Plenty of sitcoms and comedy films love to have this character. A character who revels in pulling the most elaborate of pranks on a regular basis. Whenever this character is around, everyone else runs the risk of sitting on whoopee cushions, putting salt in their tea instead of sugar, waking up to find their eyebrows gone...you get the picture. We're talking about The Prankster, only cranked Up to Eleven.
This character is typically male but female examples have become more prominent. Note that the POP differs from the Class Clown as a Class Clown will normally be loved for his/her comedy antics while the POP will typically be feared and sometimes despised for their pranks outside of their normal circle of friends. Having this character around will generally lead to an Escalating War if someone wishes to challenge them. They are, however, liable to Menace Decay.
- Richie Rich's cousin Reggie Van Dough. His constant, often bizarre pranks (including a gift box containing a "purple paint bomb") are part and parcel of his general mean-spirited personality.
- Reggie Mantle of Archie Comics often fulfills this role.
- Jokey from The Smurfs, even though all his pranks are just variations of the same exploding gift box gag (which they all keep falling for anyway).
- Muffy St John of April Fools' Day. The film suggests a Freudian Excuse for being scared unkindly at her 3rd birthday party but she rigs her house with all sorts of tricks for her unsuspecting guests to find. And then there's the Twist Ending.
- Melanie Daniels from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds by nature of Informed Attribute. We never actually find out what her pranks were.
- Alan Abernathy of Small Soldiers is a reformed version, having been kicked out of two different schools and sent to several therapists before the film starts. Unfortunately for him, it's a case of Never Live It Down.
Folklore & Mythology
- The Norse God Loki was the original and literal Prankster God.
- Fred and George Weasley of the Harry Potter universe overlap with Class Clown. Their shenanigans come in really handy in driving the resident tyrant mad in book five and they eventually open a highly successful joke shop.
- Enid Nightshade of The Worst Witch books though this is only in The Worst Witch Strikes Again and this is dropped in later books. The TV series takes this idea and runs with it though.
- One of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch novelisations "Fortune Cookie Fox" has a Chinese exchange student Mei who is in fact a Chinese Fox, a mischievous entity that pranks Sabrina repeatedly. Since she's using magic, you can imagine the effectiveness of all the pranks.
Live Action TV
- Megan from Drake & Josh pulls pranks on her brothers every other week and Flanderization has turned them from harmless whoopee cushion style antics into freakily sociopathic (she puts explosives in their room in one episode).
- Kirsty from Diplomatic Immunity on the country's version of April Fool's Day every year. The rest spend the entire episode in fear of what she'll do but she reveals at the end she's been too busy to pull a prank this year.
- In Friends Rachel teaches Ben to become one of these and he pulls some hilarious offscreen stunts on Ross (cellophane on the toilet seat). Ross gets his own back on Rachel at the end of the episode.
- Matt McGuire of Lizzie McGuire, though mostly just pranking Lizzie. A "Freaky Friday" Flip episode has him wreaking havoc in Lizzie's school (while in her body).
- The Janitor from Scrubs is quite fond of pranks, some requiring more planning than others.
Dr. Maddox: Do you think it would have been funny if you'd broken his neck?Janitor: I feel like I ought to say no.
- Spencer from iCarly, he even develops an addiction to it.
- This trope gets namedropped in NCIS during a case involving a dead marine with a penchant for Halloween pranks.
- Avril, an AI introduced in a Pyramid article for Transhuman Space is a Princess of Pranksters, programmed by two human pranksters, and whose nature is such that she can prank an entire city ... or ecosystem. Apparently, analysis of her pranks has shown she doesn't really have a sense of humour as such, she just knows what humans would find annoying.
- In Homestuck, John tries to be this, but fails.
[Rose] cannot hope to defeat John in a prank-off. He is simply the best there is.
- He's still not bad, though.
- The trope namer comes from Recess. Prankster Prince is an actual title and TJ campaigns to win it by pulling a prank on King Bob (a former Prankster Prince himself). Bob comes out of retirement to try and prank TJ back.
- Dil appears to be this in All Grown Up! or at least the rest of the gang think he is in the April Fool's Day episode when they assume he's setting up an elaborate scam about an alien invasion. Subverted when it turns out the aliens were real.
- In the original Rugrats Angelica came the closest to fulfilling this role.
- The protagonist of the Canadian series What's with Andy? prefers to prank on a larger scale than most examples on this page. For example, he once added green food colouring to his town's drinking water so everyone who used it would turn green.
- An episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy revolves around the cul-de-sac being terrorised by an unseen "Prank Master". Eddy takes this as a personal challenge but the Eds end up spending the episode in fear of being pranked. Turns out all the other kids were the Prank Master and staged the pranks themselves.
- Many episodes of The Simpsons start with one of Bart's pranks setting off that week's plotline. One time, he heard of a former student who pulled a prank so epic it traumatized Principal Skinner for life, turning him from Cool Teacher to the Dean Bitterman he is today. Bart tracks the prankster and finds him still living with his parents, devoting his time to pranks. He eventually gives him a job as Krusty's assistant and eventually gets promoted to gag writer.
- Regular Show:
- The Prankmaster, a genius prank caller who when challenged by Mordecai and Rigby, sends them back in time to The '80s just by saying "the eighties called, they want their phones back."
- On "Prankless", Muscle Man is established to be a great prankster, whose skills were used to end a legendary prank war between rival parks. When one of his pranks almost kills Pops and he swears off pranking forever, the war starts back on, and Muscle Man has to return to pranking to stop it once and for all.