Wasted is when a player is killed in a Grand Theft Auto game by losing all their health. In Grand Theft Auto IV, the terms Wasted and Busted are not used, but the same effects take place for each.

In the GTA III Era, the Wasted screen shows the player character's dead body with the camera aerially zooming away from them. However, when the player is wasted by law enforcement, the camera may show the officer who killed the player, along with the player. In GTA IV, the screen turns grayscale and slow-motion to emphasize the death scene. In GTA V, the Wasted screen shows the fallen character in motion for one second, then turns grayscale and slower with the word Wasted in the center of the screen.

Ways to get wasted

Many things can contribute to this:

  • Drowning (in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto V, the player has a breath meter which has to run out for the player to be wasted).
  • Damage from explosions.
  • Damage from being shot.
  • Trapped in an exploding vehicle.
  • Catching fire.
  • Standing for too long in an electrified railroad, resulting in the player being shocked. (GTA 1 & GTA 2)
  • Repetitive damage from fists or melee weapons.
  • Damage from falling off a high point, or failing to open parachute (GTA San Andreas, The Ballad of Gay Tony).
    • If the player has completed the Paramedic side mission in GTA San Andreas, CJ will gain 50% more health, resulting in him not being wasted if falling, even from the highest points or planes. It is possible to exploit this glitch without the Paramedics side mission; if the player has their health fully maxed out, they will survive with a minuscule amount of health.
  • Shot down, while in a plane or helicopter (e.g. in GTA San Andreas, if the player flies over the No-Fly Zones, S.A.M.-rockets will be fired at the aircraft)
  • Heart attack brought on by being overweight. (GTA San Andreas)
  • Getting hungry (GTA San Andreas).
  • Running too fast on stairs, and therefore falling off, though this deals very little damage. (GTA III Era)
  • Being run over by a passing vehicle.
  • Stumble down the steps while drunk (GTA IV).
  • Thrown through the windshield at mid-to-high speeds (GTA IV and GTA V).
  • Damage from bailing out of a moving vehicle or falling off a bike (GTA Vice City, GTA Liberty City Stories, GTA Vice City Stories, and GTA IV).
  • Misusing the Rocket Launcher or other weapons with a wide damage radius (shooting too close to vehicles, on the wall, or at the ground).
  • Crashing at high speeds (GTA IV and GTA V).
  • Failing to throw a Grenade in time (GTA IV and GTA V).
  • Letting go of the ladder while sliding down, thus hitting the ground hard (GTA IV and GTA V)
  • Trip and then fall to the ground when going on top of a moving vehicle (GTA IV and GTA V)
  • Crashing the plane into objects or the ground, thus exploding with the player inside (GTA San Andreas)
  • Sliced then thrown in the air by helicopter blades (GTA IV and GTA V)
  • Overexertion from sprinting or swimming (i.e. running out of stamina) (GTA V)
  • Getting attacked from an aggressive animal (provoked dogs, cougars, and sharks) (GTA V)


As a result of being Wasted in the GTA III Era (except for GTA Vice City Stories where you can bribe the hospital staff to keep the weapons you'd normally lose. Additionally, in the iOS and Android versions of GTA III, you will never lose your weapons after being wasted or busted, only $1,000 and armor will be removed. From GTA IV onwards, weapons will never be removed.) the player will lose all of their weapons and $100 ($1,000 in GTA III), the same as for being Busted. In GTA IV onwards, however, the player is fined 10% of their money ($10,000 max) and gets to keep their weapons, and in GTA San Andreas, if you date Katie Zhan (a nurse) you are able to keep your weapons upon death. In all games, any mission the player was on will be failed.

Popular culture

GTA V's Wasted screen has become extremely popular among gamers to the point of becoming an internet meme, normally in the result of videos showing people/animals doing something futile which ends with the same "Wasted" screen. (example video: "Wasted in real life")