Grand Theft Auto V was a groundbreaking entry in the infamous franchise and was carried by the three protagonists that were introduced to gamers with their highly entertaining hijinks and missions.
It was a gutsy move to have three different main characters and was received well enough, especially with every one of these characters being as interesting as the last.
While Michael is the hot-headed mastermind and Trevor is the raging, psychopathic lunatic, Franklin is the reserved up-and-coming criminal with an amazing talent for getaway driving that steals the hearts of gamers with his heart-wrenching back story.
Most fans of the game know that he is the most reserved of the three, and has the most intimate ties to the underbelly of Los Santos, but there are a few intriguing things about him that most players had no idea of.
Whether it is familial ties with other characters, small tidbits about his personality, or some facts about the person behind the character, Franklin has got a whole lot more going on for him than most know.
On top of this, Franklin might be the most important character to ever exist in the Grand Theft Auto universe because of his representative ideology that highlights some of the ongoing issues in Southern California.
So sit back, get comfortable, and get ready to learn a thing or two because these facts about our favorite getaway driver this side of Drive will definitely blow your mind.
15 His Abilities Are A Reference To Another Rockstar Game
Franklin has an awesome ability that allows him to flawlessly glide through traffic at high speeds to help get out of intense chases by slowing down time and getting full control of his car. Turns out, that it actually came from Rockstar’s Midnight Club franchise as it was used as one of the special abilities for in-game racing. It is not directly called “Zone” like it is called in the Midnight Club games, but any gamer who has used the ability in Midnight Club 3: Dub Edition or Midnight Club: Los Angeles knows just how strikingly similar the two powers are. Rockstar’s successful past as the developer for the racing franchise also had an important impact on the driving mechanics in Grand Theft Auto V.
14 He Was Arrested For Public Exposure
The main characters of the story in Grand Theft Auto V are not generally compassionate people but share a familiar bond throughout the narrative by getting to know each another over crimes. Franklin and Michael are usually the ones to speak, but Trevor and Franklin have an interesting conversation on one of their missions together. Franklin reveals that he was arrested for “public exposure” when he was merely sagging his pants for fashion. Trevor is not too happy about this and chalks it down to racism but it highlights the racial profiling issue in poor neighborhoods. Surely, this kind of disgusting discrimination played a hand in his seemingly need to seek guidance from ex-cons like Michael and Trevor.
13 His License Plate Is The Only Clue Towards His Age
Franklin’s actual age is much of a mystery for most of the game, but he is obviously younger than Michael and Trevor. That said, the only real clue we have towards his age is the small hint that could be his license plates that read “FC1988”, and it would only make sense that “FC” stands for Franklin Clinton and that 1988 could be his birth year. Seeing as the events of Grand Theft Auto V seem to be in line with present day, then that would make Franklin around 25 years old since the game initially came out in 2013. Even in his young age, he seems to handle himself in Los Santos just as well as Trevor and Michael despite their experience and past ties to crime.
12 The Only Character That Cannot Play Tennis
It is not exactly clear as to why Franklin cannot play tennis in Grand Theft Auto V. He never mentions disliking the sport and he is in much better shape than Trevor or Michael so it remains a mystery. Perhaps Franklin is more of a basketball person, and unfortunately for him, there is no b-ball mini-game in Grand Theft Auto V like there was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It just seems strange that he is limited from this sport, as there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason behind his inability to play the sport. Here is to hoping that he gets to learn a backhand swing so he can play by the time Grand Theft Auto VI rolls around.
11 His Best Friend Lamar Probably Slept With His Girlfriend
Throughout the beginning of Grand Theft Auto V, Franklin is usually following his friend Lamar in all sorts of hair brain schemes that usually result in no financial gain and close encounters with death. By the end, Franklin is far more comfortable confiding in Michael and Trevor, and it is for good reason because Lamar is a snake. Upon visiting an in-game website about psychic readings, a psychic will tell Franklin that she sees “a man named Lamar, sleeping in a man named Franklin’s bed.” Furthermore, most of the cut scenes that involve Franklin’s ex-girlfriend (whom he calls the love of his life) and Lamar usually have him constantly complimenting her. It is definitely a good thing that he distances himself away from Lamar and cut out the person who was dragging him down.
10 He May Be Depressed
Something that is seemingly glossed over as a topic of satirical coverage is the issue of mental health. Sure, Trevor is an obvious case of a completely manipulative psychopath and the side-missions that include the psychiatric treatment that Michael undergoes completely underlines his anger issues whilst depicting corrupt business practices. Franklin is not perfect, and while he has murdered, lied, and stole his way to success he still seems the most psychologically grounded. This is probably because he is a bright young man, but will confide to other characters when under the influence of marijuana that he feels “lonely.” This could come off as a shocker for many that might think Franklin is not as complicated as the others, he really is.
9 Franklin Loves Animals
Franklin might be first Grand Theft Auto character to have a pet in his dog Chop, and that might give away his love for animals but it goes deeper. When driving around in some of the more rural parts of San Andreas, he will usually apologize aloud when running over an animal. This is a sharp contrast to how Michael and Trevor do not seem to care when they make jokes whenever they kill an animal or simply shrug it off. This could suggest that since he had no father and rarely saw his mother as a child, Chop could have been a closer friend that he appears. Also, Franklin seems to have a strange connection with dogs, as he completely understands and converses with a golden retriever in one of his Strangers and Freaks missions.
8 He Was Going To Be More Religious
Religion is another issue that Grand Theft Auto V covered in their script, especially in dialogue with Franklin in which is usually strong to his Christian beliefs. However, looking closely at some of the pre-release artwork that was made to promote the game, there is a distinct praying hands tattoo on the left side of his neck. It is not clear why it was removed or if it was just a distinction to give a hint towards customization options but it is a neat little tidbit about him. Perhaps Franklin was going to have some church-related missions or the story was going to dive deeper into his past and explain his connection to God, we will never know. Still, the tattoo does not seem to even be available in the game so it will probably remain a mystery.
7 He Never Knew His Father
As mentioned, Franklin has never met or seen his father. He does not have the name of his father either (but some fans speculate it is a character from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas) but he does not seem to care. This is for good reason, as details in the story’s dialogue it is made clear that his father would beat his mother, and left right around when Franklin was born. There are hardly any other clues or bits of information on his father and it might not even be as shocking as we want it to be, however, this is a question that could pose a fandom-breaking answer. One has to hope that we will get some answers in long-awaited story-based DLC or even Grand Theft Auto VI.
6 The Death Of His Mom
As for his mother, Franklin’s mom apparently became a drug-addict and passed away when Franklin was still a young boy. This is why he lives with his aunt in the beginning of the game when he is still trying to piece these things together. This is also another reason why Franklin turned to a life of crime at such a young age and could not get out. He simply found there to be no other way to support himself after losing his mother, something truly tragic that does not get the attention he deserves. Franklin is easily the most tragic of these three protagonists and it is that kind of relatability that has gone a long way in making him a true fan-favorite.
5 Could Have Been A Sports Star
Physically speaking, Franklin is shown to have a clear superiority in strength and endurance in comparison to Trevor and Michael. He is also adept to swimming and the fastest character on foot out of the three, probably because of his youth and past as a petty crime thief. Still, it is a neat fact that Franklin is a character that displays fairly healthy habits to keep himself in shape as the other two are living relatively unhealthy lives. It could also be a testament to how Franklin could have probably pursued sports and athletics in his academic career, but it is revealed that he actually got expelled from high school for attacking a teacher for an unknown reason. Seeing as he is not necessarily a volatile person by any means, one has to wonder what it was that got him riled up enough to attack an educator.
4 The Idea Behind His Character
Lead director at Rockstar Dan Houser said in an interview that Franklin is supposed to be based on a young adult that is dealing with the changing of the times. The lack of work in his line of profession that causes him to change his life ends up being the catalyst for the events of Grand Theft Auto V. This is the very notion that was behind his initial inception, and it definitely shows in strides throughout the story. Franklin is constantly trying everything he can to try and make a name and place for himself but he cannot seem to find the right recipe for success. In many ways, lots of people are in similar positions, where they are struggling in their career, and this character trait makes him that much more relatable.
3 He Is A Bit Of A Neat Freak
Something definitely uncommon in any Grand Theft Auto protagonist is an attention to detail and cleanliness. Sure, Tommy Vercetti liked his mansion fresh, and Niko Bellic could eventually live the high life, but none of them were shown to be necessarily neat. During some of the cut scenes where the player switches control from protagonists to Franklin, we can see him polishing his car or fixing his clothes neatly. It might be a device to describe how disciplined he is in his plight to reach success or just a quirk that adds a layer of depth. Whichever one it is, Franklin definitely stands above most of the shady folks that have been at the center of the Grand Theft Auto series for this seemingly small detail.
2 He Is Related To C.J.
Shawn Fonteno, the man who voices and is the physical base for Franklin, is rapper also known as O.G. Solo (or just Solo) and actually has real ties to another Grand Theft Auto character. He is actually the cousin of fellow performing artist Young Maylay, who voiced the main protagonist Carl Johnson in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is not exactly sure if this was done on purpose or if it was just a coincidence, but the idea of Franklin being related to C.J. is awesome. It would be even further mind-blowing if C.J. turned out to be his father, although the domestic violence does not seem to in line with his personality. Anything is possible, however, and we are no strangers to seeing Grand Theft Auto characters FALL FROM GRACE.
1 The Person Playing Franklin Knocked Out A Famous Rapper
Most people would be surprised to learn that the actor/rapper who plays Franklin was an actual gangbanger in his time. What would surprise them even further is that he actually scuffled (and won) a fight against one of the most hardcore gangster rappers of all time: Ice Cube. See, back in the day, LA was part of a turbulent hip-hop scene — where 'beef' was anything but a commodity. One OG Solo found himself in a rivalry with Ice Cube for unknown reasons. They apparently came to a confrontation at a red light and OG Solo is on record saying that Cube’s “Rolex fell into my hand,” and further detailed how he robbed him after knocking him out. Funny enough, the two have apparently made up since then, and Grand Theft Auto V even features an Ice Cube song where he says “Solo got nuts.”