10 ways GTA San Andreas foreshadowed Big Smoke’s betrayal

In GTA San Andreas, Big Smoke is bangin' red flags, when he is supposed to be repping green.
big smoke betrayal

Big Smoke and Ryder's betrayal in GTA San Andreas is still one of the biggest plot twists in games, that many first time players never saw coming. It was a shocker, especially in Big Smoke's case, that he would turn his back on Carl Johnson and the Grove Street Families. 

However if you really pay close attention to Big Smoke's actions and priorities in the game, you can see the subtle and not-so-subtle foreshadowing hints which Rockstar Games cleverly implemented in cutscenes, conversations and missions.

Obvious spoilers ahead. 

10. Initially never went to the funeral

One person who was absent from CJ's mom funeral was Mr Big himself, because while Sweet, Ryder and Kendl were paying their last respects at the cemetery, Big Smoke was at the Johnson household with a baseball bat, evidently waiting for Sweet to return, to kill him.

What's more, Big Smoke breaks the photo of CJ's mom when he tosses the baseball bat on the dining table, after correcting his error of mistaking CJ for an intruder, subtly foreshadowing the game's plot twist.

9. Ballas don't shoot at him

From the offset, players are thrown right into chaotic world of GTA San Andreas, because for someone with CJ's notoriety, it's a place where rival gangs will constantly try to catch you lacking. 

In the opening mission, Carl, his brother Sweet and their fellow gang members, Big Smoke and Ryder are caught slippin' by the Ballas gang, who chase them back into their neighbourhood of Ganton.

The gang hop on bikes to escape the Ballas, who oddly enough, only shoot at Sweet and his brother, Carl Johnson. The Ballas never target Big Smoke nor Ryder, which once again foreshadows Big Smoke's betrayal. It's quite easy to miss this hint though, especially when players are frantically trying to escape the Ballas on a pedal bike.

8. Lives in Ballas territory 

While all the other Grove Street Families members reside in Grove Street, Big Smoke is the exception to this rule, as he lives in the Ballas territory, Idlewood. Now this would all be well and good if Big Smoke was only a civilian and not gang affiliated, but of course he's a high ranking Grove Street Families member.

When Carl Johnson asks Big Smoke why he moved into Ballas turf, he is caught off guard by the question and replies with a vague answer, "Man, got some money from my aunt. I mean, it's a nice place and all." Though this makes little sense, given that again, he is a high ranking soldier of the Grove Street Families.

The real reason why Big Smoke moved into purple territory is because, it would be easier for him to conduct business with the Ballas and the crooked LSPD police department, who play a hand in pushing weight throughout the city. 

7. C.R.A.S.H are seen multiple times at his home

When C.R.A.S.H of the Los Santos police department are seen leaving his house on multiple occasions, It's easy to think like CJ, Big Smoke is being punked and used like a tool by the thugs with badges.

Though this would actually end up as perhaps, the biggest hint that foreshadowed Big Smoke selling out. When CJ asked what the 'Punk-as police' was doing there, Big Smoke said, "Those nosey motherf-ers won't leave me alone! Think I'm Mr. Big or something."

6. Constantly changes the subject

Big Smoke managed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes due to being a bold faced liar, and his tendency to change the subject whenever CJ's mother was brought up, or to get himself out of a tight jam was a major red flag.

For example when CJ visits Sweet's house in the mission Drive Thru, he walks in on a heated debate between Big Smoke and Sweet. Big Smoke says "Respect has to be earned, Sweet - just like money," to which Sweet rebuts, "So what you saying? You don't respect me?"

Rather than answering the question, Big Smoke stutters anxiously and quickly changes the topic, claiming he's hungry and that they should all go grab something to eat. In the same mission, when CJ begins to ask Sweet about the death of their moms in the car, Big Smoke abruptly shuts down the conversation and demands that the crew eat their takeaway meals.

5. Doesn't shoot at Ballas in Drive-Thru mission

When the Ballas caught The Groves slippin' at Cluckin bell drive thru and the mortal enemies participated in a gang shootout, Big Smoke was the only Grove Street member refusing to shoot back at the notorious purple gang.

Big Smoke's refusal to shoot at the Ballas was dodgy, and the reason he gave was even more absurd. He claims he wanted to finish all of his food first, but given the situation, that would be recklessly bold. The Ballas are shooting at them, and his readiness to use food as an excuse revealed his true colors.

4. His missions don’t include the Ballas or benefit Grove Street

The Ballas are the Grove Street Families' biggest adversaries in Los Santos, yet none of Big Smoke's missions involve them. Also while Sweet and Ryder missions revolve around strengthening the Grove Street Families, Big Smoke's missions either benefit himself or C.R.A.S.H.

Furthermore his missions include the drug trade, which is something that the Grove Street Families are shown not to mess with in GTA San Andreas.

3. Defends crack distribution

Big Smoke and Sweet are rarely shown to be on the same page, and in the the opening cutscene of the mission 'Cleaning the Hood', Big Smoke and Sweet's debate about drugs being sold in the neighbourhood subtly reveals where his heart lies.

While Sweet is absolutely against drug dealers selling crack cocaine in the hood, Big Smoke on the other hand admires their hustle and doesn't seem to have a problem with them slanging yayo on the block.

This of course foreshadows Big Smoke's future, as he would end up betraying the Grove Street Families and becoming one of the biggest and most notorious drug kingpins in Los Santos.

2. 'BS' Map initials 

Rockstar's trademark sense of humor is featured in majority of their games, GTA San Andreas included, so it isn't so far fetched to believe that the developers would hint at Big Smoke's betrayal even by using something as simple as a mission marker. 

The starting point of each of Big Smoke's missions are denoted with a 'BS' on the map. Which as you're already guessed, is commonly used as an abbreviation for bxllsxit. Now this could have merely been a coincidence, but knowing the company's humor, it probably wasn't.

1. "People like to talk don't they"

Sometimes Ryder never knew when to shut up, and he clearly said too much in the Drive Thru mission when discussing how CJ's mom was iced. In the mission while driving to the cluckin' Bell, Ryder would say,

 "Some people said they saw a green sabre doing the works, then speeding away," which would get Big Smoke to suspiciously respond with, "Yeah, but people like to talk don't they, anyway that's half of Santos you're talking about." 

Why did Big Smoke betray CJ and Grove Street?

It wasn't until the infamous Green Sabre mission that Big Smoke's association with both the Ballas and Officer Tenpenny was let out the bag. Naturally CJ's whole world was turned upside down, but after the missions 'Badlands' and 'Photo Opportunity', he would eventually come to terms with it.

After CJ confronts Big Smoke in his crack fortress and fatally shoot him, in his dying moments he would confess to CJ that the reason he turned on the Grove Street Families was because of money and fame. He also said that because of his greedy nature, he had no choice in the matter.

What if big smoke didn't betray CJ?

If Big Smoke didn’t betray Grove Street then CJ's mother would still be alive and there would be no real reason for Carl to come back to Los Santos.

Furthermore Big Smoke would have still been living in Grove Street and officer Tenpenny would not succeed in his plans, nor would he be able to arrest Sweet and reduce GSF activity in Los Santos.

Though another possibility is that Tenpenny would've probably have imprisoned Big Smoke and Ryder or killed them to weaken Grove street.


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