Events concerning the Grand Theft Auto series in 1981.
- February 12: Claire Byrne, who voiced Debra in Grand Theft Auto V, is born in Westchester County, New York.
- June 10: Lorna Jordan, who voiced a commercial announcer in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, is born in Princeton, New Jersey.
- October 23: Jackie Long, who voiced D in Grand Theft Auto V, is born in Pasadena, California.
- Asuka Kasen's husband passes away.
- The Degenatron is introduced to the arcade scene.
- Wave 103, a new wave radio station, broadcasts its first show in Vice City.
- The Florida secessionist movement begins.
- Evacuator, a film starring Jack Howitzer, premieres and is shown nation wide.
- Kent Paul is arrested in Kent, England after smashing Mark Cosgrove's car (after Cosgrove stole Kent’s girlfriend May).
- John F. Hickory moves to Vice City.
- Ernesto Asaltacunas is born in Santa Clara, Cuba.
- Ashley Butler is born in Acter, Alderney.
- Debby is born in San Andreas.
- Joseph DiLeo is born in Alderney City, Alderney.
- Teafore "Real Badman" Maxwell-Davies is born in Jamaica.
- Karen is born in the Midwest.
- Evan Moss is born in Arizona.
- Rocco Pelosi is born in Liberty City.
- Tom Rivas is born Puerto Rico.
- The film Vinewood Zombie is released to cinemas nation wide.
- Jim Fitzgerald may have become a U.S. Marine as early as this year.
- Jimmy Pegorino is arrested for promoting gambling.
- Sammy Bottino is arrested for grand theft auto.
- Sally's Surf Shop in Paleto Bay opens for business.