Never judge a book by its cover - Trevor Philips is far more intelligent than GTA players would truly realize.
At first glance, Trevor seems like nothing more than a meth head living in a trailer park. Given how GTA 5 represents the redneck population in an unflattering light, it's easy to assume Trevor is more of the same.
However, it couldn't be further from the truth. Trevor is rather sharp and quick-witted for a drug addict.
What makes GTA criminals dangerous isn't just their heavy weaponry, but also how they use it. Trevor is exceptionally gifted with dark charisma and sheer intellect. While most of his plans fall to the wayside, most of them are due to unforeseen circumstances. Trevor is too clever for his own good.
Five moments in GTA 5 where Trevor Philips proved he was smarter than he looked
#5 - He figures out what really happened with Michael
The main source of conflict in GTA 5 is the mistrust between Michael De Santa and his former accomplice Trevor. After a failed bank heist in Ludendorff, Trevor barely escaped with his life. He spent years thinking Michael was dead. Meanwhile, he was trying to figure out how to bust his partner Brad out of prison.
Upon learning about Michael's survival, Trevor starts to have suspicions about Brad. It turns out FIB agent Dave Norton was sending him messages the entire time.
Trevor eventually puts the pieces together - Michael set them up to die so he can begin a new life with his family. It was a shocking revelation in GTA 5.
#4 - Trevor uses his piloting skills to good use
Trevor once trained himself as an Air Force pilot. That alone is an impressive feat, given how difficult it would be to join the military. With four years of academy service under his belt, Trevor was on his way to protect and serve his country. However, he failed his psych exams and flunked as a result.
During GTA 5 missions, Trevor is often relegated as the unofficial pilot of the crew. There are several instances where Trevor has to put his piloting skills to good use. Despite his habitual drug abuse in GTA 5, it doesn't prevent Trevor from skillfully navigating the skies. It takes a high level of intellectual capacity to do so.
#3 - He realizes a dealer is ripping him off
During the Hood Safari mission, Trevor accompanies Franklin and Lamar for an exchange deal with the Ballas. As they headed out to Grove Street, they found a suspicious dealer hiding behind a door.
He provided a sample of his coke product, to which Lamar is more than happy to purchase.
However, Trevor realizes something is wrong. The dealer only allowed Lamar to try one side of the brick. When Trevor asks to see what's on the other side, the dealer refuses. Trevor forcefully takes the brick for himself, only to realize most of it is a dry wall. The untrustworthy dealer gave them ounces instead of kilograms.
Trevor has been in the drug business long enough to to know the ins-and-outs of ripping off potential customers. Although the end result was a shootout in Grove Street, Trevor and the others survived.
His intelligence was on full display here. Trevor showed more street smarts than his gangbanging cohorts.
#2 - Trevor understands his numbers
Given that Trevor runs a massive drug operation in Blaine County, it makes sense he would be good with numbers. Even someone like Ron compliments Trevor for his counting abilities. A prime example of Trevor's mathematical skills is during the Big Score when GTA players take a subtle approach.
As Trevor and the rest of the crew haul off the gold bars into a truck, the bank manager tries to calculate the current exchange rates. Trevor manages to correctly guess two hundred million.
Impressively, he does it before the bank manager has time to add up the numbers. Trevor certainly didn't skip classes in his youth.
#1 - He can be surprisingly eloquent (by GTA standards)
"You depressing old prune. You're entirely dried out. Like a great salt flat of sorrow and decay!"
Despite being a redneck meth addict with several mental illnesses, Trevor is surprisingly lucid in his vocabulary. While he does sprinkle in vulgar language, he is rather creative with his insults.
If Trevor has a problem with somebody, he will let them know in no uncertain terms.
Trevor can also hold his own in various political discussions. Whether it's about the boomer generation or post-ironic hipsters, Trevor is strongly opinionated. He doesn't just rant like a madman, he usually backs his beliefs with well-reasoned explanations. Whether or not GTA players agree with him varies.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.