A city full of surprises
The games in the Grand Theft Auto series are always crammed with sneaky pop culture references, hidden items, and scenery surprises, so it won't come as a shock to hear that there are a ton of GTA 5 Easter eggs to discover. You can go wandering around Los Santos and Blaine County to see some sights, but if you want to undercover some secrets in GTA 5 then you'll need to dig a bit deeper. We've put together a list of our favourite GTA 5 Easter eggs, so you can share in the joy of these hidden gems.
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Links to previous games
Grand Theft Auto has referenced itself throughout its run, but GTA 5 is packed with characters and references to previous games. Marnie and The Lost biker gang appear from GTA 4. Niko is mentioned by Lester as "some Eastern European guy." Then there's the lovely sign you see above, welcoming players back to Los Santos. It's a small world after all.
Lester's arcade buddies
Lester has plenty of geeky paraphernalia inside his home, but most of the pin-ups and figurines are parodies. However, there is one piece or merchandise on Lester's wall that is very real: the Space Invaders.
Vespucci Beach's sandcastles
When you go to a beach, you expect two things: sandcastles and shark attacks. Head to Vespucci Beach in west Los Santos to find a piece of art that combines both into a sandy shark sculpture. The icing on this deep sea predatory cake? A crunched surfboard in the shark's mouth. Cue the Jaws theme.
The Los Santos Sea Beast
Vespucci Beach isn't the only place to find sea creatures in Los Santos. Swim to the eastern edge of the map to find something creepy under the water - a giant skeleton. Did Rockstar take a cue from Moby Dick? Did Shamu escape from Sea World? Either way, there's something big in Los Santos' deep waters.
Play as Max Payne and Jack Torrance
Michael and Trevor are great characters, but they bear resemblance to some other notable men. Purchase the Rimmers Steel Aviators, Parrot Print Shirt, "The Wood" hairstyle, and full beard for Michael, and he'll look just like another Rockstar antihero - Max Payne. As Trevor, purchase the Overlooked Red Blouson and the "Grown Out" hairstyle. Now he looks liking The Shining's Jack Torrance!
Townley, Michael Townley
After completing the mission Deep Inside with Michael, a very special car will be available for available for purchase on the Legendary Motorsport website - the JB 700. It bears a shameless resemblance to the most famous Bond car. Unfortunately, the dealership has removed the attached machine guns.
John Marston, author
Everyone's favorite Red Dead Redemption hero makes a very hard-to-spot cameo in GTA 5. Take a look at Franklin's book shelf in the Vinewood Hills condo. A certain blue book is titled "Red Dead," and it's written by one J. Marston. His words live on.
Visiting the Playboy Mansion
A huge mansion lies in Richman, the district at the extreme northwest of Los Santos. Heading through the gate will reveal an unremarkable mansion, but head around back at night to find one heck of a party. Naked women, pool swimmers, and drinks galore prove that this is indeed GTA 5's version of the Playboy Mansion.
Invasion: Los Santos
Head to the Vinewood Walk of Fame for this one. Along the road is a tour bus you can ride for a small fee. Pay the fee and enjoy the ride, but keep your ears open when you pass city hall. It's the site of filming for "Invasion: Los Santos." Sounds like a certain Battle: Los Angeles, doesn't it?
Vinewood is also home to a zombie - not the Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare eat-your-brains-for-breakfast zombie, but an actor. You'll hear him groaning for brains, but stick around and he'll eventually break character. At least it's a gig, man.
You'll find one more easter egg along the Walk of Fame. About halfway down the path are two men dressed in distinct green armor. They look like masters. Or chiefs. Or some sort of combination of masters and chiefs.
La Mesa is home to a cold storage facility where a certain chilly friend is hiding. We'll let our friends at CVG show you how to get there, but waiting for you there is - just in time for winter - a snowman.
Great Scott, Rockstar!
This one is so small it's a wonder it was ever found. Head to the satellite tower in Sandy Shores and take a look at the circuit box. The power sticker reads 1.21 GW - Doc Brown's famous electric measurement from Back to the Future.
Los Santos' Serial Killer
Search Blaine County long enough, and you'll find strange messages seemingly left by a madman...or a murder. It is, in fact, a murderer that left these creepy messages all around - we've got a complete GTA 5 Serial Killer guide to explain it all.
The Grand Theft Auto series has always paid homage to television series and movies, but this time around, GTA 5 includes an actual likeness. Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman can be seen on the side of Mt. Chiliad. Maybe you've noticed that mysterious face on the mountain before - now you can put a name to it.
Mount Chiliad's mystery
Take a cable car to the top of Mount Chiliad, and you'll find this strange work of art inside the tram station. We're not sure what it means, but it seems almost religious. Perhaps a secret society has been stringing our protagonists along this whole time...
Mount Gordo's ghost
This one is downright creepy. Head to the summit of Mount Gordo and wait around until 23:00. Between this time and 0:00, you'll be able to see the creepy ghost hovering above a bloodstain message. What does the message say? "Jock." As in Jack Cranely, whose wife's ghost you just saw.
No Blaine County for Old Men
Javier Bardem fans rejoice! Head to the Mount Chiliad State Wilderness just northeast of the highway bridge. Out here you just might find four crashed cars and several dead bodies (this is actually a random encounter). Those of you who have read or seen No Country for Old Men will recognize this as the opening scene of the story. The kicker? Just like the story, you can snatch a briefcase full of money from the scene. Head down the hill just past the vehicles to find a shiny case of $25,000.
Aliens in the ice
One of GTA 5's weirdest Easter Eggs can be found just moments after starting the game. While driving toward the train tracks during the prologue, take a detour down the right side of the hill. Head across the frozen river until you're under the bridge, then hop out. Take a look under the ice on which you're standing to find a frozen alien. You'll have to be quick, though - stay off the road too long, and the mission will fail out.
We've found that lonely frozen alien at the start of the game, but he's not alone in this world. A crashed UFO rests at the bottom of the sea at the northern edge of the map. Take a submarine there to find our alien's wet buddies.
Even More UFO's!
If the two we just showed you weren't enough, GTA 5 has more extraterrestrial vehicles to find. Our friends at CVG can show you all the locations - and how they tie back to those mysterious Mount Chiliad markings - but it's safe to say there's a bigger mystery at work here...
Bigfoot, for real this time
This is the mother of all GTA myths. Rumors have abounded about Sasquatch hanging out in the woods since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Rockstar heard the fans, and the big hairy guy is here for real in GTA 5. During the mission Predator, you'll take control of Michael while he snipes from out of a helicopter. When looking at the O'Neil brothers' heat signatures in the woods, aim for the body at the lower right. He will disappear after a few seconds, but that heat signature belongs to none other than Bigfoot.
What else is out there?
Those are our favorite crazy sightings across GTA 5. Have you found anything else out of the ordinary? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for more GTA 5 help? Then check out our Grand Theft Auto 5 cheats and guides: everything you need for PS4, Xbox One and PC.