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Great Gazoo
Making it rain in a whole new way.

Typically based on The Trickster (i.e. one of many "gods of mischief" from mythology, from Loki to Coyote to Puck), this is a Wacky Guy but with (effectively) magical powers — often in the form of a Sufficiently Advanced Alien. The Great Gazoo allows for nearly any number of other plots, thereby guaranteeing high drama or ensuing hilarity (hopefully).

Often is a Screwy Squirrel or Amusing Alien whom the heroes often regard (Usually with an irritated Face Palm at his return) as more like a pest than a serious menace. Sometimes the mishaps he causes are in fact a result of his Blue and Orange Morality. Sometimes he's an outright Jerkass Troll, in which case the heroes eventually get enough of his pranks and set out to stop him, but he can still be dangerously destructive if confronted improperly. The powers the Great Gazoo commandeers are by definition plot-breaking, so he usually has to be outsmarted or outwitted in order to be defeated. A direct assault never works.

Takes its name from the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones, a little green alien that only Fred, Barney and small children can see. Not to be confused with The Grand Wazoo.

See Also: The Fair Folk and Reality Warper.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Ryuk from Death Note is most definitely a Great Gazoo. His only real manipulation is letting humans think they are in control of the situation as part of his Screwy Squirrel routine. He is very potent, impossible to harm conventionally, and the only way to defeat him would be manipulate him into sacrificing himself for someone else's sake — something extraordinarily unlikely given his carefree attitutde.
  • Excalibur from Soul Eater, the most powerful weapon on earth and also the most obnoxious and pettily selfish.
  • Dung Beetle/Koyemshi from Bokurano counts as well. Proves himself generally invulnerable to the actions of the main cast.

    Comic Books 
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk, an imp from the fifth dimension. In Superman: The Animated Series, Mxy claims to be the inspiration for the stories of genies and leprechauns — after a while he got bored of messing with ordinary people, but then Superman showed up. It's unclear just how far up the ladder he is on his home turf (sometimes he's unknowable, sometimes he's a 5th-dimensional kook with a weird hobby), but in the third dimension he's a Reality Warper. Supes can only get rid of him by tricking him into saying his name backwards — a weakness that, in Post-Crisis continuity, Mxy made up himself because a game has to have rules; Pre Crisis, it was a naturally ingrained weakness. In The World's Greatest Superfriends, he even tricked Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Supes into making the ingredients needed for a potion that'd enable him to overcome his weakness, but Supes wised up and not only foiled the plan but also allowed Mxy to think the plan worked to trick him into saying his name backwards. When he's sent back, a Reset Button is hit, and everything returns to normal.
    • In the Golden Age, Mxyztplk (note the spelling) was in his own dimension a mere court jester to his world's king. Also during this era, saying his name backwards wasn't just his own weakness; anyone who said Mxyztplk's name backwards would be sent to the fifth dimension.
    • One Silver Age story had Superman turn the tables by traveling to the Fifth Dimension and using his superpowers to prank Mxy exactly the same way he normally does on Earth. Mxy attempts to get rid of Supes by getting him to say "Namrepus", but it doesn't work; after he decides he's had enough fun, he goes home by saying "Le-Lak".
  • Bat-Mite is to Batman as Mxy is to Superman... except he's a gigantic fanboy who honestly wants to help instead of cause trouble. Naturally, Batman finds this even more annoying than if Bat-Mite were just out to get him. (Also, Bat-Mite does sometimes knowingly make things harder for Batman, just to see how his hero is going to get out of the situation.) Bat-Mite also appeared in The New Adventures of Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series.
  • Johnny Thunder's thunderbolt (actually a being from the same dimension as Mxyzptlk).
  • A minor recurring nemesis of the Fantastic Four was a shape-shifting alien troublemaker known as Impossible Man.
    • In the past DC had Mxyzptlk imply that he was visiting the Marvel universe in the form of Impossible Man, but the Marvel Handbook says that this isn't the case and Mxy is merely imitating Impossible Man. This was further disproven in the Superman and Silver Surfer crossover. Mxy and the Impossible Man teamed up, and later started fighting. And Mxy was quite offended at the thought of being equated with the Impossible Man.
      • It also highlighted some of the chief differences between the two: Impossible Man just loves to have fun, while Mxyptlk's humor has a darker edge to it. The former actually gets enraged when he realizes Mxy lied to him.
  • Horizont-Al and Verti-Cal in Sonic the Hedgehog, at least before the Cerebus Syndrome.
  • With the popularity of Mxy and Bat-mite, it was planned to give The Flash a helpful imp by the name of Mopee. However the Retcon involved was so hated that the very next issue ignored the entire thing. He was effectively out of continuity for decades, though recently appeared in two issues of the DC Super Friends series. During which he claimed to not only have given powers to the Flash, but also Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. No one buys any of it. He also gets his first taste of the troublesome side of the trope, giving everyone at a convention super powers to prove he really can do it. Naturally Myx planned the whole thing.
  • Even Aquaman has an imp related to Mxy, the Thunderbolt and all the rest, by the name of Quisp. He is best known for turning up during the Grant Morrison Justice League of America run, having made himself absurdly Darker and Edgier to better mirror Aquaman at that time. It's fairly clear that Morrison intended this as a parody.
  • Issue #65 of The Powerpuff Girls introduced the Micro-Puffs, three sprite versions of the girls from another dimension. They first appear to want to be friends with the girls but their ulterior motive is to yank their collective chains with mischief.
  • A far more malevolent version is the X-Men's enemy Mojo. He's from another dimension that he rules absolutely through a brain-numbing media empire, although he can only maintain ownership of the Mojoverse so long as his subjects like his programming. To that end, he uses his utter and complete mastery of magic (or sufficiently advanced science, maybe) to irritate the X-Men, so they have wacky adventures. He rarely attacks them outright; he does, however, have an army of baby clones of both the X-Men and of their enemies, including those of the Age of Apocalypse. Ominously, Dr. Strange once remarked that if Mojo ever decided to appear on earth itself, it would be a very, very bad thing...
    • Specifically, Mojo is a semi-humanoid invertebrate that moves mostly through technological aid, which makes television a lot more popular in his world since his people are more sedentary by nature. As said though, their technology is sufficiently advanced and on top of that Mojo's presence gives off an anti-life effect while in the regular 616 world for unknown reasons.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's Aladdin has the zany Genie. Virtually any good magical character in Disney is typically pretty wacky; the Three Good Fairies, the Fairy Godmother, Peter Pan, etc., but the Genie takes the cake, breaking even the Fourth Wall.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Gamebooks 
  • Lone Wolf: Really the only way to describe Alyss, a mischevious demigoddess first introduced in the novelization before becoming a Canon Immigrant in the gamebooks. She's firmly on the side of good, but is rather playful about it compared to any other of Lone Wolf's allies.

    Literature 
  • The puck (or Robin Goodfellow) in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Isaac Asimov's Azazel stories. Azazel is either a demon or a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, depending on the venue in which any given story was published.
  • Kyprioth the trickster god of Tamora Pierce's Daughter of the Lioness. He's actually the chief Trickster of Tortall's Fantasy Pantheon and has two faces: jovial prankster, and extremely bitter ex-king.
  • Tom Bombadil, in The Lord of the Rings. Tom is so powerful that he is able to wear the One Ring and give it up freely without a thought, but spends most of his time wandering in the Old Forest and whimsically singing about himself, and is said by Gandalf to be capable of withstanding an assault by any force of the world, unless they were all allied against him. He provides a convenient plot device to allow the hobbits to escape the Barrow Wights and take their swords (which later prove essential to the story, since the swords are the only thing deadly to Nazgl).
    • Let's just say that Bombadil really doesn't fit neatly into Tolkien's larger backstory and there's a lot of fannish speculation about who or what he really is. Gandalf implies that Bombadil being unaffected by the Ring is just that Tom doesn't care about the Ring (beyond a brief passing interest in it as a pretty shiny thing), so it has no power over him one way or the other.
  • Simkin from The Darksword Trilogy is a rare example of a human-looking Great Gazoo. He spends most of the books simply inventing his own plotlines if he doesn't like the situation he's in.
  • Pennywise the Clown from IT is a malevolent form of this trope. Wacky, powerful, and completey evil and murderous, and invisible to most people.
  • Karlsson in the children's book Karlsson on the Roof by Astrid Lindgren.
  • Paladine in the Dragonlance novels is a good version of this trope. Consider how every single time Tasslehoff prays to him in the Legends trilogy, Paladine immediately gives Tass exactly what Tass asked for, never quite what Tass had in mind, but exactly what Tass actually needed.
  • Nyarlathotep is basically what happens when this role is played dead serious by an atrocious space god who enjoys tormenting the insects called "humans" as versus being too busy not not caring like most of his peers.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • Devin Townsend's Ziltoid the Omniscient is an album about Ziltoid (the Omniscient). He is very much this, only as an antagonist.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 

     Theme Parks 
  • Waldo, the 3D Muppet from Muppet*Vision 3D at Disney Theme Parks.
  • At Epcot in Walt Disney World, the Imagination Pavilion has the excitable purple dragon Figment. In the original incarnation of the Journey Into Imagination ride, he used his reality warping powers to come up with new ideas. In the current incarnation, he mainly uses them to annoy Dr. Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idle) in an effort to get him to lighten up and let his imagination run free.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Coyote in Gunnerkrigg Court is based on New World trickster god Coyote and embraces the trope fully.
  • The Fae race from DMFA. That's right, an entire effing race of 'em.
  • minus from minus.
  • Lord Sykos from The Wotch.

    Web Original 
  • Bjrk, as depicted in "The Bjork Show" at That Guy with the Glasses.
  • Sun Wu Kong appears him/herself in Whateley Universe.
  • Thanks to the great powers and incomprehensible natures, certain Transapients and Archailects have been considered to be these in Orion's Arm, in the eyes of ordinary modosophonts.

    Western Animation 
  • The Flintstones has Gazoo himself, of course.
  • The Gargoyles incarnation of Shakespeare's Puck. In his first appearance (but not later ones,) he's bound by an enchantment that makes him a Jerkass Genie.
  • The Great Gazoo is given a Shout-Out in The Simpsons' "Spin-Off Showcase" episode, showing "Ozmodiar" as a little green alien that only Homer can see. The joke many fans missed was that in an interview, Matt Groening said that the introduction of a Great Gazoo would officially mark the death of the series.
    • In one episode, the Simpsons are at an animation convention, and Bart and Lisa watch a clip from an Anime:
    Ozmodiar: *appears out of nowhere* "He's right, you know!"
  • The Teen Titans episode "Fractured" guest-starred Larry the Titan (also known as Nosyarg Kcid), a Bat-Mite-inspired "Super-Deformed Robin" imp from dimension 498.
  • Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983). The twist? He only has omnipotence in his homeworld — in Eternia, he is mostly an Inept Mage. However one episode features another trollan called Prankster, who is an even straighter example, and he makes a lot of trouble for He-Man and co. The only way to get rid of him was to trick him into saying his real name.
    • The 2002 reboot at least demonstrated why this was. Orko could manage his powers just fine with his wand, which he accidentally lost while saving a young Prince Adam and Cringer shortly after arriving in Eternia.
  • Probably the most spectacular Great Gazoo was God in God, the Devil and Bob. (A similar character has appeared several times in Family Guy.)
    • Gazoo himself shows up in an episode of Family Guy.
  • The Legion of Super Heroes episode "Child's Play" introduced Zyx, a Spoiled Brat runaway from a magical Obstructive Bureaucrat planet (as well as a transparent stand-in for Mr. Mxyzptlk).
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • There's an episode with a blue cat creature named Chaos who was said to be stronger than any genie.
    • Another episode had a pair of small Gazoo-like Reality Warpers, who force the cast to compete in various games. At one point Iago suggests that, with their powers, they should try to Take Over the World or something instead. They reply that ruling it got boring after a few centuries.
  • The Magic School Bus - Ms. Frizzle. Who is also Inexplicably Awesome.
  • Eris, the Goddess of Chaos in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • The title-characters in Fairly Oddparents definitely qualify.
    • Also some other magical creatures that have shown up throughout the series like genies, pixies, and anti-fairies.
  • The animated version of Beetlejuice.
  • Discord, the opening baddie of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's second season. A Reality Warper, Trickster Villain, who uses his powers to screw with the mane cast. He turns out to be a fair bit nastier than is the norm for this type, though. By Season 3, he had reformed, but his mischievous nature goes untamed.
    • Princess Celestia is a Downplayed Trickster Goddess. Despite being capable of dealing with most threats to Equestria herself and/or providing far more information about said threats than she does, Celestia usually sends a (seemingly) ill-equipped Mane Six instead despite the (seemingly) impossible odds. This is to train Twilight.
  • Parodied twice on Robot Chicken.
    • The first time involved a Take That to Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation with the network executives adding in the annoying, space banjo playing Snirkles to make Wesley look better in comparison. The fans paid for a billboard to read "Kill Wesley. Keep Snirkles".
    • The second time actually had Gazoo appearing to the Flintstones for the first time. Fred and Barney believed him to be some type of god and offered their wives and animal sacrifices to appease him. They then savagely killed him when they get sick of him.
  • Futurama had the Energy Being Melllvar, who kidnaps the Planet Express and forces them, and the re-corporated heads of the Star Trek: The Original Series cast to re-enact old episodes.
  • Glomer on the animated version of Punky Brewster. He's more naive and clumsy than he is mischievous.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles get one in 'Mr. Ogg Goes To Town'.
  • Uncle Grandpa, anyone?


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Gentleman ThiefThe TricksterGuile Hero

alternative title(s): The Ozmodiar; Trickster God
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