In fiction, prom is a special part of the high school experience. A magical night, that people will remember for years to come. At least for most people. Typically, there will be some characters who hate the prom for whatever reason. Usually they are social outcasts. Sometimes, they will try to take their hatred of prom a step further and ruin it for everybody.
Often times this will involve an homage to Carrie, with the Prom Queen and King getting something nasty dropped on them. Related to RevengeSVP and Fun-Hating Villain, if the prom-wrecker is angry about not having a date or wants to prevent others from enjoying themselves. Can overlap with Ballroom Blitz. In extreme cases, this will overlap with Axes at School. Compare with Wedding Smashers.
Note: Someone should be deliberately trying to sabotage the prom. If the prom is ruined because Alice accidentally pulled a fire alarm or Bob forgot to book a DJ, it doesn't count. This can also apply to school dances other than the prom.
- F The Prom is about a group of Cool losers who want to ruin prom for the popular kids. Among the pranks played at the prom, they get various cliques to start fighting amongst themselves, project an embarrassing picture of a popular kid for everyone to see, and tar and feather the Prom King and Queen.
- Radio Rebel: As a punishment for Tara-as-Radio-Rebel's antics, Principal Fisher decides to outright cancel the prom as long as Radio Rebel stays anonymous. Everyone takes their anger out on Radio Rebel, blaming her for their Principal's choice, thinking their long-awaited night would be ruined. This is ultimately subverted, however, as a "Morp" is instead thrown at the radio station for all the students, and there's even a happy ending for Alpha Bitch Stacie when Tara decides to make her the Morp Queen.
- Carrie is the likely Trope Codifier, with many works paying homage to it. A group of bullies want to get revenge on Carrie after getting detention for picking on her. They rig the vote for Prom Queen so that Carrie wins. When she goes on stage to accept the crown, a bucket of pig's blood is dropped on her. Unfortunately, the bullies don't realize that Carrie has psychic powers.
- Happens in Awkward. Heartbroken after a breakup, Tamara attempts to convince her classmates to not only skip prom, but to revolt against it, up to and including publicly denouncing the very concept of prom over megaphone. However, when Jenna decides to ask her, Tamara breaks character, revealing she really did want to go to prom.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tucker Wells tries to unleash hellhounds, specially trained to attack people in formal wear, on the Sunnydale High prom. Buffy learns of the plot and stops it without anyone at the prom ever realizing they nearly came under attack.
- One episode of Deadly Class sees the non-legacy students at Kings Dominion plotting to sabotage the annual Legacy Ball.
- In season 2 of Derry Girls, a prom is organized at Our Lady Immaculate College by Jenny Joyce. A rumor spreads that Jenny has rigged the vote so she will become Prom Queen. A new student from Donegal promises to take her down a peg. She does this by dumping tomato sauce on Jenny when she becomes Prom Queen. The protagonists try to stop this, but only manage to get covered in tomato sauce for their trouble. To make matters worse, one of the girls had paid for her dress with her mother's credit card and needed to return it in perfect condition so her mom wouldn't notice the charge.
- Scream: In the season 1 finale, the students are at a Halloween Dance, and everyone feels safe under the assumption the killer was caught. Things quickly go south when the entire dance is shown live footage of Officer Clark tied to a tree and clearly injured, panicking everyone at the dance and ruining things even more for Emma and her friends, who finally felt they could relax. The killer being a major troll, this was clearly an intentional way to ruin everyone's fun at the dance and keep their game going.
- One Smallville Villain of the Week was an Alpha Bitch who was obsessed with being prom queen. She's put in a coma after a car accident, but she gains the power to possess other people. She uses this power to try to live out her prom fantasy, eventually possessing the prom queen. However, she realizes that the student body hates her and decides to burn down the school while the prom is still going on for revenge. Clark manages to stop her by tricking her into possessing his body and then exposing himself to kryptonite.
- In an episode of Victorious (Called Prom Wrecker), Tori finds out that there is no prom at Hollywood Arts school. She gets permission from the school to organize one. The problem is her prom is scheduled at the same time as Jade's one woman show, causing the play to get cancelled. Jade takes her revenge on Tori by trying to sabotage her prom, so she would know how it felt to have something she worked hard on to be ruined. She rigs the projector to show disturbing images to the prom goers and hires a man who dresses up in a diaper and dances for entertainment. In the end, Tori manages to get rid of Jade, and the prom can continue. Interestingly enough, it is mentioned that Jade has some blood on standby.
- In Strong Bad Email, Strong Bad attempts to humiliate everyone at the local prom with a device that will make everyone's pants disappear. However, it turns out that he's the only one who actually wears pants, so he's the only one humiliated.
- In an episode of Family Guy, it looks like Chris is going to be on the receiving end of this after being voted Homecoming King, despite being extremely unpopular. Subverted when it's revealed that the student body voted for him because they thought he was mentally handicapped and thought it was a nice gesture.