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Characters everyone hates in Grand Theft Auto

Over the course of its 11 main entries and various DLC, the Grand Theft Auto series has always known how to make a splash. The early games were praised for their innovative open worlds where players could run free committing shocking crimes, such as hitting pedestrians and destroying police cars. With the release of Grand Theft Auto 3, the franchise gained real infamy and earned such prestigious titles as the Most Offensive Game of the Year and the Guinness World Record for the Most Controversial Video Game series.

But look beyond the surface spectacle and you'll find the Grand Theft Auto games offer a rich, fully-realized universe teeming with memorable, diverse characters. These are not the one-dimensional heroes and villains of fairy tales. Rather they are complex, flawed people with hopes and dreams and goals. If you play through this series, you're sure to find many new favorites. However, just as in real life, there will be some figures you simply cannot stand. 

Here are the characters everyone hates in Grand Theft Auto. Spoilers ahead.

El Burro - Grand Theft Auto

With a name that means "the donkey" in Spanish, El Burro from the first Grand Theft Auto is not to be confused with the character of the same name from later titles in the series. Players first meet the gang leader in the "Mandarin Mayhem" chapter missions when they are sent to diffuse a bomb that has been planted in his car. With that settled, the player then completes a series of jobs for El Burro that involve killing many, many people (including El Burro's own men).

When the player goes to collect their reward, El Burro tells them, "Hey pretty boy! You done real good for me, no? Now is time to find out why they call me 'The Donkey' eh? Haha! I'm gonna reward you personal this time!" Many players interpreted this as El Burro sexually assaulting the player character. Even if that's not your take on it, it's hard to deny killing El Burro in the "Bent Cop Blues" mission is one of the more satisfying jobs in the game.

Catalina - Grand Theft Auto 3 and San Andreas

Described as a "reckless, psychotic, and extremely aggressive woman," Catalina earns her role as an antagonist in the series with her love of robbery, murder, and betraying the men she dates — including CJ, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Claude, the protagonist of Grand Theft Auto 3, who she shoots and leaves for dead. In fact, how Claude managed to stay in a nine-year relationship with her continues to mystify players.

Once rid of the "small time" criminal Claude, Catalina becomes more entrenched in the Columbian cartel, but her criminal career later comes to a close when she kidnaps Maria Latore. Claude delivers the ransom money, and the encounter ends with Claude killing Catalina by shooting down her helicopter with a rocket launcher. It's a fitting end for a woman that fans have called "traitorous," "annoying," and a "filler character."

Maria Latore - Grand Theft Auto 3

If you think Claude comes to Maria's rescue because she's a good person, think again. Maria Latore is the shallow, drug-addicted wife to mob boss Salvatore Leone. Her unhappy marriage leads her to betray Salvatore by selling mob secrets and attempting a relationship with her chauffeur, Toni Cipriani (that is, until she realizes he's broke). When Claude is hired by Salvatore to protect Maria, she lies and tells her husband that she's in a relationship with Claude, and this puts Claude's life in danger.

After much drama, Claude rescues Maria from Catalina, and as the game's final cutscene rolls, she professes her love for what a "big, strong man" he is. This is quickly followed by her complaining about ruined hair and broken nails. Her laments are cut short by a gunshot and then silence, leading to speculation that Claude shot her in order to shut her up. Many annoyed fans have certainly sympathized with him.

Kent Paul - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

A native of Kent, England (yes, that's why he's called Kent Paul), Paul is a band manager who, depending on whether you buy his stories or not, may or may not be a criminal mastermind with a background of acting in adult films. What is known, however, is that he's a drug addict and general informant who has trouble with the ladies

Kent also plays that rather typical, slimy manager role with the rock bands Love Fist and The Gurning Chimps. You'd like to think that someone of his ilk would eventually get what's coming to them, but his star on Grand Theft Auto 5's Vinewood Walk of Fame suggests this wish doesn't come true.

While Kent Paul doesn't commit any major sins against the protagonist, at least in the same vein as other characters like Catalina, he does manage to be a consistently obnoxious, if relatively harmless, presence. However, his spinelessness mixed with his big talk hasn't won him many admirers. In fact, some fans list him among the most hated characters in the entire series.

Auntie Poulet - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

"Just a silly old woman. What could a big man possibly have to fear against a little old woman like me with a big old cooking pie?" says Auntie Poulet. She may play up the kindly old lady exterior, but the wise are not fooled by Auntie Poulet. In reality, she's a ruthless Haitian gang leader and voodoo practitioner. After arriving in Vice City and starting a war with the Cuban gang, she uses voodoo potions to control Tommy Vercetti, making him work against the Cubans, with whom he had previously been on good terms. Worse yet, when the potions wear off, Tommy has no memory of Auntie Poulet's actions.

Auntie Poulet was voiced by Youree Harris (a.k.a. Miss Cleo, the TV hotline psychic), and although Harris passed away in 2016, the estate of Miss Cleo sued Rockstar for stealing the psychic's image. However, that odd bit of news is not why Auntie Poulet earns fan's ire. Manipulating Tommy is bad enough, but the fact she uses a voodoo potion to do it is an unusual plot device that doesn't really fit with the rest of the series.

Zero - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

At one point in San Andreas, players find Zero in a closet hanging by his underwear, and this interaction really sets the tone for the entire Zero experience. He is a purple prose-talking 28-year-old and proprietor of an electronics shop located on a property owned by CJ. A science fair victory over his rival, Berkeley, has triggered a feud that threatens Zero's business, necessitating CJ's intervention. As if all this isn't silly enough, Zero is often listed among the series' worst characters for a few other reasons.

When he's not self righteously proclaiming that he never uses drugs or initiates violence, Zero is roping protagonist CJ into annoying side missions involving bombs and RC planes. These might be fun diversions if the planes weren't brutally difficult to control. And should CJ fail (which is highly likely), Zero rubs salt in the wound by screeching his rival's name to the high heavens, "Curse you, Berkeley!" These missions are so reviled, even Zero's voice actor owned up to hating them.

Jeffrey "OG Loc" Cross - Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Repeatedly squealing you're "gangsta" is not, in fact, the best way to impress people with your street cred, but it seems that nobody told OG Loc. This petty criminal, whose real name is Jeffery (but don't call him that), is quick to turn to murder in the service of becoming a famous rapper. It's just too bad he doesn't have the talent to back it up. 

Fortunately for Big Smoke, investing in Loc's ambitions is a perfect front for money laundering, and the egotistical wanna-be Loc is too clueless to question his sudden fame. He even gets a star on the Vinewood Walk of Fame in Grand Theft Auto 5.

Join just about any forum discussing the series' characters, and OG Loc will surely come up as an example of the worst of the worst. Fans call him "irritating," "annoying," and "a joke," and while some appreciate his role as comic relief, many others are not laughing.

Reni Wassulmaier - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Yet another character in possession of a star on the Vinewood Walk of Fame, Reni manages to stand out as being ridiculously over-the-top even among decades' worth of other colorful Grand Theft Auto characters. They are the recipient of four sex changes (from woman to man to woman to man and finally back to woman), and while working as a DJ for the Flashback FM station in Liberty City, they share how their uncle forced them to kill their pet dog and then abused them.

Players will primarily interact with Reni as they dispense missions from their movie studio. The tasks range from stunt driving to murder to escorting Reni to the hospital for their final sex change. Reni associates with and has romantic relationships with drug dealers, which puts them in the middle of some feuds and results in them fleeing to Europe for a career in adult films.

Although they have their devotees, many fans consider Remi to be far more annoying than funny. The accusations of transphobia that surround Remi make this character even more problematic.

Playboy X - Grand Theft Auto 4

While many characters in the Grand Theft Auto series are self-centered, few exhibit it in quite the way that Trey "Playboy X" Stewart does. As a child, Playboy X is mentored by Dwayne Forge, a successful drug dealer. Dwayne acts as a sort of foster father to Playboy X, and when Dwayne is later sent to prison, Playboy X takes over his drug empire. Using everything Dwayne taught him, Playboy X is wildly successful. He lives in a penthouse and drives luxury cars, all while expressing his desire to donate money to schools once he gets rich enough.

When Dwayne is finally released from prison, Playboy X decides he doesn't want to give up his seat of power. He hires Niko to kill Dwayne, and although the player can decide to kill Playboy X instead, if the player does kill Dwayne, Playbox X will blame Niko for his mentor's death and refuse to associate with him any longer. It's this particular combination of betrayal, arrogance, and hypocrisy that rubs fans the wrong way.

Roman Bellic - Grand Theft Auto 4

Neediness is never a good look, and Roman Bellic has it in spades. Roman lures his cousin, Niko, to Liberty City with his wild tales of living the American Dream, complete with cars, girls, and hot tubs. Naturally, none of it is true, and Niko must then help his hapless cousin work out his many gambling debts.

Roman is desperate to appear successful on the outside, but the reality borders on just being sad. His girlfriend is cheating on him. People insult him to his face, and he simply takes the abuse. He continually begs Niko (usually at the most inconvenient times) to go bowling or play darts. In fact, his requests to hang out are so ubiquitous, there's even a parody song dedicated to them. You could almost feel sorry for poor Roman, but his persistent denial and clinginess has earned him the hate of many Grand Theft Auto fans.

Manny Escuela - Grand Theft Auto 4

At first glance, Manny Escuela might seem like a good guy. He's a former heroin addict who kicked the habit and now wants to clean up the streets for the good of the children. However, look a little deeper, and you'll see the true Manny — a vigilante who reportedly cares more about fame than his cause. 

Players are introduced to Manny when he pays Niko to go around town murdering drug dealers. When the deed is done, Manny will show up with a cameraman in tow and take credit, painting himself as a hero of the streets. Manny eventually pushes his luck too far and takes a bullet in the head for his efforts. Manny is so disliked by the fandom that some proclaim the scene to be their favorite in the game while others lament that they didn't get to be the one to take him down.

Ashley Butler - Grand Theft Auto 4: The Lost and the Damned and Grand Theft Auto 5

Like many other characters in the Grand Theft Auto series, Ashley Butler is a drug addict who turns out to be more trouble than she's worth. Ashley is childhood friends with Johnny Klebitz, and as adults, they join the same gang and begin dating. However, Ashley continually cheats on him (usually in order to obtain more drugs), so he breaks up with her. She keeps contacting Johnny after that, either to ask for money or to confess to having been kicked out of rehab.

Ashley and Johnny return for the events of Grand Theft Auto 5, but at this point, Johnny is back together with Ashley and has his own raging drug addiction. This transforms him from his previously careful, laid-back self into a weak, cowardly figure and eventually leads to his death. Many fans blame Ashley for Johnny's downfall and weren't sorry to see her meet her end, either by the player's choice or through a side story that sees her OD on heroine.

Rocco Pelosi - Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony and Grand Theft Auto 5

Rocco Pelosi is a classic bully type but with a few additional characteristics that really drive the hate level over 9,000. He works as a soldato for the Ancelotti crime family, and this job gives him ample opportunity to indulge his sadistic tendencies. Whether he's beating up old men or flinging slurs at those around him, Rocco antagonizes nearly everyone he meets.

Eventually Rocco's karma seems to catch up to him. The Ancelotti family turns on him, using him as a scapegoat for a diamond heist, and he attempts to manipulate Luis into killing Tony. Instead Luis tries to kill Rocco, but Rocco is spared by the graciousness of Tony. He flees to Liberty City, where he meets a rather anticlimactic end in the events of Grand Theft Auto 5. However, that turned out to be just what some series fans wished for after being fed up with Rocco for so long.

Simeon Yetarian - Grand Theft Auto 5

Simeon Yetarian is only a minor part of the story of Grand Theft Auto 5, but what little story time he does have was more than enough to turn many series fans against him. Simeon runs a shady car dealership, and whenever someone criticizes his questionable business operations, he accuses them of being racist towards his Armenian heritage. You can trigger a random event in the game that ends with Simeon's non-canon death, but you have to have a very specific set of circumstances to make it happen, so the scene is frequently missed.

If you play Grand Theft Auto Online, "Uncle" Simeon is a much more constant annoyance (the online game takes place six months prior to the events of the main game, so even if you kill him there, he'll still be around). Simeon will frequently text requests for you to steal certain cars while also bringing unwanted police attention your way. And if all that isn't is bad enough, he's a complete cheapskate when it comes time to pay for completed jobs.

Amanda De Santa - Grand Theft Auto 5

A former stripper, Amanda De Santa gets her ticket to the good life when she marries Michael De Santa. Despite their dramatically unhappy marriage, the couple have two children together (Tracey and Jimmy, who themselves could be candidates for most hated characters in the series). However, Amanda's appreciation of her good fortune goes only as far as her wishes to give back by teaching yoga to the homeless.

Amanda admits to having at least ten affairs in the "Reuniting the Family" mission. On top of that, she's an alcoholic, a kleptomaniac, and verbally abusive, and these qualities make her an easy pick for fans as one of the worst characters in Grand Theft Auto 5

Depending on which ending you get in the game, Amanda and Michael will go to marriage counseling and wind up with something resembling a happy family. It's a nice gesture, but considering the behaviors that players have already witnessed prior to this point, it seems doubtful the peace will last.