Troll
aka: Internet Troll

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/webtroll_1682.jpg
Warning: Do not feed. Art by LemonArt.

"Folks on this website are having too much fun, perhaps my negative post will see that undone."

A gadfly screws with other people because it's amusing. Then there is the infamous Troll. What separates this character from a gadfly is that it is not supposed to be funny—or at least not to anyone but (in darker cases, usually) themselves. All they want to do is see other people make a fool of themselves.

The term trolling comes from fishing, rather than the fantasy creature. Trolling in a fishing context means casting a baited line out in the water and dragging it through the water behind you as you move. The idea in the Internet context is that you set out some bait in much the same way and watch as your victim grabs it and writhes for your amusement. Malcontents on the internet protected by anonymity have been doing this for years, hence the widespread usage of the term. When encountered in a game, a Jerkass troll is often called a Griefer. While the word and concept are based on these beginnings, the term has spread from there such that it has become a widely used term to discuss pointlessly cruel characters.

If they just want to see their victims flail, then they're a true Troll.

See also For the Evulz. Compare and contrast The Gadfly, who is relatively harmless, but can be easily mistaken for a troll on the internet. Contrast I Shall Taunt You, in which someone gets on an opponent's nerves in order to gain a tactical advantage. Supernatural versions of this trope can also be a Jackass Genie. Also compare and contrast Attention Whore, which nearly all trolls are accused of being, since their evulz rely on people actually responding to them. (Note, not all attention whores are trolls, but trolls are one of the worst kinds of attention whore.) Going beyond the worst type of troll are cyberbullies: which qualify as pathological Sadists are usually accused of trolling. For characters whose trolling has become memetic, see Memetic Troll.

Psychology Today announced that a serious scientific study was performed on the phenonemon and baldly pronounced that "...the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists" and "both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun... and the Internet is their playground!" When mentioning trolls in this manner, the term would more likely to be 'cyberbully' as trolls are more like The Gadfly, apart from that trolls don't care if the people they mess around with share in their laughs .

Contrast with Hanlon's Razor. See also Trolling Creator.

For an article about mythological trolls, see All Trolls Are Different. The film of the same name is over here.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • Discussed in an ad for Oscar Health Insurance, which depicted a (mythological) troll on a laptop, accompanied by "Ask a doctor instead of randos on the Internet."

    Anime and Manga 
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom especially when he has green stripes.
  • Fujisaki from Noragami seems to be written as a personified allegory of a dedicated internet troll. Due to his ability to Body Surf, he acts as a flesh-and-blood "sock puppet account" that he uses to take people on fake dates and rub it in their significant other's face later, call in a fake threat to send the authorities to take down an innocent scapegoat, and destroy a family's livelihood by orchestrating a massive PR nightmare just for slighting him. He holds everyone in contempt, but whenever he's even remotely threatened or challenged directly, he retreats and declares himself the winner. And he does it all For the Evulz.
  • Nui Harime from Kill la Kill. She cheerfully admits to murdering Ryuko's father during her first appearance, and then later disguises herself as a male student just to screw with Ryuko all over again.
  • Cromartie High School had an episode about a gang leader that administrates a web forum and is incredibly polite. After running into a troll, he restrains himself. However, the troll later bumps into him in person, and is punched to the ground by the gang leader without either knowing who the other really is.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has Meru Otonashi, who (true to her name) is extremely shy around others, and only communicates through text messages... pretty much all of which consist entirely of outrageous slander of the recipient. And don't even think about taking her phone away, because she has extras. And don't bother waiting for the battery to die. She has extras. Many extras.
    Nozomu: "What are you, Rambo!?"
  • Durarara!!'s Izaya Orihara not only trolls the internet (his favorite tactic appears to be posing as a girl in chatrooms) but also real life on a near-constant basis. His Arch-Enemy, Shizuo Heiwajima, maintains that 99% of the weird stuff going on in town has to do with him. The sad part is that he's right.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Upon his release, Solf J. Kimblee pranked a Mook by transmuting his watch into a time bomb... that turned out to actually be a cuckoo clock toy.
  • Higanbanna from Higanbana No Saku Yoru Ni, who also loves to use dark Irony as part of it, especially to Hikaru in the visual novel.
  • Curren Hückebein from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force loves pulling her tricks to her enemy, especially Special Duty Section 6.
  • Hisa from Saki. Her initial reason for having Nodoka play with her stuffed penguin, Etopen, was to collect "joke material," on her, but she soon found that Nodoka having it at her side like she did when she played online made her play better. She also allows Momo to get the impression that something happened between her and Momo's close friend Yumi, causing her to freak out.
  • Vector from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. He is probably the trollest character in the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.
  • Shippo in InuYasha, to some extent. He often makes cheeky remarks and plays pranks on Inuyasha, and needless to say, it never ends well for the young Kitsune.
  • Mai Minakami from Nichijou is infamous for her extreme levels of being a troll. She plays pranks on her friends, on other people and sometimes even on her own dogs, which are also trolls to some extent, or even herself, while keeping her emotionless-looking face the whole time.
  • In the manga One-Punch Man, the hero of the series, Saitama, is very good at goading, mocking, or belittling his opponents. Sometimes he does it on purpose and other times he's oblivious to the fact that people might be annoyed when you point out their flaws. Some good examples are:
    • When he fights the king of the sea, the king starts a speech saying that he's the strongest in the world until he is cut off by Saitama saying "yeah, yeah, I get it, you're great and everything. Look, could we hurry this up, it's raining out here".
    • During a lecture made by a class A hero about how heroes are expected to behave, Saitama looks absolutely disinterested to the point of blowing bubbles which irritates the speaker to no end.
    • Unintentional examples are when he is simply unaware of things that others view as important, like when the first ranked B level hero Fubuki approaches Saitama with the intention of recruiting him into her group. When her underlings ask him if he knows who she is, he simply replies with a "nope" and when they tell him she is the first ranked hero, he only says "good for you" which they take as intentional disrespect.
  • Bartolomeo from One Piece definitely counts. It doesn't help that he is a huge fanboy of the Straw Hat Pirates.
  • Michiru Kaioh of Sailor Moon is quite possibly the most elegant troll in existence. She's certainly not malicious or evil, but the moment she says "Ara" expect the conversation to be full of innuendo and oh-so-innocent snarking.
  • Xellos from Slayers is a Mazoku who feeds off negative emotions, and enjoys pissing off and otherwise messing with the rest of the cast, often by withholding valuable information.
  • Seraph of the End: Shinoa loves riling up other people, especially Mitsuba and Yuu. She gets called out on this by Guren, who tells her that continuing this behavior for her own amusement will get someone killed.
  • Level E: Quite nearly everything Prince Baka does is merely to get under people's skin.

    Comic Books 
  • Loki, the Norse trickster god, constantly trolls the rest of the cast of The Mighty Thor and the Marvel Universe at large. His current incarnation(s) are also very tech, internet, and fandom savvy, not to mention Medium Aware. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    Fan Fiction 
  • TD of The Non-Bronyverse sometimes engages in this. He and Celestia take it Up to Eleven in a few of the non-canon stories.
  • Iron Will of Fan Fic/Iron Will's Foalcon Necrophilia Sex Rampage Iron Will trolls Sweetie Belle by dressing up as his own mother during sexual intercourse.
  • Yukari of the Touhou series gets this treatment a lot in fanworks, given her habit of messing about with the other characters for her own amusement.
    • As does Tewi of the same series, with Reisen Udongein Inaba as the most frequent victim of her pranks. Sometimes she'll prank someone else and leave Reisen to take the fall like the Karma Houdini she is.
    • Seija also gets this, as her nature is to be contrary to everybody else — she likes being hated for causing trouble.
  • Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg, a character from the Nasuverse, can be accused for being responsible for most crossover fanfictions, the reason being for fun. He is the wielder of the Kaleidoscope, the operation between parallel worlds, making him able to travel anywhere across the multiverse. See 'Keep calm and blame Zelretch.'
  • In Origin Story, after a homophobic man at the diner they're eating in tells Alex and Louise Harris (a lesbian couple) that God and the Bible says they're sinners destined for Hell, Alex asks him to specify which God. When the man responds with "The one true God!", Alex points out that there are at least a dozen religions claiming to have a "one true God". When the man says, "The God of the Bible!", Alex points out there are at least five different versions of the Bible that contain significant differences enough to effectively make them separate books entirely.
  • In Latch Key Kids, after Robin responds to Batman's text with a smiley face, Batman sends him a message written in hieroglyphs.
  • In Tame it's implied that the Sloths at the Zootopia DMV are incredibly slow just to screw with people. Flash was on the track team in high school with Nick and Nick notes that if Flash "slips up" he'll get a response to his text in a few seconds rather than hours.
  • (Former) Evil Overlord Damien in Retired to Equestria generally does whatever he thinks will amuse him the most, generally at someone else's expense. Such instances include deliberately misunderstanding what he walked in on at the library between Gilda, Twilight Sparkle, and Fluttershy, dyeing Princess Luna's coat pink, and making a former enemy board with him in hopes of returning home.
  • In Team Fishnet, all of Team 7 become trolls after they mess with their sensei (Anko) by showing up in fishnet. Instances include: Naruto and Sasuke staring longingly at each other in public, Sakura and Sasuke arguing whether Naruto or Anko is better in bed, and Sasuke getting into an extremely childish argument with Konohamaru (petty name-calling included).

    Film - Animated 
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns has The Joker subscribe to troll philosophy, given his words to Batman.
    Joker: You're in trouble now.
    Batman: Shut up.
    Joker: Make me. It doesn't matter. I win. I made you lose control. And they'll kill you for it.
  • In Frozen the trolls literally troll Anna and Kristoff during "Fixer Upper" when they want both to get married despite the fact that they just met, and that Anna is already engaged to Hans. Even when Kristoff explicitly tells then that she is already engaged, they continue to ship them and ignore Anna's progressively worse frozen heart until she faints from it.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the plot is kicked off by the duo's reaction to trolls on a movie review site. The movie also ends with them flying to each troll's house and beating the ever loving hell out of them.
  • Grantaire in Les Misérables (2012), solely directed at Enjolras. Just look at his face during "Red and Black".
  • In Interstate 60, O. W. Grant, who is (mostly) benevolent in granting wishes, considers messing with people to be the best form of entertainment there is.
  • In Whiplash, Fletcher is an especially malicious one to Andrew throughout the film. His trash-talking and belittling ranges from harassing Andrew for his tempo and comparing him to a little girl to mocking his personal history. By the final performance, Fletcher even fools Andrew into thinking his new class will be playing "Whiplash", only to humiliate Andrew by having the band play a different song as his form of vengeance.
  • The Martian invaders towards humanity in Mars Attacks!.
  • Both versions of Cyberbully have some horrible variations of this.
    • The 2011 movie has people making crude jokes at Osment's character. They progressively get worse and she's almost Driven to Suicide.
    • The 2015 movie features a troll as the villain. They claim that they were going after the main character because she trolled on a girl's video, which led to her being harassed online. The abuse was so bad that the girl started cutting herself and eventually killed herself. However, the troll's motives aren't because they had any special relations with her. They also trolled her and were ten times worse than Casey.
  • Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy says that he needs a prosthetic leg as one of the items for the prison breakout. After Peter Quil (Star Lord) got the leg, Rocket reveals that he only asked for the leg to see the owner hopping around without it. He later attempts this trick on a Ravager with the prosthetic eye.

    Literature 
  • Nyarlathotep, The Crawling Chaos of the Cthulhu Mythos is definitely this. A lot of his actions can be summed up as "he loves to meddle into human affairs without directly harming them."
  • In Ender's Game, Peter and Valentine troll message boards in order to learn from the angry responses. Step 1: Troll message boards. Step 2: ??? Step 3: World domination!
  • Pretty much the entirety of Edgar Allan Poe's only full-length novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, is a long, mean-spirited practical joke at the expense of readers. In an age where exploration narratives were one of the most popular forms of literature, he published it without a label indicating it as fiction, made it completely unbelievable, and turned most of the plot into a series of anticlimactic moments, and the ending is infamously abrupt. First editions tend to have marginalia along the lines of "I don't believe a word of this!" and "Damned liar!". Despite this, the work has often been analyzed, especially the final chapter, which is also notable for being one of the earliest known examples of Cosmic Horror.
  • Wedge Antilles, in the X-Wing Series, loves to give straight-faced lies to his friends and peers. (Subordinates are mostly exempt.) Han Solo tends to fall for them, Leia generally sees right through him — "You're such a liar", she says once — and even Luke was fooled at least once — the Marvel Star Wars story in which Wes Janson dies has been worked around into a story Wedge tells. Wes himself similarly enjoys trolling Wedge, who plays straight man for him unless a line is crossed, as in Solo Command, which led to a truly amazing reversal.
  • In The Hunger Games, when Katniss and Peeta meet several of the other victors, they are incredibly unnerved by their creepy and generally odd behavior towards them. Finnick seemingly tries to seduce Katniss, offering her a sugar cube and asking her to "tell him all her secrets," Johanna strips down stark naked in front of both Katniss and Peeta (which she proceeds to do repeatedly, I might add) and then shares an elevator with them, chatting genially the whole way up, and Chaff drunkenly tries to make out with Katniss (which Haymitch and he find hilarious). Why? They're all just having fun fucking with the newest, "purest" victors.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: There are a lot of characters in this series who dabble in occasionally baiting others in a number of ways, some more deadly physical or psychological than others. But, most manage to restrict it to extreme snarkery of various descriptions and have some reason behind it that follows other goals and motives, even if they do cross the line. But, for balls-out, pointless, verbal sparring just to be as annoying as possible expressly to get a rise out of the poor victim? You really can't beat Lord Walder Frey: he's built a reputation on it and manages to take a perverse pride in it. He even admits to it being one of the few pleasures in life he has left (well, apart from his young wife). And, then he serves up the Red Wedding with the help of his Family and all the "style" it entailed: it's the Westerosi equivalent of repeatedly teabagging a corpse you could only hope to create by spawn-camping with an Infinity+1 Sword you borrowed off a mate in another Guild — for a couple of hours. And, then posting it on YouTube. That's when you realize, that, although he's also being used, he's not kidding about how seriously he takes his petty amusements.
  • In Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, The Mouser frequently makes comments designed to provoke, bait, annoy, or harass, solely for the fun of it. Fafhrd and the sorceror Ningauble of the Seven Eyes are frequrently the target of these remarks.
  • According to the spinoff book for The Thick of It, The Missing DoSAC Files, Malcolm Tucker is one. Apparently, when he can't sleep, he spends all his time thinking about how much various public figures annoy him, and vents his anger by drafting abusive emails to them, which his assistant edits down into heavily Bowdlerized, friendly versions — such as Malcolm's suggestion to Bono that he go and contract AIDS getting turned into a 'radical new proposal to increase AIDS awareness', and 'fuck off and die, pal' becoming 'have a fucking great day, pal'. However, when he sends the draft of a foul email to Sky News presenter Adam Boulton to Sam, it gets returned saying that there's 'nothing wrong with it', so Malcolm sends it as is.
  • In The Great Train Robbery, Edward Pierce is "casually outrageous" at his trial, brazenly stating his intent to escape and insulting Lord Cardigan, referring to him as "Mr. James Brudenell", and stating that Cardigan's stupidity on the battlefield was a crime far more worthy of hanging than anything he himself had done.
  • Forbidden: Kit — at his worst — is a troll. Other times he's rather less of an asshole.
    Kit, bored, is in one of his most dangerous moods, trying to wind everyone up so that he can sit in the eye of the storm and laugh at the chaos he has created all around him.

    Live Action TV 
  • Andy Kaufman
  • The Janitor from Scrubs really seems to love messing with J.D.
  • Kaitou from Kamen Rider Decade is a mild example in that he only purposely trolls one particular person, but every time he's onscreen with Tsukasa, he takes the opportunity to mess with him and try to ruin his plans, complete with a grin on his face. As the show continues, he eventually becomes a bit more friendly, but then in the finale, after tearful confessions of camaraderie, he beautifully comes full circle when he unexpectedly shoots Tsukasa in the face for a season-ending cliffhanger.
    • Best exemplified by his cameo in the Kamen Rider Den-O movie The Onigashima Battleship (where he trolls someone else for once), which is nothing more than teleporting in, siccing copies of past Riders on the DenLiner crew, and teleporting out.
    • Thanks to Villain Decay, Narutaki ended up as this: after the first few episodes, he did very little other than taunt Decade every time something went wrong.
  • In Top Gear, the America Used Car Challenge special essentially required them to troll Alabama by writing slogans on each other's cars. This leads to them having to quickly run for the state border after their "Man Loves Rules, Ok" slogan in particular earns the ire of a very angry mob.
    • Clarkson tends to be most prone to doing this and even invoked it during news segments for a while.
    Clarkson: I went on the internet and found this!
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Rajesh Koothrappali is not above mocking even his own friends when the opportunity for it comes. None of them are above that, really. In Universe, he trolled on The Other Wiki as well. His research had reached a dead end. When his friends asked him what he did when he came to work as he had nothing left to research, one of his answers was "vandalizing Wikipedia articles."
    • The show portrays Stephen Hawking this way, especially towards Sheldon. Apparently he spends time on science comment boards, posting perfectly-researched rude comments. And considering Stephen Hawking has actually showed up on the show more than once, maybe this portrayal isn't completely off base.
      Stephen Hawking: If you spent forty years in a chair, you'd be bored too.
  • Bonnie from Mom loves to mess with people she takes a disliking to, even if it means interfering with Christy's sincere attempts at bridge building.
  • Sherlock Holmes on Elementary frequents a conspiracy theorist BBS as a hobby. The joke, of course, is that the hobby is studying the other forumgoers, up to and including making up conspiracies out of whole cloth.
    Sherlock: I adore them. As one does a barmy uncle, or a pet that can't stop running into walls.
  • The Following.
    • Joe Carroll manages to escape from prison, and take control of his cult. He occasionally calls Hardy on the phone, just to give him a Hannibal Lecture. It backfires in episode 12. Carroll calls Hardy, who reveals they found the cult's armory/training ground. Carroll and the other cultists quickly realize this means they're screwed.
    • In episode 13, Hardy manages to troll Carroll mocking him over the fact that Roderick has been arrested, and that Roderick kidnapped Joey. When Carroll tries to give a Hannibal Lecture, Hardy just hangs up on him. Carroll does not take any of this well.
  • Oliver Crangle in The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Four O'Clock". He devotes himself to ruining his victims' lives, and boasts to an FBI Agent that he calls them in the middle of the night and reads them the charges against them.
  • In season 3 of Babylon 5, Sheridan pulls an elaborate troll move on the League of Nonaligned Worlds in order to get them to agree to let Whitestar ships patrol their space. A classic case of reverse-psychology on a group who would normally argue the toss about anything that was for their own benefit.
  • The IT Crowd spoofs the 'Twitter Internet Counterattack' variant commonly referred to as trolls in the media, when Jen gets caught in a viral video and gets bombarded with hateful Twitter comments.
  • In Sherlock, half of Moriarty's interaction with Sherlock tends to invoke this in one way or another.
  • Sean Connery on Saturday Night Live's Celebrity Jeopardy. He seems to get a kick out being a giant dick to Alex Trebek.
  • The First Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even more so than Angelus, enjoys messing with people and causing them pain. It's not just because it cannot take corporeal form and needs to manipulate others to do its bidding, it does so for the sheer enjoyment of hurting others, getting its jollies at taunting about the death of those it takes the form of, and driving the heroes to evil, madness, or suicide.
  • Mal Reynolds from Firefly. Two words: "Kaylee's dead."
  • In Salute Your Shorts, when Mona Tibbs returns to Camp Anawana as a park ranger, she and Ug end up getting into a fight when she points out several violations around camp and threatens to shut it down if they aren't fixed. The boys decide to manipulate Ug into refusing to comply and continue to fight, reasoning that if the camp gets shut down, Dr. Kahn wouldn't send the campers home because that would mean he would have to give refunds to all of their parents, but with nowhere else to go, they would probably be sent to hotels, and all the closest hotels were next to the beach. This plan backfires horribly when the girls point that if Dr. Kahn is too cheap to give out refunds, he would also be too cheap to send the campers to a hotel, and as a result they would all instead be sent to separate camps for the remainder of the summer (all of which were even worse than Camp Anawana). The boys quickly take a 180 in their plans and encourage Ug to fix the violations and patch things up with Mona.
  • In one episode of M*A*S*H, the medics receive letters from fourth-grade children. Winchester, after initially dismissing replies as pointless, starts amusing himself by sending the children witheringly insulting letters criticising their ignorance and poor grammar.
  • The Trickster/Gabriel from Supernatural is a combination of this and a Poetic Serial Killer. This is most evident in his second appearance, which revolves around him trapping a completely unaware Sam in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where every day he has to watch Dean die in a different way in order to teach Sam a lesson about his dangerously codependent relationship with Dean. He also happens to be Loki.
    • Demons, especially Alastair and Lilith. The only thing they love more than lying to mess with someone's head is telling the truth to mess with someone's head.
  • Megan Parker from Drake & Josh's defining trait.
  • Season 2 of The Flash (2014) has the metahuman super-villain Zoom, who often kills people because he wants to, and particularly enjoys ripping away hope. As Earth-2's Flash, he acts as a genuine hero to give the people of Earth-2 a lot of hope, but he then rips away that hope as Zoom. He is clearly very amused by this when he explains his motivations to Team Flash.
  • On Heroes, Sylar finds his consciousness trapped inside of Matt Parkman's mind. Both of them are extremely unhappy about this, so in order to get out of Parkman's mind, Sylar decides to wreak havoc on his professional and personal life, such as reigniting his suspicions about his wife's infidelity and son's paternity. His goal is to make Parkman paranoid enough to seek out the other specials and restore him to his body. Heroes Reborn showed that Sylar's havoc completely destroyed Parkman's home life, as Janice ultimately divorced him and refuses to let him see their son. His attempt to reunite his family is the reason for his Face–Heel Turn.
  • An example from The Office (US): Ryan sees Todd Packer's vanity license plate: WLHUNG.
    Ryan: So, are you a big William Hung fan?
    Todd: Why do people keep asking me that? Who the hell is that?
    • (Given Todd Packer's personality, it's clearly supposed to be "Well Hung." And again, given Todd Packer's personality, apparently everyone who sees it trolls him over it.)

     Mythology and Religion 
  • The Nigerian trickster god Edshu: In one story, he walks down the road wearing a hat that is red on one side and blue on the other. When people on one side of the road ask "Who's that going by in the red hat?", they get into fights with people on the other side who insist that the hat was blue. The god takes credit for this, saying "Spreading strife is my greatest joy."
  • Satan from The Bible to the point of making Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and blaspheming God to think he's better than him.
  • In Slavic Mythology, Veles does this repeatedly to Perun.
  • The Norse trickster god Loki is almost a Memetic Mutation of trolling. Only the very best troll could turn a Laxative Prank into convincing the recipient of it that he was pregnant.
    • Also from Norse Mythology, Ratotosk the squirrel: Yggdrisil is the World Tree, its roots and branches reach into all nine realms. At the bottom of the tree lies the dragon Níðhöggr, who spends his time gnawing on the world tree's roots and sucking the blood out of dead bodies. At the top of Yggdrisil is an eagle named Hraesvelgr, who creates the wind whenever he flaps his wings. The eagle and the dragon hate each other. Why? Because the squirrel Ratatosk spends all his time running back and forth, up and down the tree, telling the eagle and the dragon that the other is talking smack about them. Why is he doing this? Because he's a dick. Seriously, Ratatosk has no grand scheme, and the eagle and the dragon aren't prophesied to fight or do anything. Ratatosk is spending his free time perpetuating an animosity for no reason whatsoever.
  • The Egyptian Mythological god Seth is pretty much defined as the more "evil" kind of troll fused with Combat Pragmatist and Roaring Rampage of Revenge, produced by a combination of Freudian Excuse and Then Let Me Be Evil.
    • Of course, Horus trolled him back, too. See all the entries in "The Set-Horus War of Dickery" in this article for more information.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Roderick Strong and Bobby Fish(formerly known as Jerk Jackson before he was renamed by the boys at NOAH) are the main instigators for the sake of instigation in Ring of Honor. It took them twelve years in the company before they got around to each other, which then lead to an Escalating War.
  • Chris Jericho easily became this when he returned in 2012. When the cryptic messages dissolved and he came out, he would get massively cheered, and he would spend the next ten minutes pandering to the crowd, playing along with them, and would then leave without actually saying anything, leading to an instantaneous Face–Heel Turn without him doing a thing. People would refer to him as Jeritroll after this.
  • "The Last Real Man" Silas Young openly admits to hating the internet, believing it is only good for teasing nerds.
  • Kevin Owens would tease doing some high flying maneuvers out onto the ringside area, but instead just slide under the ropes and throw punches, just to piss off the audience.

    Radio 
  • True Capitalist Radio is notorious for the many, many trolls it incurs when it broadcasts. It is not helped at all by Ghost's Hair-Trigger Temper on many issues and topics. By the end of each episode, the infamous Radio Graffiti segment turns into a giant punching match between him and the mostly trolls that get called upon that he almost always loses.

    Software 
  • Akita Neru is a Vocaloid character created during a troll attack in the Japanese 2ch message board accusing the characters of being pointless moeblobs, and calling everybody who used the program a misogynistic freak who wanted the illusion of controlling women. She is now considered an Anthropomorphic Personification of trolls.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Chaos god Tzeentch can be considered this, given that he's the god of scheming, magic, and backstabbing. One example is a traitor governor asking a daemon for something that would break the Dark Angels' siege on his fortress. The daemon complies, giving him a teleport homer that allows Dark Angel Terminators to deep strike around him, quickly ending the siege.
    • In fanon, Eldrad Ulthuan and Ursukar Creed are considered as such. Eldrad is a powerful Eldar Farseer (Warlocks are very different) who uses his gift of prophecy to do things like manipulate events so a Banshee's Breast Plate falls off and generally be a dick. Creed is an Imperial general with a special rule that allows a unit to be hidden anywhere, which was quickly taken to include Baneblades and Titans. This is usually followed by someone yelling or raging out a single word: CREEEEEED!
    • Asdrubael Vect of the Dark Eldar. To wit, this is a guy who once disposed of a rival archon by sending him a black hole in a giftbox. He also at one point seduced a young noblewoman and manipulated her into assassinating her own annoying father.
      • In one short story, he ordered a particularly resilient slave to be brought before him. He poured a glass of wine for the slave, sat him down in a comfortable chair, and began to tell him the story of how The Fall happened, and how the Dark Eldar and their way of life came to be. When the slave asked why he was doing all this, Vect explained that he simply enjoyed telling the story and that everyone in his household already knew it. Vect intentionally piqued the slave's curiosity by refusing to finish the story, and sent the slave back to the torture pits, but not before informing him that the wine he just consumed is not fit for human consumption and causes them chronic stomach cramps. What a dick.
    • Trazyn the Infinite once sent a "thank you" letter to an Inquisitor for "gifting" him five Imperial Guard regiments.
  • The Jar cards of Yu-Gi-Oh!, such as Morphing Jar and Cyber Jar. They are a group of weak monster cards who all have nasty effects, such as destroying every monster on the field and Special Summoning cards at random, or forcing both players to discard their entire hands. With the exception of Fiber Jar, they are all drawn with goofy smiles on their faces in their card artwork.
  • In Rocket Age Venusians, being huge debaters, will often say something designed to offend, just to get an argument going. Their tribal meetings are usually described as being a lot like internet forums, only louder and more obnoxious.

    Video Games 
  • In The Sims 3, Sims with certain traits, evil most notably, can troll forums, and derive fun from doing so.
  • Hazama / Terumi from BlazBlue practically revels in trolling and taunting everyone he comes across, as shown heavily on Ragna and Rachel. By Continuum Shift, he has practically trolled the entire cast because no matter what you do, even if you Astral Finish him, he always wins. Interestingly, since he actually depends on the hatred of others to keep himself alive, his opponents are literally "feeding the troll".
    • As of Chrono Phantasma, he gets his just desserts, but not before killing off a main character as a final fuck you.
      • but even that backfires in Central Fiction as Terumi simply created a new version of his arch-enemy Hakumen.
  • Forum Warz is an RPG where you play a troll — an Emo Kid, a Camwhore, a Hacker, a Troll, or a Perma-Noob. People contact you to bring down forums by "fighting" forum threads, derailing them, and posting nonsense until you "pwn" the entire forum.
  • Borderlands 2 gives us Handsome Jack. He's a petty bastard who enjoys calling up the Vault Hunters to fire insults at them. Sometimes it's just childish, sometimes it's brutally twisting the knife after a Player Punch, and sometimes it's to point out that the player is really doing terribly, but it's never for any point beyond aggrandizing himself and angering the Vault Hunters. Fortunately, you get to derail his 5+ years of work and watch him whine about it at the end, before putting a rather satisfying Bullet/Magnetic Rail/Pseudo-Nuclear explosion (I'm serious, look up the Torgue-manufactured Nukem) into his head.
    • This is subverted in the beginning of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, where he is actually an alright guy, but the rest of the game is his descent into the Handsome Jack you meet in Borderlands 2.
    • He's often referred to as a western equivalent of Terumi above for a good reason.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has Hades, the Lord of the Underworld. This guy loves to troll pretty much everyone around him. The difference between him and most other trolls, however, is that he is actually likable and popular due to his delicious evilness.
    • EVERY GOD in the game is a troll to some extent. Even Palutena, the Goddess of Light and Pit's Mission Control, makes frequent cracks at his expense. However she remains very likable because she never goes over the line like the other gods do and admits the gods tend to mess up the world they're supposed to be protecting.
  • Mass Effect 3: Javik has been described by players as the galaxy's oldest and greatest troll. Most of his dialogue consists of him claiming various ways the protheans were more advanced than the galaxy's current "primitives", and he also loves letting someone else run their mouth and then completely shutting them down in a single statement.
    • He's also been known to wind up his teammates with outrageous lies about how things were in his cycle, knowing they'll never be able to tell between him making something up and a genuine Prothean tradition. For instance, when observing a poker game in progress, he casually mentions a game the Protheans "used to play" involving a sort of sacrificial combat arena... which he made up out of whole cloth, since his real hobby these days is mocking primitives.
    • EDI is also far too fond of jokes about robotic overlords and mechanical failures for some of the crew's taste.
      • She doesn't restrict it to her friends either. It's one thing for an AI designed for electronic warfare to fight back against someone trying to hack her systems. It's another that she does so by overloading their servers with porn.
    • Files seen in Lair of the Shadow Broker show that Jack was banned from the Citadel Newsnet forums for trolling.
    • In ME3, after the destruction of Thessia, Kai Leng sends Shepard an e-mail where he childishly taunts them for their failure and brags about how he'll be the one to end "the Legend of Shepard".
  • The Golden Spider/Chakravartin from Asura's Wrath acts this way to prod Asura enough for him to escape Naraka.
  • Troll Warlord in Dota 2. His backstory parallels the internet forum kind and he is pretty much the rudest hero in the entire game. He's still on the Radiant side, commonly considered the "good" side.
    • Techies aren't so much of a Troll personality-wise, but gameplay-wise, they are. Their style revolve in planting killer mines in everywhere, which allows unexpected, silly deaths, or they could even lure the enemies to the mine field, or even plant a minefield sign to play mind games if there really are mines in that area. Furthermore, on the icon of their Ultimate, the Remote Mine, the internet Trollface is pasted right onto it.
  • 'Eye of Adam' in The Cat Lady is a suicide cult leader who spends his time trying to convince members of various internet forums to commit suicide; Mitzi bares a grudge against him because he talked her boyfriend into gassing himself.
  • Zinyak of Saints Row IV is an interstellar trolling grandmaster. Every single thing he does is to mock and hurt others, and he loves causing misery to people, he loves rubbing salt into the wound, and he loves pulling petty stunts simply for shits and giggles.
  • GLaDOS from the Portal games enjoys torturing Chell with promises of escape from the facility and then yanking the chance away from her while taunting her childishly. Naturally, Chell being a Silent Protagonist means she'll never give GLaDOS a reaction.
  • Nox aka Norah in Child of Light takes pleasure in mocking Aurora for her innocence and for her choice in friends after she betrays Aurora. In the final stages of the game, Nox appears to prep herself for battle against Aurora's party, only to reveal she has instead activated a poison gas trap in the Temple of the Sun. When their battle finally begins, Nox declares that to Aurora that she'll help her half-sister rejoin her deceased family members so Aurora can rule down under.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines gives us Andrei, an older vampire who tends to look down his nose at most things.note  Late in the game, in an event the player can easily miss, he calls into a late-night talk show to troll the host by telling her about various supernatural happenings, knowing full well she'll assume she's gotten a crazy on the line. This has led to speculation from players that the host of the show is herself a vampire, which would mean Andre is still trolling her knowing full well she can't give him a real response on the air.
  • Two old-school examples who directly target the player are the Yeti in SkiFree, who does a gloating victory-dance upon killing your skier, and the sniggering dog of Duck Hunt.
  • Thief has an unusual example of an Artifact of Doom also being a Troll. The Eye likes to taunt and whisper to people that come near it or carry it... for no apparent reason, it just seems to like getting a rise out of people. When in the possession of the Order of the Hammer, it repeatedly moved itself out of their vaults and over their Cathedral's altar whenever they weren't looking, which disturbed them. It also locks the front door when Garrett comes to steal it (why? Apparently just because), forcing him to sneak his way through hordes of undead to escape.
  • The Batman: Arkham Series version of Joker has him basically go, "Who is this Zinyak poser? I'm going to have to show him how trolling is done." From beginning to end he delights in torturing and tormenting as many as he possibly can, and his motivation is very much troll like in that the evil he commits is all so he can revel in how people pay attention to him.
  • Flowey the Flower in Undertale. He loves screwing with the player's mind in the most malicious way possible. He starts out by offering you little white "friendliness pellets", which are bullets note , and he goes on trolling the players. One establishing moment for him (and the game in general) is when he shows up to call you out if you kill Toriel, something a lot of players do accidentally on their first run, and then reload your save file to spare her. And if you try to spare Asgore? Flowey will be there to tear him apart just as the king starts entertaining the thought of living together with you as a family. He gets another epic trolling moment when you "defeat" his God/Omega/Photoshop Flowey form, he pretends to be beaten and have a Villainous Breakdown, then loads a save file where he is still at full health and proceeds to tear you apart. He also gets an amazing trollface when he does this.
    • The character Sans is just as bad. One of his most notable troll moments is how you gain access to his normally locked room. He shows up right before the final bosses on a Neutral/Pacifist run to judge the player if they've killed anyone. If you don't kill anyone, he'll let you go. However, if you reload and go through the same scene again, he'll catch onto this fact and give you a series of ridiculous Trust Passwords before he gives you the key to his room. You're probably thinking you're in for a big reveal and when you enter his room, its pitch black with ominous music playing while you're seemingly walking down a long corridor... before his brother turns on the light and reveals you were just walking on a treadmill in the dark and his room is completely normal (though he does have a self-sustaining tornado of trash for... some reason). There's a note attached to the treadmill that reads "the truth is you just got owned, nerd." Yes, he trolls through Save Scumming.
    Papyrus: IS SANS PRANKING YOU ACROSS TIME AND SPACE? I HATE IT WHEN HE DOES THAT!
    • A far darker, but no less hilarious example happens when he offers to spare you during his boss battle. Take him up on this, and he'll offer you a hug... that will instantly kill you and send you to a modified Game Over screen, playing a sped-up Dogsong as its music and displaying "gettttttt dunked on!" instead of the usual "stay determined" message. Given that you only fight him if you have gone out of your way to kill everyone you could get your hands on in the Underground, it goes without saying that you deserve this.
  • The notorious Corrupted Blood incident in World of Warcraft was caused in part by this type of player, trolls who had fun spreading the disease once they knew how it worked, spreading it all over the game world until it was out of control. Blizzard Security Focus editor Robert Lemos described them as "terrorists" of World of Warcraft.
  • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void has Alarak, the Tal'darim Highlord. He constantly annoys everyone onboard the Spear of Adun (excluding Karax) just for the lulz. Not only that, he does this repeatedly. While sometimes it gets on the crewmembers' nerves, it is just plain fun to watch from our side. Being voiced by John de Lancie probably had something to do with it.
    Vorazun: Ally with you? Do you think us fools!?
    Alarak: Yes, but that is irrelevant.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, Revan deliberately programmed HK-47 to call organics "meatbags" solely to annoy his apprentice, Malak.
  • Isabela in Dragon Age II goes out of her way to annoy Aveline at every opportunity, although as the game progresses her motivations drift from trying to piss off the main token Lawful character in the party to a kind of friendship. Occasionally Varric joins in, most notably in a conversation where they talk about the length and girth... of knives.
  • The Knight Templars of some online video games are the ones who design strategies specifically to defeat players who use the Top Tier ones (often loaded with Tier Induced Scrappys. The procedure goes like this: They choose one type of player using the "offending" Scrappies that other players hate, design a strategy much easier to put together (more-or-less) but specifically designed to defeat the "offender". Players who defeat Top Tier players like this can often expose them as terrible Sore Losers. An example.
  • Sombra from Overwatch is a Playful Hacker who enjoys getting laughs at others' expense. This includes fiddling with an automated door to mess with Reaper in the "Infiltration" short, the entirety of the Alternate Reality Game leading up to her release in the game, and a Highlight Intro where she hijacks another player's Play of the Game.

     Visual Novels 
  • In arcs where she is the one who goes insane (especially Meakashi-hen), Shion Sonozaki from Higurashi: When They Cry becomes a truly horrifying troll, taking sadistic pleasure in the havoc she wreaks through phone calls and misdirection. Normally she's The Tease.
    • We also have Takano, who actively provokes the Hate Plague in at least 4 of the first 6 novels.
  • Barring ANGE-Beatrice, the witches of Umineko: When They Cry are all trolls of varying degrees of maliciousness, ranging from the capricious and amoral Lambadelta, all the way to full blown monster, as is the case with Bernkastel. The copius amounts of trolls gave the series the Fan Nick Name "Trolls trolling trolls trolling trolls."
  • don't take it personally babe, it just ain't your story includes more than a few of these on the Image Board that the main character visits — the anonymity of the geeks and weirdos contrasting with the mainstream, fully-identified social networking of the class teenagers.
  • Fate/stay night Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg is known to be a vampire, one of the most powerful beings of the Nasuverse, and the only user of the Kaleidoscope, the operation between parallel worlds. He is also known to be a prankster. This is why Zelretch is considered as one of the biggest troll of the Nasuverse, along with Kotomine Kirei, even if you never see him.
  • Monokuma in Danganronpa. He knows that none of the students can defy him, and milks that fact for all it's worth to fill them with hate and disgust. When he isn't trolling, he's Breaking Them by Talking.
  • The Big Bad of Ace Attorney Investigations 2 gleefully trolls Edgeworth the entire time during his confrontation. He often imitates Edgeworth's voice to mock him and refute his arguments, and at one point he fakes a Villainous Breakdown just for shits and giggles. He is dressed as a clown at the time, after all.

    Webcomics 
  • Referenced by Kevin & Kell here.
  • Also parodied by XKCD here. Then some fans put together the extended version.
  • In Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, Hitler is shown to use the Enigma to troll the Allies.
  • The twelve trolls in Homestuck are actually major characters. They start off as simple internet trolls, but later befriend the four protagonists and act as exposition. And they are literal trolls, i.e. aliens from a different planet.
  • In Unwinder's Tall Comics, the title character is an oddly-dedicated troll both on the internet and in real life. "The real music is the jeers of the angry crowd!"
  • For Dolan, a badly drawn, Ax-Crazy, rapist knock off of Donald Duck, cruel emotional torment (for his own entertainment) of the other toons is the least of his terrible acts. All of this played for Black Comedy. One of his more infamous incidents involves giving Gooby a car as a gift, only to reveal that it was a stolen vehicle, resulting in Gooby being framed for grand theft auto.
  • The Brentalfloss Web Comic has an entire series dedicated to the way of the "troll."
  • Existential Comics: Socrates is depicted as this, even barging in on other people and showering them with questions when they aren't in a conversation with him to start. The author notes this may have helped to get him killed, as his veiled insults toward the judges at his trial were not the best strategy for saving himself (presuming he didn't want to be martyred). Plato, as his student, also gets this depiction to a lesser degree. Zeno of Elea mostly cites his paradoxes as excuses for his misbehavior.

    Web Original 
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged, Cell comes off as this.
    • When the bus driver keeps honking his horn at Cell to get him to move off the road, Cell simply starts saying "beep" in time to it.
    • Also, the first thing he does after becoming semi-perfect is show off his new lips by motorboating.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device Cegorach, the Laughing God. Manages to stop Ahriman from reaching the Black Library by asking Ahriman for his Library card. And while he was laughing with the Deceiver about the C'tan eating each other.
    God-Emperor: '[Imitating Cegorach] Killing all of your allies in the middle of a giant war — was apparently a bad idea — who would've fucking thought!
  • Retsupurae tried to riff on a usual LP, but about six minutes and thirty seconds in "The Marios", they discover it was intentionally made to be Retsupurae'd and it actually derails their commentary.
  • Parodied in a College Humor sketch featuring an Internet troll living under a bridge. He blocks the road and shouts racist, sexist, homophobic, or just plain inflammatory comments at people until they lose their temper, at which point they get sent flying Monty Python style. The only way to defeat them is to agree with everything they say until you can get them to unironically and genuinely admit vulnerability and the need for friendship, which imposes the same fate on them as their victims.
  • Parodied in episode 48 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, where Internet trolls abduct Téa and prepare to cook her to death with their flames ("ONE STAR! DOWN THUMB!").
  • In one angry letter, Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation was called "A Professional Troll". To him, it invokes an image of a hideous creature under a bridge handing out business cards.
  • Russell Wilson is the designated troll in NFL Quarterbacks On Facebook, getting pretty much every quarterback who's lost to him to threaten him in the most ridiculous way possible. He particularly enjoys pissing off Aaron Rodgers.
  • Feeding these people and mocking them is the entire point of Feeding The Trolls.
  • The YouTube parodies of Downfall transform Hermann Fegelein into a trickster Arch-Enemy of Adolf Hitler. Antics are his bread and butter, and he's dedicated to make life in the bunker a living hell.
  • A video by Darkmatter2525 called Creationists' First time on the Internet, shows a pair of redneck creationists trolling evolution forums. Subverted when they are shown sobbing and breaking down in tears as they type "U mad bro? LOL".
  • Internet Trolls: The Halloween Musical.
  • RWBY: Neopolitan's fighting style in a nutshell, as poor Yang found out the hard way in "No Brakes". Just watch.
  • In contrast with their canon selves, Frollo and Gaston in The Frollo Show are slightly toned down into a pair of daredevils screwing over others for their own amusement. Mephiles the Dark is also portrayed as one here, whether it's competing against or even collaborating with the aforementioned Fegelein in antics, such as when they pulled a trolling combo on Hitler together.

    Western Animation 
  • Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic gets this reputation in the first two episodes of season 2. And continues to live up to it every time he appears from that point on.
  • Starscream of Transformers Prime often enjoys the suffering of others, one of the best examples being when he tried to destroy Bumblebee's T-Cog (the Cybertronian equivalent to an organ) after holding it hostage, then taunting Bee about it before escaping.
    "Time to jet. Because I can!"
  • On Wander over Yonder, Wander deals with a tiny troll who tries to get the food from a planet of sheep warriors. Every time someone responds to his insults, the troll gets bigger and more powerful. Wander figures that the way to defeat him is to ignore him, which causes him to shrink down.
  • Lex Luthor admits to being one in Justice League Unlimited, as least during the second season where his entire presidential campaign was a farce to get under Superman's skin.
    • He was never serious in his campaign for President, because he'd have to give up too much power. No, he spent 75 million dollars just to piss off Superman, since that it was partly a Luthor presidency that tipped an alternate-universe Superman into evil. The other part? Death of the Flash. So in the season finale, he tries to kill Flash in the hopes of provoking Superman to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule... even though it would be broken against Luthor.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Deserter", Aang trolls the HELL out of Admiral Zhao by using his lack of self-control against him. It's actually very effective: Zhao accidentally destroys his entire fleet in the process.
  • A Quailman special in Doug features S.T.U.A.R.T., an Acme-like company whose products always fail. Quailman finds out that it's because S.T.U.A.R.T. specializes in trolling their customers by deliberately having their products malfunction.
  • Mr. Krabs on Spongebob Squarepants is a bit of one, mostly toward Plankton, but he also once did it to Spongebob and Patrick (to the point of spitting).
  • This "helpful" song by Mr. Troll discusses what trolling is... sort of.
  • Bugs Bunny has been doing this since his debut in 1940. It's usually reactionary, but there are episodes such as "Duck Amuck" where Bugs spends the entire time getting under his victim's skin (usually Daffy Duck).
  • One Uncle Grandpa episode had Uncle Grandpa hunt down an internet troll who turned out to also be a literal troll.
  • Eddy's older brother in Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy. The trolling this guy manages to get done despite being unseen for the entire series is insane. He left a (fake) treasure map in his old bedroom on the offchance Eddy might find it (which just leads to the Kanker trailer), sends a crate with baby toys to Eddy in "An Ed Is Born", sends Eddy another fake map to Spookyville in the Halloween special... yet despite this, Eddy keeps falling for it.
  • Magic Man from Adventure Time is this. In the episode "Freak City," he transforms Finn into a giant foot until he learns his lesson, which happens to be "Magic Man is a huge jerk."

    Miscellaneous 
  • Referred to in the introduction to David Hume's Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, in which he calls people who are "entirely disingenuous, and really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity superior to the rest of mankind" the most irksome of all types of people. Hume goes on to state that "the only way, therefore, of converting an antagonist of this kind, is to leave him to himself. For, finding that no body keeps up the controversy with him, it is probable he will, at last, of himself, from mere weariness, come over to the side of common sense and reason." Had he lived to see the internet, he might well have retracted that statement.
  • When the St. Louis Rams played the Washington Redskins for the first time since the trade that allowed the Redskins to draft Robert Griffin III (a trade that hasn't worked out for the Redskins), Rams coach Jeff Fisher sent every player drafted with the picks acquired from the trade as captains for the coin toss.


Alternative Title(s): Trolling, Internet Troll, Trolls, Forum Troll, Sliding Scale Of Troll Cruelty

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Troll?from=Main.InternetTroll