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Fairy Trickster

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Fairies have had a long history as tricksters, as The Fair Folk shows. The reasons for that might be because they're non-human and therefore have a non-human morality, they might be immortal and have Immortal Immaturity, or perhaps they do understand humans, and just find it amusing.

Whereas The Fair Folk is about villainous fairies and elves in general, this is about them being tricksters, no matter their morality or impact on the story. So, there's some overlap, but it's not a full sub-trope.

If this is a trait of a world's fairy species as a whole, then they're likely to be seen as untrustworthy liars, making non-fairies wary in their dealings with them, or seen as Always Chaotic Evil.

Sub-Trope of Our Fairies Are Different and The Trickster. Can be formed from any of The Trickster's Sub-Tropes as a replacement.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Ancient Magus' Bride: Shapeshifting Trickster Fae due to Blue-and-Orange Morality and are prone to giving humans the run around simply because they can.
  • Majokko Tickle: The Prankster instead. Tickle is a mischievous fairy who was imprisoned inside a book for playing pranks on people.
  • Kaze no Stigma: Tiana is a mischievous pixie that enjoys scaring people at Ayano's school while protecting a tree and making a fool of Ayano. After she finishes her task and leaves, Ayano is touched that she went so far for a tree...only for Kazuma to point out she could have protected the tree without pulling pranks and pixies just like causing mischief, angering Ayano.
  • Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon: Tapu Koko, part-Fairy-type, who wakes up a Bewear just to mess with Ash, and steals his hat to lure him into the forest.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In Ravnica, faeries are mischievous tricksters who often play pranks on other natives of the plane.
    • Lorwyn faeries are tricksters of a more cruel and mean-spirited sort and spend their lives pursuing amusement, often at the expense of others — typical fairy pranks tend to involve hiding tripwires in the path of larger beings or driving them nuts with sneezing powder.
    • Two of the main three types of Eldraine fae are the tiny thieving fae, the most common type, who delight in stealing objects, and the child-sized prankster fae, who enjoy playing malicious pranks on others.
  • In Smash Up, the Trickster faction composes of The Fair Folk and they have several units and cards that restrict or heavily discourage opponents from performing certain actions, befitting their mischievous nature.

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman (1989), in a reference to William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, shows that Shakespeare actually toned Puck down, a lot. At the show performance of Midsummer Night's Dream he impersonates the actor playing him and stays behind in the mortal world when the rest of the faerie audience return home. Then in the final arc he teams up with Loki to kidnap a toddler, setting in motion a chain of events that leads to the death of the Anthropomorphic Personification of Dreams.

  • Goosebumps: The Lawn Gnomes, who call themselves "mischief elves" and first appear in #34: Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes: Hap and Chip tell Joe and Mindy they're enslaved and forced to perform mischief, begging the kids to help free them. It turns out they were lying to lead Joe and Mindy to the rest of the gnomes and enslave them.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles: Pixies are highly mischievous beings, and enjoy playing mean-spirited tricks on humans such as knotting their hair, pinching skin black and blue, and making off with small objects.

    Mythology, Religion, and Folklore 
  • The Saci-Pererê from Brazilian Folklore is a sprite with the form of a single-legged black boy in a magical red cap, with holes in his hands and always smoking a pipe, who loves to cause mischief and mayhem in the countryside through mostly harmless pranks, such as scaring farm animals, making flies fall in the soup, braiding horses' manes, hiding objects around the house to make them get lost, whistling to scare wanderers at night etc. Depending on the region, other feeric tricksters are the Caipora, the Curupira and the Comadre Fulozinha — different Nature Spirits who may also play pranks and trick those who enter their territory — Romãozinho, and the Sanguanel.
  • The pooka from Celtic Mythology are fairy spirits known for taking the forms of various animals, usually a horse, often depicted as taking pleasure in confusing and pranking humans. However, while many stories state they are benevolent entities, there are a good few that characterize them as dangerous or even bloodthirsty.

  • This is the defining characteristic of Robin Goodfellow, or Puck, in A Midsummer Night's Dream. His Establishing Character Moment is when he tells a fairy about how he pulls all sorts of pranks for Oberon's amusement and his own, like jumping into a bowl of ale in the form of a crab and bobbing at an old goody's lips. He even turns Bottom's head into that of a donkey and watches his fellow players run away at the sight. Granted, he made an honest mistake in using the love potion on the wrong Athenian, but he goes along with it anyway, finding the outcome hilarious. "Then will two at once woo one. That must needs be sport alone. All these things do best please me, that which falls preposterously."

    Video Games 
  • EverQuest II: Various fairies are known for being mischevious, but one stand-out example comes from the Dark Elf city of Neriak. An Arasai named Mur'ss Z'Hel'Viiryn tells you of a prank that he wants to play, and he doesn't say who the mark will be. He asks you to gather a few items around the city, and a special urn to collect them in, before giving them to a dark elf named Tsabrar. When you speak with Tsabrar, he becomes infuriated that the person who stole his urn in the first place is now trying to sell it back to him. You have to kill him in self defense. Mur'ss has a good laugh at you for falling for his prank.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Pixies are mischievous sprites that like to play games and pranks with any mortals that cross their path.
  • Pokémon: Some Fairy-type Pokémon:
    • Pokémon X and Y: Klefki, a Fairy-type that has the Prankster or possibly Magician abilities and is a living keyring that steals keys.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield: Impidimp, Morgrem, and Grimmsnarl, a line of Dark/Fairy types. Impidimp is known for breaking into people's homes to steal items so that it can feast off their annoyed emotions.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages: A trio of stray fairies appear who jumble the forest up into a maze and force Link to play Hide and Seek with them to be granted access to the wing dungeon. They're certainly not evil, just obnoxious, and when they accidentally trap your injured animal companion later they feel pretty bad about it.

  • The girl dressed as a fairy in Questionable Content manages a Logic Bomb variant when Emily wants her to grant wishes:
    Fairy Girl: Fairies don't grant wishes, they play tricks on people.
    Emily: Tricks? What kind of tricks?
    Fairy Girl: Well for instance, I'm not really a fairy.
    Emily: Oh my gosh! You tricked me!
    Fairy Girl: Exactly.

    Web Video 
  • Brony D&D: Beleen Spiderwing, fairy child that tried to prank the party to fit in with her friends.

    Web Original 
  • Neopets: All dark faeries are tricksters in some way— some are straight-up evil, while others just pull practical jokes or make promises they don't keep.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles: Owing to his Shakespearean origin, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Puck is also this here, often using trickery to get what he wants, such as constructing a nightmare future to coerce Goliath into handing over the Phoenix Gate. Of course, given Oberon's Law forbids his Children from directly interfering with mortals, one could say he's this by necessity, as are all the Fae.