Created By: Hero_Gal_2347 on March 28, 2014 Last Edited By: Hero_Gal_2347 on August 6, 2014
Troped

Toilet Paper Prank

A person being immature covers a tree or other structure in toilet paper as a prank.

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Trope
It's childish. It's wasteful. Yet it happens anyway. Every so often someone will wrap a tree or other structure in toilet paper. This tends to happen most often around Halloween, but that's no guarantee some mischievous prankster won't pull it some other time of year.

This trope is most often done by children, although it could be pulled by a Man Child as well. In any case, it's associated with immaturity.

This is a Practical Joke trope. Compare There Will Be Toilet Paper and Toilet Paper Trail.


Examples

Advertising
  • A TV commercial shows a woman inspecting some TP'd trees. She is absolutely elated by how soft the paper is. Two boys, apparently the perpetrators, are hiding behind some other trees; the woman asks one of them what brand of TP his mother buys, and he answers, "Cottonelle Ultra Comfort". The last scene has her excitedly taking armfuls of the paper home.

Fan Works
  • In the Back to the Future fanfic True Hero, Needles does this to Doc's house every year. He presumably gets away with it because of Doc's bad reputation.

Film
  • Near the beginning of Donnie Darko, Donnie's mother asks him if he toilet-papered a neighbour's house the night before, and he angrily exclaims that he'd stopped doing that in the sixth grade.

Literature
  • In the Babymouse Halloween story, Babymouse gets peer-pressured into covering a neighbor's tree in toilet paper by the popular girls. She's the only one who gets caught.

Live-Action TV
  • In one episode of Cougar Town, Jules yells at some skateboarders, and the next day she finds her car TP'ed to look like a shark. To get even, she goes to what she thinks is the skater's house and TP's it. The house was actually one of the homes Jules was selling. It was all a ruse to get a romantic proposal from Grayson.
  • In one episode of Hannah Montana, Miley's father mentions that the house is going to be papered because all the candy was eaten and he has no "treats" to stop the "tricks."
  • In one Halloween Episode of The Middle, Frankie leaves her elderly aunts to hand out candy while she and the family go out. The aunts forget to hand candy, and when Frankie returns, the whole house is covered in toilet paper.
  • In a Halloween episode of Step by Step, the nerdy Mark gets caught doing this by a police officer and brought home to his parents to face the music. When he comments he'd rather go to jail, the officer replies that's exactly why they bring the kids home instead.

Music
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has this part of "Young, Dumb, and Ugly":
    We were born to be bad. You'd better not make us mad.
    Or we just might toilet paper your lawn
  • The Smashing Pumpkins: Just after the party in the "1979" video, the kids throw toilet paper at a tree. At one point, we see a close up of one of the flying rolls.

Newspaper Comics
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin remarks on his dad's enjoyment of Halloween. It turns out he likes to "sit in the bushes with the hose and drench potential tp'ers."

Western Animation
  • In an episode of The Fairly Oddparents, when Adam West (as his superhero alter-ego Catman) wishes to be a kid again, he decides to skip school and T.P. Mr. Crocker's house. He mentions that he doesn't mind wasting paper because he uses a litter box.
  • Gravity Falls: After Grunkle Stan fails to scare two jaded kids on "Summerween", they toilet-paper the Mystery Shack and then go inside to look for candy.
  • An episode of Rocket Power had the gang TP a property on Mischief Night. They're forced to wear matching pumpkin Halloween costumes in public the next day as Cool and Unusual Punishment for it.
  • One episode of South Park was all about this. In typical fashion, it was treated as Serious Business.
  • In Super Best Friends Forever, Supergirl wants to use Wonder Woman's invisible jet to TP Lex Luthor's mansion.
Community Feedback Replies: 49
  • March 28, 2014
    DAN004
    This... is rare indeed. :P
  • March 28, 2014
    TonyG
    • One episode of South Park was all about this. In typical fashion, it was treated as Serious Business.
    • In one Halloween Episode of The Middle, Frankie leaves her elderly aunts to hand out candy while she and the family go out. The aunts forget to hand candy, and when Frankie returns, the whole house is covered in toilet paper.
    • In one episode of Cougar Town, Jules yells at some skateboarders, and the next day she finds her car TP'ed to look like a shark. To get even, she goes to what she thinks is the skater's house and TP's it. The house was actually one of the homes Jules was selling. It was all a ruse to get a romantic proposal from Grayson.
  • March 28, 2014
    Omrega
    In the Back To The Future fanfic True Hero, Needles does this to Doc's house every year. He presumably gets away with it because of Doc's bad reputation.
  • March 28, 2014
    robbulldog
    In Meet The Robinsons, the Bowler Hat Guy's evil scheme to get even only goes so far as egging and TP'ing the Robinson's home. Doris, however, has a much more sinister plan in mind.
  • March 28, 2014
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    • In an episode of The Fairly Oddparents, when Adam West (as his superhero alter-ego Catman) wishes to be a kid again, he decides to skip school and T.P. Mr. Crocker's house. He mentions that he doesn't mind wasting paper because he uses a litter box.
  • March 28, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    DAN 004

    I reckon it only happens in Eagle Land. since i've never heard of this.
  • March 28, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Really? I know this prank simply from the few Halloween Episodes I've seen in my life.

    Namespaced the examples.
  • March 31, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Could you put in a few examples?
  • April 6, 2014
    TonyG
    In Super Best Friends Forever, Supergirl wants to use Wonder Woman's invisible jet to TP Lex Luthor's mansion.
  • April 7, 2014
    Alucard
    Teepee is an abbreviated slang for toilet paper, which lead to the verb of "teepee'ing" something (such as a house).

    If nothing else, this spelling should be a redirect.
  • April 7, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    How does one do that?
  • April 7, 2014
    sgamer82
    • In a Halloween episode of Step By Step, the nerdy Mark gets caught doing this by a police officer and brought home to his parents to face the music. When he comments he'd rather go to jail, the officer replies that's exactly why they bring the kids home instead.
  • April 7, 2014
    paycheckgurl
    An episode of Rocket Power had the gang TP a property on Mischief Night. They're forced to wear matching pumpkin Halloween costumes in public the next day as Cool And Unusual Punishment for it.
  • April 24, 2014
    Omrega
    Bump.
  • April 24, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I've added all the examples. Does anyone have any more, or maybe something to pump up the description?
  • May 4, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • May 4, 2014
    Folamh3
    • Near the beginning of Donnie Darko, Donnie's mother asks him if he toilet-papered a neighbour's house the night before, and he angrily exclaims that he'd stopped doing that in the sixth grade.
  • May 12, 2014
    SquirrelGuy
    Film: In Sixteen Candles, there's TP in the trees outside the obligatory Wild Teen Party
  • May 12, 2014
    DAN004
  • May 13, 2014
    WaterBlap
    This trope shouldn't be called Toilet Papering if it isn't going to be called TPing, because "toilet paper" is only a noun. If Teepeeing isn't a legitimate choice for this trope's name because it's slang, then neither should Toilet Papering.

    I think Toilet Paper Prank would make a better name.
  • May 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Toilet Papering is just a clearer slang.

    But yeah, Toilet Paper Prank should be good too.
  • May 14, 2014
    WaterBlap
    ^True.

    I think the laconic ought to mention the immaturity aspect mentioned in the description, because it right now just sounds like the trope is only the prank itself.
  • May 18, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Is the Sixteen Candles example something done as a prank or just because they were getting wild?
  • May 19, 2014
    SquirrelGuy
    I think the trees were already streaming in TP in the party's establishing shot. Much of the house was trashed by the partygoers.
  • May 20, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Sounds like a different trope.
  • May 21, 2014
    Arivne
    • Examples section formatting
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples sections.
      • Blue Linked media section titles(s).
    • Namespaced work name(s).
  • May 21, 2014
    CaveCat
  • May 21, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Is this a prank?
  • May 21, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Is There Will Be Toilet Paper close enough to be included as a comparing thing? There's toilet paper stuck to something in both but otherwise they seem like really different tropes.
  • May 22, 2014
    WaterBlap
    Probably should compare or contrast Toilet Paper Trail as well as There Will Be Toilet Paper.
  • May 26, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Examples? Comments? Hats?
  • May 28, 2014
    SquirrelGuy
    There's a currently running TV commercial where a woman is inspecting some TP'd trees, and is absolutely elated by how soft the paper is. Two boys, apparently the perpetrators, are hiding behind some other trees; the woman asks one of them what brand of TP his mother buys, and he answers. The last scene has her excitedly taking armfuls of the paper home. (I wanna say this was for Cottonelle Ultra Comfort but I'm not sure)
  • June 1, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Added.
  • June 4, 2014
    jormis29
    • Gravity Falls: After Grunkle Stan fails to scare two jaded trick or treaters on "Summerween", they toilet-paper the Mystery Shack and then go inside to look for candy.
  • June 8, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Added.
  • June 24, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • June 25, 2014
    BKelly95
    Music
    • Weird Al Yankovic has this part of "Young, Dumb, and Ugly":
      We were born to be bad. You'd better not make us mad.
      Or we just might toilet paper your lawn.
    • This happens about halfway through the video for "1979" by The Smashing Pumpkins.
  • June 25, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ Could someone add a little context on the Smashing Pumpkins one?
  • June 25, 2014
    BKelly95
    Fine. Just after the party in the "1979" video, the kids throw toilet paper at a tree. At one point, we see a close up of one of the flying rolls.
  • June 30, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Added.

    What's needed to get this one launched?
  • June 30, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ hats, and this needs to be indexed in Eagle Land Tropes, which needs to be created.
  • June 30, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    ^ You mean to say no other country does this besides America?
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ UsefulNotes.The United States already lists American specific tropes. But still, this doesn't seem to be Eagle Land specific (though I admittedly find this to be rare).
  • July 7, 2014
    Omrega
    Bump.
  • July 8, 2014
    Alvin
    Live Action Television: On an episode of Reno Nine One One set on Halloween, Deputy Weigel wants the other cops to help her house not be TP'ed this year. Turns out their the ones doing the papering (and they get the cameraman in on it).
  • July 22, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • July 30, 2014
    tryrar
    Strictly speaking, you don't HAVE to get 5 hats, it's just good etiquette to wait for 5 hats. Looking over this, your name is good, all the examples are on point, and there are no outstanding issues, so I say nobody would really look at you cross-eyed TOO hard if you went ahead and launched(just make sure you crosswick and index!)
  • July 30, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Is that so?
  • August 6, 2014
    theek01
    For Western Animation:

    • One episode of Detentionaire has Lee in need of a distraction to divert the attention of a mall employee, so he calls the skaters, who ride by the store and chuck toilet paper rolls inside to get the store worker to chase them.

    Not quite the traditional wrap-a-tree-or-building-in-toilet-paper variant, but close enough.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=5jeweyxtyqylxavpmppuesfr&trope=ToiletPaperPrank