After that, the player can choose the ending. Michael can become either a protagonist or the final antagonist.

Something Sensible (Ending A/Kill Trevor, Non Canon)

~ Michael, following the explosive death of Trevor Philips.

Franklin gives Michael a call, explaining his intentions to kill Trevor. Reluctant to help, Michael claims that he "will see what [he] can do". Once Franklin starts chasing Trevor through the oil fields, he calls Michael again, who is not far away. He shows up moments later and rams Trevor's truck into an oil tanker. If Franklin does not shoot Trevor, Michael does it instead before furiously walking away, deeply impacted by his friend's death while also being glad that he went through with cutting Trevor out of his life.

The Time's Come (Ending B/Kill Michael, Non Canon)

The f-ck is this? Y...You? You came here to f-ckin' clip me?! YOU?! F-CK!
~ Michael, realizing the Franklin has set him up to kill him.

Michael is the main antagonist of this route.

Franklin chooses to kill Michael. In this ending, Franklin agrees to eliminate Michael. Franklin confronts Michael wishing to discuss the situation. Michael meets Franklin and is seen taking a phone call from his wife. She tells him that Tracey will be attending college to which Michael replies positively.

Franklin feels pained upon hearing the positive turn his mentor's life is now taking, but overcomes it and talks suspiciously, causing Michael to figure out that Franklin is there to kill him. Michael then drives away, with Franklin chasing him to the top of a tower. Michael points a gun at Franklin. Franklin fights Michael and defeats him.

Michael then laments how Franklin is trying to kill him, the only person who had been decent towards him. Franklin then pushes Michael off the edge and grabs him, where he starts to regret his decision, but Michael refuses to forgive him and wishes he killed Franklin when he broke into his house to steal Jimmy's car. The game gives the player a decision to save Michael or let him go; but either way, Michael plummets to his death. Franklin walks away and calls Lamar on the phone to make amends.

After the credits, the player can only choose to play as Franklin and Trevor and Michael's cut of the Union Depository bank job is given to his family. Later, Trevor finds out about Michael's death, and tells Franklin that he is dead to him, severing ties between the two. Amanda also knows about this and messages Franklin, saying that she hopes he rots in hell. After this, Franklin can only hang out with Lamar Davis, only at night, because Harold "Stretch" Joseph is still out there.

The Third Way (Ending C/Deathwish, Canon)

I'll tell you one thing, T, I'm gettin' too old for this nonsense.
~ Michael's announcement of his retirement to Trevor, also the final line in the main game's storyline.

In this version of the game's final mission, Franklin decides not to betray Michael or Trevor. In this ending, he goes to Lester reporting the situation. Lester comes up with an idea to ambush Steve Haines' FIB goons and Devin Weston's private army Merryweather at the same time by luring both parties to a foundry on the premise of the gold they had stolen from the Union Depository is being melted there.

Meanwhile, Franklin picks up his friend Lamar while Lester alerts Trevor and Michael. But when Franklin arrives, Trevor and Michael argue about the weapons being used to repel the assault, with Trevor fearing the sniper rifle Michael had chosen might be better suited to betraying the group than helping it. Michael and Trevor reach the point of threatening each other at gunpoint, Franklin is able to calm both of them down and all four of them successfully repel the FIB/Merryweather assault (Michael also claims that FIB and Merryweather are killing each other as well).

After the assault, Lamar heads home while Michael, Franklin and Trevor decide to tie up loose ends. As they wanted Franklin to kill Michael and/or Trevor, Haines and Weston are automatically put on their hit list (Weston also sent goons from his army to Michael's house and threatened Amanda and Tracey) while Trevor wants Dave Norton on the list possibly for killing Brad but Michael states that they need Norton alive so nobody screws with them after the assassinations.

Franklin adds Wei Cheng to the list for kidnapping Michael (Cheng, believing that Michael and Trevor were gay lovers, wanted both of them dead to take over the drug trade in Trevor's territory and had a grudge against Trevor following the murder of Wei's business contact Elwood O'Neil and his brothers).

Finally, Trevor adds Harold "Stretch" Joseph to the list for luring Lamar and Franklin into Balla traps. After getting whereabouts from Lester, Michael volunteers to eliminate Stretch, Trevor exacts revenge on Haines, and Franklin tracks down Cheng and his son Tao.

After these hits, Trevor kidnaps Weston and all three of them taunt the evil tycoon before they push the car he is locked inside of off of a cliff. The car then explodes.

Following Weston's death, Trevor asks what the trio do now, with Michael responding that they are going to lay low for a while then get on with their lives, with Trevor suggesting as friends, and Michael accepting, as "flawed, awful, totally uncomfortable, and poorly matched friends." Trevor then states that they could then go back to the "capitalism they practice," planning even more heists with better funding, but Franklin wonders how their actions will be any better than Weston's. Michael jokes that hypocrisy is society's finest virtue. Trevor then tells Michael that his therapist has a lot to answer to for, which Michael calmly agrees to, saying that even though he hates himself, now he knows how to say it, responded by Trevor asking if he has to go to a therapy session because he hates Michael. Sensing another argument, Franklin backs away from the two and towards his bike, telling him that they "terrify him of middle age." Michael walks back towards his car, but not before announcing his official retirement to Trevor, claiming he is "too old for this nonsense". Franklin and Michael drive off as Trevor looks on, before awkwardly walking off-screen as the credits roll.

GTA Online

Michael doesn't appear in GTA Online, unlike Trevor. It's mentioned and proved in the mission "Strong Arm Tactics" that Option C is the canonical ending and he is alive. It was also proven that Tao Cheng mentors his uncle instead of his father, most likely his father died in the events of Deathwish. His son is also seen in GTA Online approximately 6 years after the events of GTA V attempting to get employed at an Arcade. It is likely that following the events of Grand Theft Auto V, Micheal has continued working his dream job as a movie producer with Solomon Richards at Richards Majestic.

Villainous Deeds

As a retired bank robber, Michael committed numerous crimes which makes him a dangerous criminal despite his seemingly nice appearance.

And, obviously, like any protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the player has the choice and ability to kill thousands of innocent people, making Michael a brutal killer.

During Free Roam

All of these crimes are non-canon and only up to the player choice:

  • Punching and abusing people.
  • Gunning down people.
  • Car-jacking people, stealing parked cars.
  • Driving recklessly, running people over.
  • Vandalize cars or buildings.
  • Exploding gas cylinders.
  • Robbing shops.
  • Stealing or crashing Blimps and planes.
  • Trespassing prohibited areas.

During the Storyline

  • Michael abused and possibly bullied prisoners while he was incarcerated.
  • Destroys the television of his son James De Santa just for rudely telling him to leave his room.
  • Michael betrayed his best friend Trevor and Brad by selling them out to the FBI and tricked the former into believing he was deceased and then kept on attempting to manipulate Trevor approximately 9 years later when Trevor discovered that Michael was alive.
    • This particular villainous an act which deeply affected Trevor once he became aware of the extent of Michael's treachery and manipulation as well as what actually had happened back in North Yankton.
  • Michael, alongside Franklin, Trevor, and other mercenaries, robbed numerous jewelry stores, banks, and even a train.
  • Michael has even massacred numerous law enforcement officials, Merryweather mercenaries, a multitude of gangsters, "porno dudes" and even numerous strangers and freaks he encountered.
  • He threatened and tortured Laslow twice, although Laslow totally deserved this for his completely perverted and unworthy attitude towards his daughter, Tracey.



Like stated above, Michael loves and deeply cares for his family. He will always put them before any and everything he has. But in contrast to the way he cares about his family, he also hates the way they live their lives and behave around him and vice versa. Michael had admitted to Franklin that his relationship with his lodve ones was in a very good position up until they were relocated to Los Santos, where everything began to spiral out of control. This is the result of all of them calling each out for their poor habits while not addressing their own.

Early within the story-line, Michael will be seen constantly fussing, bickering and arguing with his family up until the mission "Did Somebody Say Yoga?," where they will abandon him in search foa more peaceful living.

After Michael reunites with his family in the mission Reuniting the Family, Michael will be seen bonding with them much more often than before, as they all promise to fix up their relationship with each other before things become disastrous. While hanging out with Amanda, Michael admits that he thought he lost his family for good once they left him and that made him eager to change his ways.


Amanda's relationship with Michael also started in an unknown time where she was a stripper. The two eventually fell in love with one another, got married, and had two children. Amanda had so much devotion to Michael that she even left everything she had in North Yankton to moved to Los Santos, along with their children, to begin their lives in the witness protection program.

During the events of the game, Amanda can barely tolerate him any more due to his arrogant and hypocritical personality and verbally abusive behavior towards her. Amanda begins to have affairs with multiple men, including her tennis coach which further strains their marriage.

Amanda finally hits the breaking point when Fabien LaRouche, her yoga instructor, does a sexual pose which angers Michael and attempts to punch him, ending with Fabien sidestepping and makes Michael land in the swimming pool.

Amanda then berates Michael for his attempted action, calling him "a pathetic psychopath" and leaves him with Tracey while Jimmy moves out on his own (according to him). Michael later suffers from depression after his wife and kids leave him. However, it turns out that Amanda as well as their kids were even more miserable living with Fabien than with Michael.

After Jimmy revealed the couple's hangout spot, Amanda was then seen hanging out with Fabien at a local Bean Machine coffee shop and she becomes annoyed with his impolite behavior and allows Michael to hit him in the face with a laptop. Michael then agrees to arrange a therapy session with Dr. Isiah Friedlander, bringing along Jimmy and Tracey. During the session, Michael and Amanda argued with each other, in hopes of clearing up the situations that would ultimately keep their marriage in ruins. Amanda and the kids move back in with Michael as the two love birds experiences during the events of the story brought them closer together and they appear to be more prepared to deal with their personal problems instead of fighting with each other.

After a few in game days or so have past, the couple's love for each other begins to grow back to its original form. Certain random switch-ups with Michael involving Amanda will also be altered: For example, whereas in the past, when dropping Amanda off at a mall or something of the sort, they would spout rude words at each other, they now kindly give each other goodbyes. Another example would be Michael getting out of bed after a sexual night with Amanda, to which she'll even wrap her arm around him as he leaves the room.


Michael's relationship with his daughter is also said to be frail. Despite this, Michael does love his daughter but is often angry at Tracey's loose behavior and social life such as her hanging out with drug dealers and porn stars, and embarrasses her by interrupting her audition for "Fame or Shame" by chasing Lazlow out of the building for performing a sexual pose on her. Once Tracey leaves her father, she gives him a phone call, claiming that he needs help. Like Jimmy however, she continues to grow tiresome of Fabien over the course of the story-line. She'll even email Michael at one point to explain that she misses him. After Michael's family returns home, he and Tracey seemsto develop a better relationship with her father, which started improving once Michael humiliates Lazlow in the tattoo parlor and demands that Lazlow puts Tracey on "Fame or Shame" by doing whatever she wants in the show.


Jimmy's relationship with his father is rocky as well and even though Michael is far from perfect, he loves his son but does not know how to display it; instead, he often goes in mad rage whenever he is annoyed by his jerk attitude.

His son is not very moral either as he often takes drugs and attempted to sell his father's boat without him knowing, ending with the boat being stolen. They've both have a confused and strained relationship with each other. Michael does try to improve their relationship by spending time with his son, but to no avail as his son lacks any form of respect for his father and even at one point drugs him, takes money from his bank account, and steals his car. However, Jimmy soon regrets his actions and visits his father, saying he does love him and promises to get a job and not be a lazy, pot-smoking, video-game addict, which can be seen in-game.

The relationship with his father seems to improve after the mission "Reuniting the Family," clearly shown in the cut-scenes when switching characters to Michael. Examples of this are both of them arriving home from a bicycle ride or both playing video-games at Jimmy's room, with Michael always losing.


Michael has had a rather difficult time with making friends. The friends that he surrounded himself with in his previous life were, in his words, not the type to associate with since they either ended up dead or in prison. Even after becoming semi-retire he still doesn't have many friends. This is mostly cause they his antisocial personality that keeps him wrapped-up inside his head.

Trevor Phillips

Trevor's relationship with Michael started in 1993, twenty years prior to the events of the game, where he and Trevor were escorting cargo across the border. After the the job goes terrible, Michael convinced Trevor to join him to commit further robberies, seeing as they work well as a team. Thus, they started a long partnership. Michael and Trevor's friendship with one another was fine until Michael met his future ,wife Amanda, causing their friendship to strain since Trevor and Amanda did not get along as much. Furthermore, Michael started to distance himself from Trevor because of the latter's depraved nature/

After a heist goes wrong, Michael and Trevor both assumed that one another was dead. It was shown that Michael deeply cared for Trevor yet only wanted him dead because he thought that the latter would end up killing him or his family. After Michael's relapse into crime, Trevor discovers he is alive and comes to the conclusion that he faked his death.

Trevor and Michael's friendship becomes strained as Trevor feels betrayed by Michael but both still get on well enough. Their friendship is even further strained when Trevor finds the truth about Michael's survival and Brad's death, leading to a standoff between the two. From this point on, Trevor vowed to kill Michael, but still needed the man alive so they could team up again to pull off one big job. Meanwhile, Michael, while admitting that Trevor was right about Brad, also despised Trevor for his unhinged nature.

In the "Deathwish" ending, Michael and Trevor have one last standoff before Franklin explains that both men have two options: kill each other right now, or work together to kill Devin Weston, Steve Haines and the rest of their enemies. Trevor ends up picking the first choice, with the outcome being successful. As the incident comes to an end, it seems that Michael and Trevor have finally managed to rekindle their friendship, with Trevor considering Michael as a friend, albeit a friend that he hates, which Michael manages to accept.

After this, while hanging out with each other, either Michael will offer Trevor a part of his share from the big score (which Trevor rejects), and apologizes once again, this time Trevor accepting the apology, or Trevor will apologize to Michael and says that he understands why he did what he did.

However, if Franklin instead chooses to kill Trevor, Michael will not show compassion towards his old friend, even burning him down if Franklin refuses to give the fatal blow. Therefore, at least in this ending, Michael outright hates Trevor because of how crazy he is.

Franklin Clinton

Franklin meets Michael after the stealing a car from the latter's house, Michael then has Franklin take him to whomever tasked Franklin to steal his son's car. Right from the start, Franklin was impressed with Michael's professional criminality and after his firing from Premium Deluxe Motorsport, he sought out Michael for possible work. After Franklin manages to save Michael's son, he sees much potential in the young man. After Franklin's help with the jewelry store heist, Michael refers to Franklin as the "son I always wanted".

Franklin in turn seems to have respect for Michael and is grateful for improving his life and is loyal to him for it. He even helps Michael out with his government issue. After meeting Trevor, Franklin starts to see many arguments between the both. But rather than siding with one of them, Franklin tries to calm toth of them down in hopes that it won't escalate into something more violent and unnecessary.

Franklin also notices Michael's personality and will confront him about it at times. Despite these confrontations, Michael aids Franklin in rescuing his buddy Lamar Davis from a Ballas ambush set up by OG-turned-Balla Harold "Stretch" Joseph. Furthermore, Michael's refusal to let Franklin help on more dangerous missions is possibly due to Franklin's lack of experience committing high-profile crimes.

If the player chooses the kill Michael ending, Franklin can be shown to deeply regret his decision, not being able to face his family or Trevor. If the player chooses to kill Trevor they still remain friends however their friendship is shown to be greatly strained Amanda will also wish Franklin to rot in hell. She is equally, if not even more hostile towards him if Franklin goes through with killing Michael.

If the player chooses the "Deathwish" ending, if Michael and Franklin are hanging out, they'll talk about how they can't believe they pulled it off, and that Franklin is extremely grateful to Michael for the experience. Also, in an e-mail, Michael will tell Franklin that he is a friend for life. Franklin can also call Lamar to let him know that Stretch is dead but leaves Michael anonymous.

Lester Crest

Lester first meets Michael at an unknown period of time and seems to be a mastermind in Michael's robberies many years prior. It was stated by Michael that he was not much of a friend towards Lester - as they bicker frequently during the storyline - and after they've encountered one another during the events of the game, Michael decides to make up for that.

Dave Norton

Years prior to the events of the game. Michael arranged a deal for him to hand over Trevor to the FIB and fake his death so that Dave would gain fame and respect for supposedly "killing" Michael during the North Yankton heist. After the event took place, Dave managed to keep his promise by having Michael and his family move to a luxury mansion in Rockford Hills, Los Santos while in the witness protection program. Michael would also pay Dave hush money once a month, to keep their business deal a secret.

Their relationship was fine, up until Michael performed a heist at the Vangelico jewelry store. Michael would then perform several jobs for Dave and his boss, Steve Haines. Dave will admit that even though he was a bank robber, he always did "like" Michael.

In the Deathwish ending, Dave will call Michael and tell him that he replaced Haines in his TV show, and then thanks Michael for doing jobs for him, before saying farewell, with the two parting on good terms.

Solomon Richards

Solomon and Michael are introduced through Devin Weston. Michael is a big fan of the film producer, even doubting at first that Westoncould arrange for their meeting. The two get along well. Solomon often recites a quote from one of his movies and Michael easily names which one. He accepts Michael's assistance in the production of the film Meltdown and goes on to name him associate producer.


Steve Haines

Michael meets Steve Haines during a job to extract Ferdinand Kerimov aka Mr. K from the IAA headquarters. He forces him, Trevor Phillips, and Franklin Clinton into his operations and to torture Mr. K into retrieving information onto assassinating an unspecified target. He also gets the protagonists into performing several heists for him. However, his suspicions for Michael worsens, causing him to become extremely paranoid.

He, along with Agent Sanchez, confronts Michael and Agent Norton as he attempts to have them framed and arrested. After an ambush consisting IAA, Merryweather and rival FIB forces, Haines attempts to have Michael killed, along with Trevor and Franklin. Fortunately, he decides to spare him and Franklin. However, he wants Trevor dead.

If Deathwish is chosen, Michael, Trevor, Franklin and his buddy Lamar Davis kill many of Haines' FIB goons as well as Weston's Merryweather soldiers at a gold smelting plant. Once the FIB and Merryweather goons are all killed, Franklin asks Lester via speakerphone to track down various enemies of the three protagonists. Trevor volunteers to track down and kill Haines while Michael tracks down and kills Harold "Stretch" Joseph, an enemy of Franklin and Lamar (Michael had previously helped Franklin rescue Lamar from a Ballas ambush which Stretch had set up).

Devin Weston

Michael meets Devin Weston during a meeting with Steve Haines. He first offers the former a deal of producing a film after a heist. However, Weston soon refuses to pay Michael, along with Trevor and Franklin for their jobs and after Michael accidentally gets his lawyer killed, the villainous tycoon sends a platoon of Merryweather men to kill his family. However, Michael manages to save his family.

This incident leads to Weston to hire Franklin to murder Michael. If "Deathwish" is chosen, after Haines, Harold "Stretch" Joseph and Wei Cheng are killed, Trevor kidnaps the tycoon from his mansion and shoves him inside his own car trunk. The three protagonists meet up to taunt a beaten Weston for their victory, before pushing his car, with him locked inside the trunk, off the cliff into the ocean, killing him.


Look, you wake up one day and your legs, they just give, and you just can't run anymore.
~ Michael to Franklin on why he betrayed Trevor years prior.
F-cking A-right!
~ Michael's famous catchphrase.


  • Some people feel that all three protagonists of Grand Theft Auto V represent a kind of gamer who plays a Grand Theft Auto game. With this in mind, Michael represents the player who has already finished the game and thus no longer needs to play it.
  • Michael likes western movies and rock and roll, metal, and country music from the 50's-70's. This suggests that he's into the 1950s-70's culture.
  • Michael may be of Irish descent: most of the tattoos that he can buy are Irish/Celtic-themed, his real surname, Townley is of Celtic origin and he has green eyes with his favorite drink being whiskey which are very common traits among Irish people.

External links



Grand Theft Auto
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Grand Theft Auto IV
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Grand Theft Auto V
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