The Australian-American War was a fictional war fought between the United States of America and Australia, mentioned in Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV and Grand Theft Auto V. The war itself is implied to have occurred in both the 3D Universe and the HD Universe.
The war is first mentioned on Lazlow Jones' radio show Chatterbox FM in GTA III when a veteran of the war, Col. James P., calls in to talk about how "no one cares" about the war. Lazlow then goes on to claim that he's never heard of it, with the veteran explaining how the Australians equipped boomerangs and kangaroos with explosives.
Little in detail is known about the war. It is unknown who won the war, when it took place, or even if it took place at all. The Colonel refers to the war as "the biggest war since the big one", implying it occurred sometime after World War II. Also, the caller makes a reference to the fact that when he got home, everyone was watching TV instead of giving him a "hero's welcome". Television began gaining popularity as a norm in the middle-class American household during the late-1950s and early-1960s.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
In GTA Vice City, the war is mentioned in a radio commercial for Ammu-Nation. The commercials talks about an anti-aircraft gun "used when we whooped the Australians' ass!". This implies that the United States won the war. Kent Paul's 80s Nostalgia Zone website states that hostilities between both countries began in 1980.
GTA San Andreas
The hostility is loosely referenced early in GTA San Andreas after the San Andreas Earthquake rocked the state. In a West Coast Talk Radio news brief, Richard Burns said that the unnamed Governor of San Andreas was threatening to bomb Australia because of the earthquake, "...despite scientific evidence that it wasn't their fault."
The radio commercial heard in GTA Vice City can also occasionally be heard inside Ammu-Nation stores in San Andreas.
During a segment of Area 53, Marvin Trill advises one of his callers that the Australians, along with the Russians and certain species of dog, should still be considered their arch-enemies, since they all beat the Americans into space. This could imply that the war was fought either to prevent Australia from launching their own spacecraft, or in retaliation for already doing so.
Grand Theft Auto IV
In GTA IV, the war is mentioned again in radio, confirming that the conflict occurred in both GTA III's and GTA IV's continuities. On WKTT Radio, a conservative radio station, a caller to The Richard Bastion Show says, "This country's going to hell! Ever since we let those damn Australians back into this country, everything has gone to shit! What the hell did we go to war with them for in the first place!?" The host, Richard Bastion, replies "I'll tell you why, we did it for freedom, and for valuable munitions contracts."
The radio advertisements for Babiesovernight.com offer customers a "funny, but millitarily inept Australian baby", perhaps implying that the Australians were ill-equipped during the war. If one browses the in-game internet and accesses the actual Babiesovernight.com website, it is possible to see an offer for "an Australian baby that will love to play war but always loses", which may well indicate that the Americans won the war.
In real life
In real life, the war never happened and is very unlikely to occur. Australia and the United States have a very close relationship and have served alongside each other in every major conflict since World War I.
The closest to an Australian-American "war" occured in Brisbane in November 1942 when Australian and American troops fought each other in a riot known as Battle of Brisbane. One Australian soldier died and hundreds were injured
- The idea for the conflict may have been partially born out of censorship. According to this video, the Ammu-Nation commercial featured in Vice City that references this war was actually going to be featured in GTA III, with the line "Actually used when we whooped Australia's ass!" originally having Saddam (a likely reference to Saddam Hussein and the Gulf War) instead of Australia. The commercial could have been deemed to be in poor taste following the 9/11 attacks, and was scrapped, with the famous edited version appearing in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City the following year.
- According to unused audio files from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Phil Cassidy has fought in the Australian-American war, and during Cholo Victory, one of Phil's drunken lines to Vic is "you better not be an Australian, man".