"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."A guy (or girl) who loves 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 Lovable Rogue. Using their tricks against the villain will usually be their Crowning Moment of Awesome that makes you forgive them for the rest. April Fools' Day will be their favourite day of the year when they are even more out of control than usual (and sometimes it will be 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 Escalating War. Usually there will be at least one episode where the prankster's behavior ends up backfiring on him - maybe they go too far and actually harm someone or they are thought to be joking even when they are not. Having the prankster lose his trademark behavior is a clear sign that your story has just become Darker and Edgier. Prince of Pranksters is basically the uber version of this character. Compare The Jester. Sometimes also a Pungeon Master. See also the Trickster Archetype.
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Anime & Manga
- Kaitou Joker. Spade was a prankster in childhood. Now, in his late adolescence, his pranks have become an essential part of his style of theft.
- The Narutaki twins and Misora in Mahou Sensei Negima!.
- Majokko Meg-chan. Rabi that love play tricks on his big sisters Meg.
- Majokko Tickle. Tickle is a mischievous fairy who was imprisoned inside a book for playing pranks on people.
- The main character in his younger days; his hobbies were pulling pranks due to him craving attention. He grows out them as the manga goes on.
- According to the databooks, his mother enjoyed pulling pranks, though in her case it probably wasn't for attention.
- Bolt is a prankster as well. He's Naruto's son but pulls pranks to get his fathers attention.
- Kanna from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has this as an Informed Attribute. She was banished to Earth for pulling too many pranks, but we never see her do so at any point in the story. Justified later on when it's revealed that she was doing it get attention from her parents. Since Kobayashi pays attention to her, she has no reason to do so anymore.
- Superman's enemy called... the Prankster.
- Superman himself used to be quite the super-powered prankster pre-Crisis.
- Richie Rich's cousin, Reggie Van Dough, a mild villainous example.
- Irma Lair in W.I.T.C.H..
- Jokey Smurf on The Smurfs (the comic books, the cartoon show, and the live-action movie) and his exploding gift boxes (although he has come up with other pranks on occasion).
- Ooga from Pocket God likes to play deadly pranks on his tribe, usually on Nooby. He gradually stops with the pranks when he becomes leader of the tribe.
- Pre-amnesia Jesus in the Italian satiric comic Jenus of Nazareth. It also led to Judas' betrayal, as Jesus, needing someone who truly hated him to die on the cross for our sins, made him his favourite victim fully knowing he was the most hypercompetitive man in Judaea. For example, during a race that Judas was winning with Jesus in the last place the Messiah warned him that "The last shall be first, and the first last", and at the last moment Jesus miracled his way into swapping places with Judas, winning the race and getting Judas last, and at Judas' betrayal...
Jesus: Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?
Judas: He who sows wind will reap whirlwind... Master! Fate is a funny thing... In the end, the last aphorism shall be mine... Ah ah!
Jesus: He who sows beans shall reap whirlwind.
Judas: What absurd phrase is that? It means nothing!! You lose!! This time you...
(beat; Jesus is grinning)
Judas: AAARGH!! I GOT IT NOW!! DIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEE!! DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!!
- Merry and Pippin are this in The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth. They're called "the Urple Bandits".
- Socrates from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series takes this Up to Eleven - his life almost entirely revolves around pranks.
- Shuran Harkol in Hivefled 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 Sandswept. To quote: "Your name is KENT and you REALLY LOVE PRANKS".
- Minako Aino already enjoyed pranks in canon, but went Up to Eleven in the Italian remake of Battle Fantasia Project (most notable is the list of her prank presents, that include a gardening manual for a Magical Girl capable of controlling plants and a street lamp for a friend who collects normal lamps). For some reason, her pranks to Usagi never work, as they either backfire or she loves the prank presents (as with the giant hamster wheel. She uses it to exercise). Also, Michiru has helped at least once, keeping in line with her being The Gadfly in the anime.
- Peach is revealed to be one in The 3 Little Princesses when she accidentally pulls out the "Prank Cap Of Desiny", instead of the "Sleepover Cap Of Destiny", at the sleepover. Daisy is very unamused that Peach has pulled various cruel pranks on her.
- The Invisibles (especially those two of them who are always together) in Hope For The Heartless are Great Gazoos who just love irritating the Horned King with their numerous creative pranks.
Films — Animation
- Jack Frost from Rise of the Guardians. Being mostly invisible helps. So do the ice powers.
- Harry Potter'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 Captain Underpants.
- Legs Mortimer, in P. G. Wodehouse's "A Farewell to Legs", and the members of the Drones Club in other stories. (Mortimer Mouse in "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 More Deadly Than the Male.
- Pumuckl, the kobold protagonist of a German children's series.
- Andrusch in Krabat.
- In Aaron Allston's run on the X-Wing Series, 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.
- Galaxy of Fear's Zak Arranda shows flashes of this now and then. A Pseudo Crisis in The Brain Spiders is his fault.
- Felicity Merriman and Elizabeth Cole from the American Girls Collection, most especially in Very Funny, Elizabeth, although some criticised the book for making Cole Out of Character.
- Speaking of out of character, Merriman is mostly portrayed as such in the Hitler Rants parodies on Youtube.
- Julian from The Boy Next Door, whose pranks get steadily more serious and dangerous.
- Veikko from Valhalla is constantly playing practical jokes on everyone in the ravine. His sense of humor is his most defining, endearing and dangerous characteristic.
- Jim Halbert from The Office (US).
- And Tim Canterbury, his counterpart from The Office (UK).
- B.J. Hunnicutt from M*A*S*H. While B.J. is the most notable example, several of the show's other characters were capable of engaging in pranks, including Hawkeye, Trapper, Charles, and even (in one episode) Frank Burns.
- Harry Stone from Night Court 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 Emergency!.
- Klus The Gnome from Studio100's Kabouter Plop series who loved playing pranks around the other gnomes. He once scared the other gnomes by dressing up as a ghost, and later get's scared by the same ghost this time played by Plop.
- All four lead detectives in Saving Grace. When they're not busy busting bad guys, they're busting out laughs with their elaborate pranks.
- The video for Original Prankster features the exploits of a life-long prankster.
Myths & Religion
- Ewan from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones.
- Yuffie Kisaragi of Final Fantasy VII fame.
- Luciana and Emilia in Blaze Union. 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 Informed Attribute.
- Star Control II 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.
- Rune Factory 4 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.
- Lilica Felchenerow from Arcana Heart. So much that one of them actually led to the rise of Yoriko's partner Mike.
- Tewi Inaba from Touhou, whose pranks range from mean-spirited (digging pit traps in the forest) to outright sociopathic depending on the doujin.
- Sans from Undertale has an Establishing Character Moment where he introduces himself to you with a whoopee cushion gag. Later on, he'll actually abuse his powers over time and space just to pull a series of pranks at your expense; his brother Papyrus implies that he does that sort of thing a lot.
- Satoko Hojo from Higurashi: When They Cry as this trope's entry in the Trope Pantheons. She is practically the master of pranking. But they're not "pranks", they're traps.
- Haruka from Little Busters!. At one point she even proudly boasts that she delivers chaos.
- Tomoya Okazaki of 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.
- Bo-Woo and Ra-Woo from Divine Bells 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. Post-Scratch, Jane and her famous Poppop share the same qualities. Since they're John & Nanna after switching places in history. John is not one to be overlooked, however, as he drops a bucket on Rose's head as a friendly thank-you gesture for her kind gift to him on his birthday.
- The Insecticons of the Insecticomics are this, out of lack of anything better to do. Kickback once spent four hours waiting to pull a prank on the first person that walked by, stating that he "has a lot of free time for some reason."
- In Real Life, Hermann Otto Fegelein was an S.S. officer during World War II 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 Downfall, Fegelein started to gain a new reputation in 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 Joseph Stalin'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 Das Boot into Loveable Rogues. Felicity Merriman was also depicted as a prankster, similar to what she and Elizabeth did in one of the original American Girl stories, albeit in a more extreme and crude level.
- We Are Our Avatars: If something seems weird enough for Krissy, or if he comes up with something unique, he’ll use his illusions to mess with people.
- Thomas Sanders has two long-running Vine series, "Disney Pranks with Friends" and "Pokemon Pranks", which are all about adapting various Disney and Pixar movies into pranks and pranks based on Pokémon attacks, respectively. Some of his "Narrating People's Lives" Vines are pranks as well.
Disney Pranks with Friends! *sprays a friend with Silly String while singing "I've Got No Strings"*Zubat, go! Use Supersonic! *friend plays a really loud guitar chord and scares someone awake*Story time! *walks up to a woman looking at a dress and her daughter* She stared at the gown and thought 'Yes, this is something my husband would wear.' *woman laughs and nods while daughter turns away embarrased*
- Classic Disney Shorts:
- Horace from 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 The Archie Show. He would attempt to prank Archie, and inevitably some authority figure would spring the trap instead. "Mrs. Grundy!"
- Rig (AKA Rig Digger) from Matchbox Hero City, cracks out jokes almost every time.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- "Griffon the Brush Off" sees Pinkie Pie and 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 one of their friends who they think is too emotionally fragile to just shrug it off. Both are just a bit Innocently Insensitive 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 Interrupted Cooldown Hug just as Luna and Pinkie were about to make peace. Luna gets her revenge though.
- Princess Celestia's pet, Philomena, is even worse. She even tops Rainbow Dash by being the only one able to make the Canterlot Guards move. Celestia herself seems to enjoy a little prank once in a while.
- T.J. Detweiler from 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 Regular Show. He limits himself to not physically harming anyone though, as shown with "Prankless".
- Brattus from Mr. Bogus will periodically pull pranks on his older cousin Bogus.
- The Simpsons:
- 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 Prank Calls to Moe...
- "How Lisa Got Her Marge Back" reveals that Bart's baby sister Maggie has a knack for pranking as well. The two of them bond over this, leading to a brief partnership that is only stopped because Homer doesn't want Bart to be a bad influence on Maggie.
- Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice — it's why everyone in the Neitherworld hates him.
- Yogi's Gang has an antagonist by this very moniker. Hilarious P. Prankster, to be exact.
- DC Super Hero Girls gives us Harley Quinn. Just see "Quinn-tessential Harley" or her "Hero of the Month" honor for examples.
- 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 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.
- The founders of motorcycle company Harley-Davidson were noted for being practical jokers, as mentioned by Jean Davidson in her book about the Harley and Davidson families. Arthur, for one, gained a reputation for pulling off jokes not only on friends and family, but to a crowd when Scottish comedian and music hall singer Harry Lauder was supposed to come to Milwaukee to perform, impersonating the performer at an event all while people thought they were watching the real Lauder. Another instance was when Arthur and his brothers decided to outright troll fellow co-founder and friend Bill Harley at a duck hunt. Harley was sleeping in his boat at the time, and was snoring loudly, attracting the attention of ducks. They went behind Bill's boat and fired a few rounds at the birds, much to Bill's bewilderment.