[[quoteright:240:[[MagiNation http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/prankster_3157.jpg]]]]

->''"Your PRANKSTER'S GAMBIT plunges to an all time low. You cannot hope to defeat Egbert in a prank-off. He is simply the best there is."''
-->--'''''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'''''

A guy (or girl) who loves [[PracticalJoke practical jokes]] more than just a friend, and will not be selective about who they choose for a target - in fact, a success record with as many people on it as possible seems to be one of their life goals. They will be the constant annoyance of their friends, albeit humored and tolerated, akin to the LovableRogue. Using their tricks against the villain will usually be their SugarWiki/CrowningMomentOfAwesome that makes you forgive them for the rest.

AprilFoolsDay will be their favourite day of the year when they are [[AprilFoolsPlot even more out of control than usual]] (and sometimes it will be [[SignificantBirthDate their actual birthday]]).

Occassionally someone would decide to teach the prankster a lesson and give him a taste of his own medicine, which will often expose him as a hypocrite who is unable to laugh at himself (although there are genuine jokesters who enjoy a good joke even when it is on them), but note that more than one practical joker on the block for any longer duration will quickly lead to an EscalatingWar.

Usually there will be at least one episode where the prankster's behavior ends up backfiring on him - maybe they go too far and [[DeadlyPrank actually harm someone]] or [[CryingWolf they are thought to be joking even when they are not]]. Having the prankster lose his [[PluckyComicRelief trademark behavior]] is a [[ShooOutTheClowns clear sign]] that your story has just become DarkerAndEdgier.

Compare TheJester. Sometimes also a PungeonMaster. See also the TricksterArchetype.

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!!Examples

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* The Narutaki twins and Misora in ''MahouSenseiNegima''.

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[[folder: Comics ]]

* Franchise/{{Superman}}'s enemy called... the Prankster.
** Superman himself used to be quite the super-powered prankster pre-[[CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Crisis]].
* ComicBook/RichieRich's cousin, Reggie Van Dough, a mild villainous example.
* Irma Lair in ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}''.
* Jokey Smurf on ''Franchise/TheSmurfs'' (the [[ComicBook/TheSmurfs comic books]], the [[WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs cartoon show]], and the [[Film/TheSmurfs live-action movie]]) and his exploding gift boxes (although he has come up with other pranks on occasion).
* Ooga from ''ComicBook/PocketGod'' likes to play [[DeathIsCheap deadly pranks]] on his tribe, usually on [[TheDitz Nooby]]. He [[CharacterDevelopment gradually stops with the pranks]] when he becomes leader of the tribe.

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[[folder: Fan Fic ]]

* Merry and Pippin are this in ''FanFic/{{The Official Fanfiction University Of Middle-Earth}}''. They're called "the Urple Bandits".
* Socrates from ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' takes this UpToEleven - his life almost ''entirely'' revolves around pranks.
* Shuran Harkol in ''FanFic/{{Hivefled}}'' [[ArentYouGoingToRavishMe goes out of his way to be nice to the resident masochist]] when the normal social rules of trolls would entitle Harkol to beat the hell out of him, just to see him be disappointed.
* Kent in ''Webcomic/{{Sandswept}}''. To quote: "Your name is KENT and you REALLY LOVE PRANKS".

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Jack Frost from ''RiseOfTheGuardians''. Being mostly invisible helps. So do the ice powers.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Jim Halbert from the US version of ''TheOffice.''
* BJ Hunnicutt from ''[[Series/{{MASH}} M*A*S*H]]''.
* Harry Stone from ''NightCourt'' raised it to an art form.
-->'''Harry''': You may be younger. You may be faster. You may even be smarter. But you will never, ever be crazier than me.
* Chet "The Phantom" Kelly on ''{{Series/Emergency}}''.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Literature/HarryPotter'''s Fred and George Weasley.
** As well as James Potter and Sirius Black, who were directly compared to the Weasley twins. Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew too, to an extent.
* George and Harold from ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants''.
* Legs Mortimer, in Creator/PGWodehouse's "A Farewell to Legs", and the members of the Drones Club in other stories. (Mortimer Mouse in "[[WaltDisney Mickey's Rival]]" may have been inspired by this story.)
** Lest you think only the Drones have this quality, mention should also be made of Roberta "Bobbie" Wickham, who, when it comes to pranking, is MoreDeadlyThanTheMale.
* ''Radio/{{Pumuckl}}'', the kobold protagonist of a German children's series.
* Andrusch in ''Literature/{{Krabat}}''.
* In AaronAllston's run on the XWingSeries, he wrote several prank-happy pilots. Grinder in ''Wraith Squadron'' perhaps the most so, and certainly he was the only one to pull pranks that could be harmful. Fandom seems to believe that Wes Janson is absolutely this trope, but while Wes is amazingly irreverent and snarky, his actual "pranks" are rare, simple, and tame.
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'''s Zak Arranda shows flashes of this now and then. A PseudoCrisis in ''The Brain Spiders'' is his fault.
* Felicity Merriman and Elizabeth Cole from the ''AmericanGirlsCollection'', most especially in ''Very Funny, Elizabeth'', although some criticised the book for making Cole OutOfCharacter.
** Speaking of out of character, Merriman is mostly portrayed as such in the [[WebVideo/HitlerRants Hitler Rants]] parodies on Youtube.
* Julian from ''[[Literature/PointHorror The Boy Next Door]]'', whose pranks get steadily more serious and dangerous.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* The video for [[TheOffspring Original Prankster]] features the exploits of a life-long prankster.

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[[folder: Mythology ]]

* Some of the examples in TricksterArchetype are also this trope, such as Loki in NorseMythology and Coyote in Native American myth.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* This is one of the [[PlanetOfHats hats]] of kobolds in {{GURPS}} Fantasy Folk. Their other one is that they are all complete idiots, so their pranks aren't terribly sophisticated.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Ewan from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''.
* Yuffie Kisaragi of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' fame.
* Luciana and Emilia in ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion''. While we do get a list of pranks they've pulled off, we never see them at it directly, so it can be called an InformedAttribute.
* ''StarControl 2'' has an entire ''race'' of these with the Umgah. Since the Umgah are a bit insane and pretty immoral anyway, their pranks involve things like sparking interplanetary wars or slamming asteroids into other species' homeworlds.
* ''VideoGame/RuneFactory4'' has both Doug and Leon, though surprisingly, they neither engage in a prank war nor team up to torment the more serious members of the cast.

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[[folder: Visual Novels ]]

* Satoko Hojo from ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' as this trope's entry in the TropePantheons. She is practically the ''master'' of pranking. [[InsistentTerminology But they're not "pranks", they're traps]].
* Haruka from ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters''. At one point she even proudly boasts that she delivers chaos.
* Tomoya Okazaki of ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'' starts off as a bit of a prankster, but grows out of it as he matures. His ability to keep a straight face while telling outrageous lies is nothing short of amazing.

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Bo-Woo and Ra-Woo from ''Webcomic/DivineBells'' are a mischievious masked pair who play pranks on their king.
* In ''{{Homestuck}}'', John is described as the best prankster there is. But he regularly gets trounced by his Nanna, and both revered her adoptive father, Colonel Sassacre, as a master prankster. [[CosmicRetcon Post-Scratch]], Jane and her famous Poppop share the same qualities. [[spoiler:Since they're John & Nanna after switching places in history.]]

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In RealLife, Hermann Otto Fegelein was an [[NaziGermany S.S. officer]] during WorldWarII and the personal adjutant of Heinrich Himmler, who tried to defect a few days before Germany surrendered, but was caught and executed for treason. However, once he was depicted in ''Film/{{Downfall}}'', Fegelein started to gain a new reputation in [[WebVideo/HitlerRants the parodies]], where he is a ruthless prankster who performs all kinds of hilariously cruel antics against Hitler. Even better is that he somehow keeps avoiding capture due to the incompetence of Hitler's staff, and whenever he is found he is literally able ''to cheat death'' and come back.
** There's also Heinrich Himmler, who is among many "Grand Masters" of antics, and he is Fegelein's mentor.
** A number of other pranksters exist in the parodies. Aside from Fegelein and Himmler, Traudl is occasionally shown performing antics. The Stalin Parodies see JosephStalin's general Mikhail Tukhachevksy performing all kinds of bizarre antics. While the U-Boat Parodies only have one official antic master, they still turn ''the entire cast'' of Film/DasBoot into [[LoveableRogue Loveable Rogues]]. Felicity Merriman was also depicted as a prankster, similar to what she and Elizabeth did in one of the original AmericanGirl stories, albeit in a more extreme and crude level.
* ''Roleplay/WeAreOurAvatars'': If something seems weird enough for Krissy, or if he comes up with something unique, he’ll use his illusions to mess with people.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Horace from [[WaltDisney Mickey Mouse fame]].
** Mickey Mouse use to be a big prankster in his early days, especially towards Minnie. And while Minnie isn't as much of a prankster as her boyfriend, she sometimes likes to join in on the pranking herself.
* Reggie Mantle was treated this way on ''TheArchieShow''. He would attempt to prank {{Archie}}, and inevitably some authority figure would spring the trap instead. "Mrs. Grundy!"
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' sees [[GenkiGirl Pinkie Pie]] and [[BoisterousBruiser Rainbow Dash]] bonding over pranks. Interestingly, rather than the usual route of having them learn that "all pranks are bad!", it's made clear that their jokes are all done in good fun, and they back down from pranking [[ShrinkingViolet one of their friends]] who [[FragileFlower they think is too emotionally fragile]] to just shrug it off.
** Both are just a bit InnocentlyInsensitive in "Luna Eclipsed", where Pinkie Pie's letting herself be scared by Princess Luna constantly undermines Luna's efforts to make friends and Rainbow Dash inadvertently causes an InterruptedCooldownHug just as Luna and Pinkie were about to make peace. [[NotSoAboveItAll Luna gets her revenge though.]]
** Princess Celestia's pet, [[ThePhoenix Philomena]], is even worse. She even tops Rainbow Dash by being the only one able to make the [[BritishRoyalGuard Canterlot Guards]] move. Celestia herself seems to enjoy a little prank once in a while.
* T.J. Detweiler from ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}''. King Bob was one as well, at least before he became the playground's king.
* This is Muscle Man's greatest pleasure in life on RegularShow.
* [[MeaningfulName Brattus]] from ''WesternAnimation/MrBogus'' will periodically pull pranks on his older cousin Bogus.
* [[TheSimpsons Bart Simpson]], of course. His career highlights include inciting a media frenzy by pretending to be trapped in a well, answering his teacher's personal ad, replacing the hymns in the church with "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida," turning the school weather balloon into Principal Skinner's "rumpy doppelganger," trapping the teachers in their cars by repainting the lines in the parking lot, and getting an Australian boy to accept a $900 collect call by impersonating a drainage commissioner. And then there's all those [[PrankCall Prank Calls]] to Moe...

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Far too many spooks and spies to list, due to the necessity to keep a quick wit and a nature for deceit, have reputations as pranksters. One notable intelligence officer was Reginald V. Jones, who was the driving force in the radar countermeasures battle during [[WorldWarII the Blitz]], responsible for jamming, spoofing, and otherwise playing merry hell with German communications, navigational, and radar gear. He also had a reputation as an incorrigible prankster before the war.

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