Rascally Raccoon

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Rocket: Question: What if I see something that I wanna take and it belongs to someone else?
Corpsman Dey: You will be arrested.
Rocket: But what if I want it more than the person who has it?

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 streetwise, even while being willing to use their cute looks for their advantage, 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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    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.

    Commercials 
  • 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.

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live Action 
  • 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.

    Literature 
  • 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.
  • Another female example is Tulip from the 1973 book Benjamin & Tulip by Rosemary Wells for some reason loves causing trouble around Benjamin including causing fights and making fun of him for unknown reasons.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • R.J. the Raccoon from Over the Hedge, a lazy con artist raccoon who likes to ransack human homes.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop RPGs 
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the gnomish deity Baervan Wildwanderer has a raccoon sidekick named Chiktikka, who tends to act before he thinks and steals items.

    Video Games 
  • 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.) Averted with Riolu and Lucario, which were partially based on actual raccoons but are largely depicted as heroic fighters instead of mischievous rascals.
  • 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.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Raccoons are notorious for using human urban areas to their maximum advantage.

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