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Magical Clown

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In works of fiction, clowns and magical powers seem to go hand-in-hand. Whether good or evil, it's not unusual for even otherwise seemingly-normal clowns to have a multitude of magical powers on their side - or even turn out to not be human at all.

This trope probably goes back to The Middle Ages, when Real Life jesters would perform magic tricks for people on the street, or in the houses of those with higher social status. This trope may be effective because a clown calls up the wonder and imagination of childhood or the willing suspension of disbelief of a stage show. For example, the Clown Car act - it seems impossible to fit that many people in such a small car.

The cause of this trope may also be similar to that of Monster Clown or Villainous Harlequin- with their deformed faces and outlandish behavior, clowns seem very Ambiguously Human.

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Even if the clown is evil, don't expect his or her magic to be dark and scary. Clown magic is almost always bright and colorful, to reflect their flamboyant costumes and personalities. For this reason, Playing with Fire and Light 'em Up are common Elemental Powers used by clowns.

Compare Magicians Are Wizards, another trope about costumed performers having magical powers. For more clowns with extraordinary abilities, see Robot Clown. Not to be confused with Monster Clown, although, due to the prevalence of that trope, there is a pretty large overlap. Also not to be confused with Fighting Clown, which is not always about literal clowns.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live Action 
  • In Killer Klowns from Outer Space, the titular Klowns are monsters from space that are quite capable of doing things that violate humans' laws of physics such as the Klown car, firing plasma guns that can convert plasma into solid cotton candy and creating shadow puppets that can take the shape of dinosaurs that can devour an entire crowd of people.

    Literature 
  • Pennywise the Clown is an Eldritch Abomination from Stephen King's It who shape-shifts to feed on people's fear.
  • Horrabin, one of the main antagonists in Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates. However, unlike Pennywise and other examples, he seems to be just an ordinary human being that studied both clownish arts and sorcery.

    Live-Action TV 

    Podcast 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun. The Immortal Elf character Harlequin has lived since the previous age of magic and is thousands of years old. He is one of the most powerful magicians in the Sixth World. He usually wears clown-like face paint and acts in a clownish manner on on-line forums.
  • YuGiOh The Performage archetype revolves around this combining it with Stage Magician. They are all Spellcasters. The page image depicted above is Performage Trick Clown. Earlier examples of this trope are Saggi the Dark Clown and Peten the Dark Clown, both of the Spellcaster archetype.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Cegorach is not just this taken up to 11, but also a very good representation of The Trickster and Physical God.

     Toys 
  • Jestro from Nexo Knights uses the evil Book Of Monsters to summon evil lava monsters into the futuristic kingdom of Knighton.

    Video Games 
  • Dark Cloud: A recurring entity in the series is the Happy Clown, a floating clown that pops out of treasure chests and offers the player the choice of two gifts, some of which are some of the best items in the game.
  • Deltarune has the Bonus Boss from Chapter 1, Jevil. He was apparently the jester to the Spades King, but was driven mad and given incredible power after learning the nature of his world from a mysterious stranger.
  • Demon's Crest: One of the enemy types in the final dungeon are Jesters that pop in and out of paintings while throwing fireballs.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Dimentio from Super Paper Mario, an evil magical jester. As his name implies, he has control over dimensions, and can even create his own. His Leitmotif is even called "Dimentio, Charming Magician."
    • Super Mario 3D World gives us Motley Bossblob, a jester-like Koopa who can transform into a giant Blob Monster clown.
    • Recurring character Lemmy Koopa counts whenever he gets his hands on a magic wand. Unlike most of his siblings, whose wands shoot magical fireballs, his wand shoots bouncy balls identical to the one he is usually seen balancing on top of. In New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the wizard Kamek uses his own magic on Lemmy's ball, making it bigger and making it harder for Mario to attack Lemmy.
    • Rudy the Clown from Wario Land 3, a Sealed Evil in a Can monster who turned the inhabitants of the world where the game takes place into monsters.
    • Clown-A-Round, a boss in 'Wario World'' is a clown that can create fake heads to hide his real one.
  • Klonoa:
  • Harlequin from Link and the Faces of Evil, a clown Pig Man who can turn people into werewolf-like creatures.
  • The clown from The Sims 1 would qualify, with his ability to teleport through a Portable Hole. Also, in the Makin' Magic expansion pack, one of the ingredients needed for a spell is "Clown Confetti", which somehow gained its magical properties because it was carried around by a clown.
  • Kirby:
    • Marx from Kirby Super Star, a jester who gains magical powers when he tricks Kirby into activating the wishing star NOVA for him, allowing him to wish for power, turning him into a giant Bat Out of Hell with many Elemental Powers, including An Ice Person and Green Thumb. It gets worse in Kirby Super Star Ultra, in which he becomes Marx Soul, which is similar to his first One-Winged Angel form, but even more powerful and Ax-Crazy!
    • Necrodeus from Kirby Mass Attack could count as well, seeing as he is an extremely powerful skeleton clown who plans to sink the world into eternal darkness, making him a rare example of a Magical Clown who is dark. His name translates to "death god," but whether or not he really is a god is unknown.
    • In Kirby: Triple Deluxe Kirby himself gains the Circusnote  ability, which allows him to summon burning hoops and juggling pins out of nowhere among other attacks.
    • However, whether or not Clown Acrobot - the enemy that gives Kirby this ability - is magical is debatable. Whenever Kirby encounters one, it already has its juggling pins or its hula hoop out, so we don't know whether or not it pulls these items out of nowhere. However, one could argue that Clown Acrobot still counts as one of these simply by virtue of being an inhabitant of Dream Land.
    • When Magolor from Kirbys Return To Dreamland gains magical powers, he transforms into a jester-like monster.
  • Umlaut from CarnEvil, a magical flying jester head. In a way, he's also the mechanism that summons the haunted carnival.
  • Twisto, the Big Bad of the bizarre arcade beat em' up Ninja Clowns is a Monster Clown who can summon goblin/ogre-like monsters and transforms into a fire-breathing, three-headed clown dragon. He also casts a spell causing all the townspeople to attack the player's character. Strangely, he has Pointed Ears and green skin. While these may just be part of his costume, or to make him look more Obviously Evil, they could also be hints that he isn't entirely human.
  • This trope is strongly prevalent in Ni GHTS Into Dreams, due to most of the characters being dream creatures. For example, we have NiGHTS him/herself, a magical jester who was born from nightmares, but made a Heel–Face Turn and uses his/her powers to fight other nightmares. There's also Reala, NiGHTS' Evil Twin, who stayed on the dark side. Some of the bosses fall into this category as well: for example, Jackle, a clown-like Death Dealer, and Puffy, an opera singer who resembles a clown due to her big red lips and colorful costume. The sequel gives us Donbalon, a ball-like clown.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening gives us Jester, whose abilities include teleporting and shooting a barrage of magic orbs at the player.
  • The Mascot with Attitude platformer Mr. Nutz featured a boss named Little Clown, who could change his size, and also unscrew his own head, causing a bunch of Little Clown heads to fly at Mr. Nutz.
  • The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm, strangely enough, has become such a powerful magic user that the others in the realm can hardly stand up to him. And he is a jester.
  • Touhou: Clownpiece, as her name suggests. Though her having magic powers probably has more to do with her being a fairy (hell fairy, to be specific) than a clown. She's also the most powerful fairy ever seen in Touhou (yes, way beyond Cirno), although that's probably due to having been "refined" by Junko, not a reflection of her native power.
  • Blanca from Animal Crossing seems to be one in New Leaf. She wears a colorful acrobat's suit, and uses unknown powers to near-perfectly impersonate your town's villagers on April Fool's Day.
  • From Persona 2 there is Joker, a mysterious jester that grants the wishes of anyone who summons him. However, should one fail to bring their wishes to bare, then Joker will steal all your dreams and turn the victim into a shadow-man.
  • Bomberman 64: The penultimate boss of the game, Spellmaster, is a clown with a vast arsenal of magical spells to choose from. Because of this he's perhaps the most difficult boss in the game due to being so unpredictable.
  • Beppi the Clown from Cuphead can transform into and summon amusement park rides and other objects.

    Webcomics 
  • In Homestuck, Gamzee has a clown theme, and at one point uses "chucklevoodos" to create/replicate a Creepy Doll in Dream Dave's bedroom on Derse.
  • In the Felicia Sorceress of Katara novella "The Cult of the Rubber Nose" the cultists do things like make vicious balloon animals and cram dozens of themselves into a two-person horse costume (cars haven't been invented yet).

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Alfred J. Kwak: There's a clown named Pierrot who lives on the moon. He apparently doesn't need to breathe or eat, and has a magical violin which can be used to make a deadly pandemic in a poor country go away.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Rainbow the Clown only developed powers after being hit with bleach — at which point he became sad and angry, and used his powers to leech color out of the world until the Girls figured out a way to stop him. When he got his own color back, he went back to being an ordinary clown.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dexter got bitten by a clown — which apparently carried clown contagion — and became a were-clown. DeeDee had to turn into a mime to figure out a cure.
  • One of the villains of the SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is a cursed magical Jester trapped since the Middle Ages in a jack-in-a-box that possesses a modern time comedian giving him magical power.

    Real Life 
  • Downplayed. Many clowns do magic tricks, especially those hired for birthday parties, but do not actually have magical abilities.
  • Many medieval jesters did this as well, as noted in the description.
  • Pardoes the mascot of the Dutch theme park Efteling in the Netherlands is a Jester who is not only playful but is also a wizard.
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