- "I'll swing by and sign the contracts, alright? Just ignore the bodies!"
- ―Trevor Philips to Tao Cheng.
What is known of Trevor's background comes from Trevor's own words.
Trevor grew up in Canada, near the American border. Even as a child, he had a history of rage issues and violent impulses that ruined his attempts to fit into society (notably, it is implied that he, in a fit of rage, sodomized his hockey coach with a hockey stick). Besides that, he suffered numerous social problems; his father was abusive towards him, and often cruel, while his mother was overbearing and treated him with condescension. The first thing he found that he was good at and that he enjoyed was piloting. He entered the military to fly fighter jets, but a couple days before completing his training, he was given a discharge due to his mental instability.
After being discharged, Trevor committed petty crimes with no particular goal in mind. His first gig involved robbing someone who he incidentally knew, resutling in a postitive ID by that person, which landed him six months in prison (but served only 4). Once released, Trevor met Michael De Santa, and both men realized that they each had a flair for robbery, so Trevor decided to join Michael on various heist jobs. The duo became majorly successful in several in their "profession". Over time, Trevor became a close personal friend of Michael, although Michael's developing relationship with a stripper, Amanda, created some friction between them, due to Amanda's outspoken dislike of Trevor. In spite of this, Trevor developed surprisingly good relationships with the couple's children, who consider him their uncle, although Jimmy is understandably nervous around Trevor.
Trevor and Michael's partnership remained successful, until they undertook a fateful heist in 2004, along side an accomplice of theirs named Brad, in North Yankton. While the heist initially ran relatively smoothly, the trio's escape plan went south when they entered the rural town Ludendorff as the helicopter they would make their escape in was nowhere to be found. Instead, they were ambushed by FIB agent Dave Norton who fired at the trio, killing Brad and injuring Michael. Trevor refused to leave his friends behind and attempted to fight off the police despite being heavily outnumbered, but when the weakened Michael begged him to save himself, Trevor reluctantly made his escape.
As a result of the failed heist, both Trevor and Michael mistakenly believed the other one to be dead. Trevor managed to evade the police somehow and made a new life for himself in the rural town of Sandy Shores, San Andreas. There, he started a small criminal empire with his new-found friends Ron Jakowski - a paranoid conspiracy theorist, Wade Hebert - a juggalo, and Chef - a meth cook. The empire was named Trevor Philips Enterprises, which specialized in gun running and the manufacturing and selling of crystal meth. During Trevor's time in Sandy Shores, he affiliated himself with high-ranking members of The Lost MC, including the club's leader, Johnny Klebitz. However, their relationship was strained, as Trevor would occasionally have sex with Johnny's girlfriend, Ashley Butler, much to Johnny's understandable vexation.
Events of GTA Online
A few months prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto V, Ron contacts the player character who has been ruining Trevor's businesses and other drug dealers. Trevor orders the character to steal a van from The Lost MC, along with stealing drugs from rival businesses, mainly The Lost MC.
Events of GTA V
While once again having sex with Ashley, Trevor learns about the robbery of a jewellery store in Los Santos after a witness quotes a movie line that was a favourite of Michael's during their time as partners. While Trevor is shocked after hearing about Michael's sudden re-appearance, he leaves his trailer where he's shouted at by Johnny for having sex with Ashley. While trying to avoid a confrontation between himself and Johnny by simply walking away, Trevor is pushed to a breaking point as Johnny continues to express his rage. Finally, Wade, Ron and Ashley watched in horror as Trevor smashes a beer bottle against Johnny's head and begins stomping the broken pieces of glass into Johnny's face, instantly rendering him lifeless. He then, alongside Ron and Wade, attacked a Lost MC Camp just outside Sandy Shores. He then put them out of "commission", wiping out most of the crew there (between them, even veterans like Terry Thorpe and Clay Simons), and orders Wade to figure out where Michael lived. He and Ron did more work, taking over The Lost MC's airbase and it's cargo. He would later return after a new chapter of the lost recommissioned there to continue business, blowing up the camp entirely and removing The Lost's presence once and for all. Afterwards, Trevor orders Wade to find Michael under his birth name Michael Townley.
Trevor continues to attempt to do business with other organizations including a wealthy Chinese dealer known as Cheng, who arrives at Blaine County high and with his translator. Trevor attempts to show them his meth lab, but attacks from rival gangs drove the Chinese away to do business with the O'Neil brothers instead. Enraged, Trevor decimates the O'Neil's household and kills many of their relatives single-handedly.
Soon, Trevor receives news from Wade that while there are two Michael Townleys in Los Santos of different ages, there is a "Michael De Santa" of the same age as Michael would've been who is married with a woman named Amanda and has two children. Trevor recognizes his old partner's alias, and (after stopping briefly to wipe out a recently-established Lost camp on the outskirts of town) he and Wade make the trip to Los Santos, where they take refuge in Wade's cousin Floyd's girlfriend's apartment.
Trevor then tracks down Michael at his home, surprising and shocking everyone in the house. Jimmy then reveals Tracey is auditioning for Fame or Shame. Trevor and Michael then rush to the Maze Bank Arena, knowing full well that Tracey will humiliate herself with her terrible dancing in front of the country. The two break into the audition, where Tracey happily greets Trevor. When the host of the show, Lazlow Jones, began to act sexually towards Tracey during her dance, Trevor and Michael become angry and give chase to Lazlow.
Trevor and Michael chase Jones to the Los Santos River, where Trevor humiliates the celebrity by making him take off his pants and dance while Trevor records it on his phone. As Trevor leaves, he declares that he is back to Los Santos.
After learning that Floyd works at the city's docks, Trevor forces Floyd to take him and Wade to the docks dressed as workers to see if anything worth stealing is present. While there, Trevor learns that a private security force named Merryweather has a freighter ship containing a secret cargo. Assuming the object is valuable, Trevor plans a heist to steal Merryweather's cargo for himself with Michael's help.
Before it could go underway however, Trevor is contacted by the FIB for assistance in extracting a prisoner held by the IAA. Trevor assisted by flying the extraction chopper, which he promptly kept for himself. Trevor also visited Franklin Clinton's hood, where he helps the young gangster discover an ambush by a rival gang and assisted him in driving them off.
Trevor is again brought back to work for the FIB once more, this time to interrogate the person he helped rescue from earlier, Mr. K. Trevor tortured information out of Mr. K, while Steve Haines watched and asked the questions and relayed the answers to Michael and Dave Norton. After the job is done, Trevor helps Mr. K escape by driving him to the Los Santos airport and telling him to run away, despite the fact Mr. K lives in Los Santos and has family living there as well.
Soon, Trevor finally put his heist into motion, and manages to steal the target cargo. However, Lester Crest arrives to discourage Trevor from taking the cargo, as it is in fact a super-weapon that could destroy the entire city and the military will stop at nothing to recover it. Trevor refuses to give it up, but is forced to when Michael and Franklin agree it is not worth keeping due to its danger. Trevor is outraged at getting nothing out of the heist.
Murders Committed by Trevor Phillips
- Johnny Klebitz - Murdered for showing aggression to Trevor.
- Terry Thorpe - Murdered for being a member of The Lost MC.
- Clay Simons - Murdered for being a member of The Lost MC.
- Ortega - Either murdered to strike a blow to the Azteca's, or killed when attacking Trevor's meth lab.
- Ernie O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Earl O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Dale O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Doyle O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Daryl O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Dan O'Neil - Murdered for aligning with the Triad's.
- Javier Madrazo - Murdered on orders from Martin Madrazo.
- Floyd Hebert - Murdered for brandishing a knife at Trevor.
- Debra - Murdered for aiming a pistol at Trevor.
- Leon - Murdered in order to take over the Vanilla Unicorn.
- Steve Haines - Murdered for attempting to have Trevor killed. (Deathwish Ending).
- Devin Weston - Murdered for attempting to have Michael De Santa killed. (Deathwish Ending)
Strangers and Freaks Murders
- Joe - Murdered on orders from Manuel, for arresting anyone who looks like an immigrant.
- Josef - Murdered on orders from Manuel, for arresting anyone who looks like an immigrant.
- Ashley Butler - Can be killed immediately after killing Johnny Klebitz.
- Josh Bernstein - Can be killed during the Strangers and Freaks mission Breach of Contract.
- Mark Fostenburg - Can be killed during the Strangers and Freaks mission Vinewood Souvenirs - Mark.
- Al Di Napoli - Can be killed during the Strangers and Freaks mission Vinewood Souvenirs - The Last Act.
- MC Clip - Can be killed by either Franklin or Trevor during Hood Safari.
- Ralph Ostrowski - Can be killed or captured during the Bail Bond mission Bail Jumper 1: Ralph Ostrowski.
- Larry Tupper - Can be killed or captured during the Bail Bond mission Bail Jumper 2: Larry Tupper.
- Glenn Scoville - Can be killed or captured during the Bail Bond Mission Bail Jumper 3: Glenn Scoville.
- Curtis Weaver - Can be killed or captured during the Bail Bond mission Bail Jumper 4: Curtis Weaver.
Trevor has been described as a difficult person to deal with, extreme, impetuous, vengeful, psychotic, unhinged, unpredictable, untamed, infamous, homicidal, and prone to violent outbursts and destructive rampages. He does everything in a psychotic and relentless manner, (much different from Michael). Although Trevor is this kind of person, he is also honest about it and will never show hypocrisy and he also has his own charm along with his own principles. But, Dan Houser has confirmed that Trevor may not be all he seems but is still too horrible to be a hero kind. He is also quite insecure about being born in Canada, and takes offense to people mocking his accent, almost all of the Rampages are caused by Trevor flying into rage over being mocked over his Canadian accent.
Grand Theft Auto series
Trevor's mere presence always puts others on edge due to his extremely short temper, odd and unpredictable impulsive behavior. Ron, who is one of Trevor's friends and an unlikely one at that, is constantly terrified of him and frequently tries to appease Trevor whenever he can, especially if the latter is close to getting angry. Michael is also wary of him when they reunite, stepping in front of his son to protect him. Despite Ron's fear and Trevor's psychotic behavior, they do seem to show a level of trust to each other as Trevor usually tasks Ron to do a few missions for him such as blowing up the Lost MC fuel tank and helping him drop off cargo via a plane, and running Trevor Philips Enterprises in his absence. Wade, another friend or acquaintance, is equally scared of Trevor, though the latter does torment and punches Wade often, this bullying extends to his cousin as well.
Out the three protagonists, Trevor can be said to be a true sociopath if not a borderline psychopath, as he easily kills with no remorse, has the typical parental issues (abandoned by his father and sensitive about his mother), is a pyromaniac and frequently abducts people and takes them to the Altruist Cult which he calls his "friends in the mountains", the cult in question is implied to be made up of cannibalistic killers which Trevor is aware of. In conflict with that however, is his protectiveness of Michael's family and his apparent grief when he thought Michael was dead, which shows a level of emotion not common in most sociopaths as they usually lack or at least have very limited empathy or positive emotions for other people. In addition to this he refused to leave Michael in the prologue, while he was on the floor after being shot. Also when he killed Johnny, he told him to get up as he was apparently unaware that he killed him, It is extremely unlikely that he cared though due to his plans to get rid of The Lost and how enraged he was with Johnny, nevertheless Trevor quickly moved on and made a joke out of the blood and brain tissue on his shoe. Trevor seems to only care about the people very close to him and he can be truly loyal to them, which specifically includes his mother, Ashley, Patricia Madrazo, Maude, Michael, and later on even Franklin. Brad's death's affected him in the game, leaving him to blame Michael for what happened nine years ago back in North Yankton.
In contrast with his heavily sociopathic behavior, he has shown many times how needy he is for love and care. He tells repeated times to Michael how much he mourned him, to the point he got a tattoo with his name on it. As he was being confronted by Floyd and Debra, he told them how much he wanted to be with them. His relationship with Patricia was also a display of true love and, in his words, he enjoyed a lot the time spent with her.
Despite his weak relationship with Amanda and having a strained friendship with Michael, Trevor surprisingly cares for Jimmy and Tracey, viewing them as surrogate niece and nephew. Evidence of his caring is chasing Lazlow Jones when he does a sexual pose against Tracey as she performs a stripper-like dance and forcing him to take off his pants and dance in his underwear. Also, he will not allow Jimmy to drink alcohol when hanging out with him.
Trevor also seems to sometimes dwell on respect. When Wade calls Ashley a bitch, Trevor tells him it's not funny and asks him if he has a mother (probably due to his sensitivity about his mother). He also often tells some of his friends to show some respect to himself, and also sometimes even others when Wade is covered in what seems like waste, Wade's cousin suggests to call the heist off, but Trevor responds telling him to respect Wade for what he went through and so he should carry on with the heist.
His in game actions are also much more aggressive than the other protagonists as he attacks those he car-jacks and always seems to taunt others when pressing right on the D-pad.
Trevor uses threats of sexual violence in order to show his dominance over other men, he also seems to enjoy making them uncomfortable. Many of his sarcastic remarks have been misinterpreted as sincere statements by players. He seems to take it a step further with Floyd, as there are many things that suggest a sexual relationship. Notably, if the player switches to Trevor during his stay at Floyd’s condo, sometimes Trevor can be seen looking over Floyd as he lays in the fetal position wearing women's clothing, uttering an apology to Debra while sobbing. However this could just be Trevor showing his dominance by humiliating Floyd. It should be noted that this behaviour is only present when in the presence of weak people such as Ron, Wade, Floyd, and a meth addicted Johnny Klebtiz.
Relationships With Other Characters
- "Bring me my coffee or I'm gonna cut your arm off!"
- ―Trevor in his own trailer.
Michael De Santa - Trevor and Michael grew a likeness for one another after they began to rob several banks back in the day. But somewhere in that time, both men had a falling out which led to a rift in their friendship. At one point in the game, the two had a standoff in North Yankton after Trevor found out the truth. Wei Cheng's henchmen arrived, so Trevor escaped and left Michael to fight them off, but only for him to be captured by more goons.
Ron Jakowski - Ron is Trevor's best friend, and since Trevor can't have many friends for many reasons, (including the area in which both men live in), he is the closest friend beside Michael. But Ron is always paranoid and terrified to spend time with Trevor.
Amanda De Santa - Amanda doesn't seem to like Trevor. At one point, she tells Michael about her hate for him and tells him not to bring him anywhere near her or the children. At one point in-game, Trevor is seen complementing her breasts, saying "nice new tits by the way!"
Franklin Clinton - Trevor and Franklin appeared to meet each other the first time when Michael introduced to each other. Either way, they seem to become very good partners. He seems to be one of the very few people who doesn't feel intimidated by Trevor's rage fits, in fact, he manages to cool him down in a collected manner. In the optional ending that involves killing Trevor, he protests that he's been nothing but straight and true with him. In the ending where Franklin kills Michael, he would cut off ties with him and claim that he's dead to him.
Floyd Hebert - He appears to be very afraid of Trevor. He's forced by Trevor to help him in his crimes, under menace of having his home and furniture trashed. In the mission Hang Ten, he finally decides to face Trevor, along with his girlfriend Debra, demanding him to leave their condo. After a great discussion, Debra draws a gun against Trevor and Floyd draws a knife to defend himself, making Trevor off-screen kill both of them.
Mrs. Philips - She is Trevor's mother, only seen during the Strangers and Freaks mission Mrs. Philips. Before the game events she was a stripper/prostitute, as seen in hers and Trevor's comments (he states this sometimes when having a Private Dance). She was also a inmate and became disappointed of Trevor because he never wrote or visited her. She asks if Trevor found a woman yet and does not let him answer the question. She asks if he's gay, because she has no problem with it. After the mission, she disappears, implying that their meeting was a hallucination on Trevor's part, and Trevor is seen crying on the floor.
He is frequently seen wearing a plain and dirty white v-neck, ripped up dirty blue jeans or sweat pants and a pair of black boots to match. He is seen in one screenshot with a different outfit on - a jean jacket with a half buttoned up shirt along with a white undershirt and a pair of blue jeans to match. He also has several cuts on his face along with several tattoos ("CUT HERE" with the dotted line going across his neck, a bird beneath his ear, a dagger on his lower left arm, a flower on his upper left hand, a memorial tattoo of Michael Townley's death and, the words fuck on his right fingers and you on his left fingers). Trevor has a very visible scar on his abdomen, it looks to be a knife wound. Trevor also has numerous sores or boils over his lower stomach and back; likely from his drug and meth addictions. Also, in some screenshots and during the second Grand Theft Auto V trailer, he is seen wearing a calculator watch on his left wrist. Trevor is average when it comes to weight and build.
He seems fond in buying cheap clothing from Binco and the Discount Shop, while he shows total disdain in buying clothes from Ponsonby's.
Skills and attributes
Because he is a former military aviation pilot, he is skilled in both combat and piloting aircraft like helicopters. In the mission Game Informer saw, Trevor was the one that flew the team to the skyscraper they needed to get their target out of. In the aftermath, as the team was pursued by law enforcement helicopters, he proved to be an able pilot under pressure. Trevor is also the master of greed, ambition, and insanity (along with Michael and Franklin), and is seen in many GTA V screenshots performing many challenging (and some illegal) stunts. Some of those stunts include base jumping, jet-skiing, murdering, property destruction, and getting chased by the cops.
Trevor has a special ability where he can go into a violent rage, while in this rage Trevor can take less damage or inflict more damage to enemies, he also has a special melee attack as well.
For the list of Trevor Philips' mission appearances, see Trevor Philips/Appearances.
Trevor has had very positive responses from many fans of GTA V and professional video game critics about his "f*ck off!" personality, and extreme behavior. Trevor's grand appearance during the GI demo, is considered an unforgettable one and sets up the character nicely, (the camera is zoomed in on Trevor's face but then zooms out to show him sitting on the toilet fighting constipation while yelling the famous quote, "I need a fucking midwife for this thing!").
Dan Houser's Description of Trevor
"Trevor appeared to us pretty much out of nowhere as the embodiment of another side of criminality – of freedom, and of doing what you want. If Michael was meant to be the idea of some version of criminal control – or some sort of bourgeois criminal who tries to go straight and gets sucked back in – what about the guy who didn't do that? What about the opposite guy? What about the guy who just says ‘f--- off’ every moment, is relentless, doesn't want to stop taking drugs, doesn't want to stop partying, doesn't want to be told 'no' by anyone, and just completely revels in chaos?"
"Trevor was the other side of the GTA coin, I suppose. He's the person who's driven purely by desire, resentment, no thought for tomorrow whatsoever, completely id rather than ego-driven. Constant partying, constant madness. The only thing he doesn't want to do is stop. He wants to keep going and ride it all to the end. Won't take an insult from anybody. Kills without remorse, like a true psychopath, but very sentimental for the right reasons when it suits him. That seemed like another side of the kind of GTA coin or the GTA world, but very rarely as the protagonist. That seemed an interesting guy to have as a protagonist. Very unlike anyone we've had in a game before. If you began to develop him and Michael and their previous relationships... We wanted this feeling where you start off thinking one's good and the other's awful. Then you get spun the other way. Then you get spun back the first way, until you can't decide."
- Trevor is the first protagonist in the entire GTA series to have a drug addiction (not including Johnny).
- Trevor has a tattoo on his left shoulder that reads "RIP Michael". It is concluded that he got this tattoo after he escaped from Ludendorff, thinking Michael has been shot dead. This showed that although he's deranged, he still has a heart for friends and thus explained why he was so angry when he found out Michael was still alive.
- There is a tattoo on Trevor's throat that reads "cut here".
- While a Naturalized American Citizen who almost never speaks of it, Trevor is the first Canadian character in the Grand Theft Auto series.
- Trevor is the first protagonist to kill another protagonist on-screen, in which he kills Johnny Klebitz in his introduction mission.
- While Michael De Santa and Franklin Clinton have the ability to kindly greet people when the player presses right on the control pad, Trevor on the opposite hand can only taunt people, leading them to either run away or fight him.
- In Trevor's Grass Roots mission for Barry, dialogue suggest that Trevor once was or still is scared of clowns, saying such things as "I'm a big boy now" and "you can't hurt me anymore" (paraphrasing).
- Trevor tells Curtis Weaver, while taking him to Maude, that his father abandoned him in a shopping mall and in retaliation, he burnt the mall down.
- In Trevor's trailer there is a flag on the wall with the emblem of a special forces unit called the Special Airborne Unit with the latin motto 'Confide Nemini'. This could have been the unit that he was training in before his discharge.
- The motto of his former unit 'Confide Nemini' translates to "Trust No one" in English.
- While flirting with strippers when receiving a private lapdance, Trevor reveals that his mother was once a stripper. It is also revealed in the Strangers and Freaks mission Mrs. Philips that his mother was also a prostitute during dialogue.
- While Trevor is often controlling, loud and willing to hurt anyone who he perceives as a threat in some way, whether physically or mentally, he is terrified by his mother. Upon meeting her in his trailer in the mission Mrs. Philips, he speaks incoherent sentences, is unable to answer questions and runs off to do the job she assigns to him without questioning it.
- He sometimes refers to his company's name as "Trevor Philips Industries" and "Trevor Philips Enterprises", switching between the two.
- Trevor's favourite radio station is Channel X.
- When speaking to the Vinewood Zombie, Trevor reveals that he's glad his brother, Ryan, is dead, claiming it was an accident and not wanting to reveal any more information.
- Sometimes when switching to Trevor, he can be found vomiting into a wall fountain at the winery in Tongva Hills mentioning that he swallowed a nose ring in the 90's. He tends also to be found lying drunk on several areas of Los Santos and Blaine County, from abandoned swimming pools to the tracks of a train. He also seem to have random encounters with the police, having an automatic 2-star wanted level as he's escaping from them. He will also randomly appear in his underwear, or for some reason, Trevor will appear in a dress.
- While hanging out with Michael in free-roam Trevor can mention that he 'misses his innocence'.
- In the mission Something Sensible, Trevor calls both Franklin and Michael Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ mentioned in the New Testament. Judas was widely known in the Catholic Church for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus. In response, this is seen as an act of betrayal by two friends whom he was close to end up killing him, while Judas' betrayal had Jesus crucified.
- He appears to enjoy nicknaming people, specially Michael, who he refers to with a wide variety of nicknames through out the story; "Pork chop", "Cowboy", "Sugar tits", "Cup cake", etc.
- GameInformer December issue.
- - Info from POLYGON about Trevor,
- - Info from Guardian.
-  - Info from a translated interview with Dan Houser.
-  - Another translated interview with Dan Houser.