Raccoons' cute masked faces have led to countless fictional depictions as sly, thieving (though usually cute and cuddly) tricksters
. Due to Added Alliterative Appeal
, most fictional raccoons are usually described as "rascals" (this word was used so often, it even became their Stock Animal Name
!). Usually Rascally Raccoons are depicted as just playful, mischievous, maybe a bit disobedient – though portrayal as literal thieves or kleptomaniacs isn't rare, either. Furthermore, unlike other predators like Foxes, Raccoons are often depicted as urbane and streetwise considering they are notorious as one of the largest mammals who prefer living in cities.
Note: This trope is not a list of all raccoons in fiction. Nor is it a list of all raccoons named "Rascal" (such examples should go into Stock Animal Name). Only raccoons with "rascally" personality apply here.
A subtrope of Animal Stereotypes
. Compare Cunning Like a Fox
. For the Japanese raccoon dog that tends to get a similar treatment in fiction, see Tanuki
. In some Western localizations, the Tanuki may be mistaken for a Rascally Raccoon.
Anime & Manga
- In 1977, Sterling North's book Rascal about a mischievous raccoon (see Literature) got an anime adaptation called Araiguma Rasukaru.
- In 2005, the anime got a Chibi spin-off called Poka Poka Mori No Rascal.
- Due to the very similar Animal Stereotypes and vaguely similar appearances of the two species, the Tanuki in Pom Poko were mistakenly identified as raccoons in the English dub.
- One Sears Optical commercial had a woman telling her cat to come back into her house, but ended up having a raccoon enter her house instead. Cue the raccoon being revealed to be very sick and biting her in her sleep.
- R.J. the lazy and thieving raccoon in Over the Hedge (see Newspaper Comics).
- Rocket from the film version of Guardians of the Galaxy is a greedy bounty hunter, and gets into a long talk with a Nova Corps. officer about the definition of stealing if he wants something more than the owner.
- Rascal is a 1963 book by Sterling North about a boy who raises a pet raccoon, but eventually has to release him after his sister asks him to. In fairness, the raccoon starts raiding fields and henhouses, and getting into trouble with other raccoons, and it was the mating season.
- The Adam Raccoon series of Christian children's books, written and illustrated by none other than Glen Keane. According to one book's description, the series stars the "rascally, fun-loving Adam who wants to follow his King (a lion symbolizing Jesus), but finds it so easy to stray".
- A few books in the Hank the Cowdog feature Eddy the Rac, a cute little orphan raccoon. He's a nice kid, but his Trickster Archetype creeps up on him often.
- Children's author Avi has two books about a female raccoon named Amanda, including Keep Your Eye on Amanda!, in which she wants to be a professional thief but her brother doesn't, and Amanda Joins the Circus, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. This is an extremely rare example of the "rascal" stereotype applied to a female.
- R.J. the Raccoon from Over the Hedge, a lazy con artist raccoon who likes to ransack human homes.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, the gnomish deity Baervan Wildwanderer has a raccoon sidekick named Chiktikka, who tends to act before he thinks and steals items.
- In Sly Cooper, the title character is descended from a line of master thief raccoons.
- The Pokémon Zigzagoon is clearly based on either the raccoon or the tanuki. Its special ability in the game is Pick Up, which randomly finds items buried in the grass, and it learns several moves related to stealing. (Its evolution Linoone is based more on a badger.)
- Super Mario Bros. 3 featured a leaf powerup that gave Mario/Luigi a raccoon's ears and tail when transformed. It featured a similar powerup called the Tanuki suit, which also gave him the ability to become a statue. The powerup returned in Super Mario 3D Land.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a raccoon in the Mysterious Woods will prevent you from progressing by changing the area the top of the screen leads to, and must be sprinkled with magic powder in order to proceed. Using the powder changes the raccoon back into its true form, Tarin, who was Baleful Polymorphed after eating a mushroom.
- 21st Century Fox: Amoral Attorney/hacker/thief Willie Nixon, naturally.
- Sandra and Woo: one of the main characters is Woo, a smart-mouthed raccoon who is sometimes prone to mischief and raiding fridges.
- T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics has raccoons living next door to him. Utahraptor and Dromeciomimus both think they're cute and fit this trope, but T-Rex finds them terrifying.
- Roger from The Whiteboard, who only lacks the "scientist" part to be a fully-fledged Mad Scientist Gadgeteer Genius, and is prone to pranking others at the strip's main setting, a paintball shop.
- The Raccoon Family (drawn by Gene Catlow artist Albert Temple in his earlier works) The three youngster raccoons (Observant, Confident, and Active) qualify, but averted with their parents, Gruff and Patience.
- Falstaff and Truck from Housepets!. Being expys of Abbott and Costello, Falstaff qualifys more than Truck.
- Rigby from Regular Show, who often tries to reach his goals through lying and cheating.
- Meeko, from Pocahontas. He steals Percy's food as a Running Gag.
- Wabuu, the cheeky raccoon from the Dingo Pictures films. He hops like a kangaroo and likes to pull practical jokes on other animals.
- Wabuu is particularly funny because, unlike Meeko (who he represents in Legend Of Pocahontas), he appears to be genuinely sociopathic at times. Particularly the strong German accent he speaks with (Meeko doesn't speak in the Disney movie). The other characters all find him extremely annoying.
- The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Mask of the Raccoon" focuses on a French-accented raccoon named Ze Archer, who "borrows" from others and says that he intends to give the stuff away. When his cover is blown (he's not really French and his name is Archie, and he's keeping the stuff for himself), the penguins use him to help give to the less fortunate.
- Carl Raccoon of Get Muggsy! joins his opossum friend Tred in begging for food from humans.
- Tookit of ThunderCats (2011), although his seemingly harmless and amusing antics are a mask for something a lot more dark and manipulative.
- Scalawag of Filmation's Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night. Starts off seeming like another subversion of the playful mischievous raccoon actually being a lying, cheating scoundrel, until he realizes the error of his ways, has a moment of heroic fortitude where he stands by Pinocchio, and gets to redeem himself, being only a Loveable Rogue after all.
- Ziggy from Trust Me Im A Genie is a purple raccoon who also happens to be a genie and he fits the rascally stereotype to a T.
- Raccoons are notorious for using human urban areas to their maximum advantage.