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Rascally Raccoon

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Even foxes aren't cunning enough for him.

Rocket: Question: What if I see something that I wanna take and it belongs to someone else?
Corpsman Dey: You will be arrested.
Rocket: But what if I want it more than the person who has it?
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Raccoons' cute masked faces have led to countless fictional depictions as sly, thieving (though usually cute and cuddly) tricksters. Due to Added Alliterative Appeal, most fictional raccoons are usually described as "rascals" (this word was used so often, it even became their Stock Animal Name!). Usually Rascally Raccoons are depicted as just playful, mischievous, maybe a bit disobedient — though portrayal as literal thieves or kleptomaniacs isn't rare, either. Furthermore, unlike other predators like foxes, raccoons are often depicted as streetwise, even while being willing to use their cute looks for their advantage, considering they are notorious as one of the largest mammals who prefer living in cities.

Note: This trope is not a list of all raccoons in fiction. Nor is it a list of all raccoons named "Rascal" (such examples should go into Stock Animal Name). Only raccoons with "rascally" personality apply here.

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A subtrope of Animal Stereotypes. Compare Cunning Like a Fox. For the Japanese raccoon dog that tends to get a similar treatment in fiction, see Tanuki. In some Western localizations, the Tanuki may be mistaken for a Rascally Raccoon. See Rascally Rabbit, Sneaky Spider, and Those Wily Coyotes for other animals typically used as a "trickster" in fiction.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • One Sears Optical commercial had a woman telling her cat to come back into her house, but ended up having a raccoon enter her house instead. Cue the raccoon being revealed to be very sick and biting her in her sleep.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Kemono Friends: Raccoon is a subversion, she may jump too fast to conclusions and is a little hotheaded, but she's not really mischievous.
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    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Over the Hedge: R.J., a lazy and thieving raccoon seeking to get the other woodland animals to help him rob a human town of all its food while planning on running off with the entire heist. He does have a redeeming motive, as he needs to pay off a massive food debt to a bear who will kill him if he doesn't pay up... although he got into that debt when he destroyed the bear's food store when trying to steal it.
  • Incredibles 2 features an relatively realistic depiction of this trope, showing a raccoon as an wild, snarling animal trying to steal food from the Parrs' trashcan. Still, it becomes something of an Animal Nemesis to Jack-Jack when the latter mistakes it for an thief and attacks because its facial stripes resembles a domino mask from a thief he saw on TV.
  • Meeko, from Pocahontas. He repeatedly steals food from anyone at any opportunity, although the hapless victim is generally Percy. It's gotten so bad that Percy is never shown eating more than a bite of food on-screen.
  • Dingo Pictures has Wabuu, the cheeky raccoon. He hops like a kangaroo and likes to pull practical jokes on other animals. Wabuu is particularly funny because, unlike Meeko (who he represents in Legend Of Pocahontas), he appears to be genuinely sociopathic at times. Particularly the strong German accent he speaks with (Meeko doesn't speak in the Disney movie). The other characters all find him extremely annoying.
  • Pinocchio and the Emperor of the Night: Scalawag. He starts off seeming like another subversion of the playful mischievous raccoon actually being a lying, cheating scoundrel, until he realizes the error of his ways, has a moment of heroic fortitude where he stands by Pinocchio, and gets to redeem himself, being only a Loveable Rogue after all.
  • Robin Hood: While the raccoons are probably honest townsfolk arrested for not paying extortionate taxes, the scene where they are running in striped prison uniforms with bags of gold deliberately invokes this trope.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Rocket is a greedy Bounty Hunter, and gets into a long talk with a Nova Corps officer about the definition of stealing if he wants something more than the owner. His sticky fingers are what get the team in big trouble come the sequel, swiping from their employers - a civilization that answers any insult to their pride with a death sentence.

    Literature 
  • Rascal is a 1963 book by Sterling North about a boy who raises a pet raccoon, but eventually has to release him after his sister asks him to. In fairness, the raccoon starts raiding fields and henhouses, and getting into trouble with other raccoons, and it was the mating season.
  • The Adam Raccoon series of Christian children's books, written and illustrated by none other than Disney animator Glen Keane. According to one book's description, the series stars the "rascally, fun-loving Adam who wants to follow his King (a lion symbolizing Jesus), but finds it so easy to stray".
  • Hank the Cowdog: Eddy the Rac, a cute little orphan raccoon. He's a nice kid, but him being The Trickster creeps up on him often.
  • Avi has two children's books about a female raccoon named Amanda, including Keep Your Eye on Amanda!, in which she wants to be a professional thief but her brother doesn't, and Amanda Joins the Circus, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. This is an extremely rare example of the "rascal" stereotype applied to a female.
  • Benjamin And Tulip by Rosemary Wells, has a raccoon named Tulip who loves causing trouble around Benjamin, such as by causing fights and making fun of him, for unknown reasons.
  • The Last Dogs: Tiffany is a juvenile raccoon who likes to think of herself as a master thief and wants to be called the "Silver Bandit". She's also got quite the vivid imagination, claiming that she's seen bobcats and bears laying eggs.
  • Warrior Cats: Averted in Hawkwing's Journey, where raccoons are total brutes that are nearly on the same level as badgers and beavers. They've escaped from Twoleg captivity, and, once they've gathered in a big group, they attack the SkyClan camp, killing Honeytail and causing Leafstar to lose one of her nine lives.
  • In Guardian Cats and the Lost Books of Alexandria, there's a group of traveling raccoons that annoy the Dead Cats Society. Most of them are not particularly smart, but they're quick-footed and brutish. The leader, Sting, is the brains of the group but he ends up manipulated by another raccoon, Lazer, who uses Sting's gang as a way of stealing the Book from Cicero. Lazer turns out to actually be Bait, a cat, using magic.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Crimestrikers, G.T. Overley is a raccoon from Creaturia, a World of Funny Animals. She stole several cars as a teenager—"not to keep, just to drive!" After a stay in juvie she became a Reformed Criminal, went into law enforcement, and currently serves as the titular team's Badass Driver and Wrench Wench.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, the gnomish deity Baervan Wildwanderer has a raccoon sidekick named Chiktikka, who tends to act before he thinks and steals items.
  • Pathfinder: Raccoons have a reputation for being thieving creatures, and are often chosen as Familiars by people with light fingers. They're also the sacred animals of Thamir Gixx, the halfling god of thieves, opportunists and greed, and often compete for shiny baubles with the equally thieving goblins, who refer to them as "grabby-cats".
  • Shadowrun: Bandits are Awakened raccoons with opposable thumbs and a propensity for theft, especially of food and shiny objects. They're remarkably cunning for non-sapient animals, and are rumored to even be able to pick locks.

    Video Games 
  • Crayon Chronicles has Book Bandits, which are basically brown raccoons.
  • In Sly Cooper, the title character is descended from a line of master thief raccoons.
  • Pokémon
    • Zigzagoon is clearly based on either the raccoon or the tanuki. Its special ability in the game is Pick Up, which randomly finds items buried in the grass, and it learns several moves related to stealing. (Its evolution Linoone is based more on a badger.)
    • Averted with Riolu and Lucario, which were partially based on actual raccoons but are largely depicted as heroic fighters instead of mischievous rascals.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, a raccoon in the Mysterious Woods will prevent you from progressing by changing the area the top of the screen leads to, and must be sprinkled with magic powder in order to proceed. Using the powder changes the raccoon back into its true form, Tarin, who was Baleful Polymorphed after eating a mushroom.
  • In Animal Crossing there is Tom Nook who is a shady salesman who is said to steal his goods and sell them to the player. He's a tanuki in the Japanese version.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • The Dragon Prince: Ezran, who can talk to animals, is of the opinion that raccoons are mischievous and untrustworthy, citing as evidence the time a group of raccoons told him there was a treasure behind a waterfall in order to trick him into going through and getting soaked for nothing.
  • Regular Show: Rigby, who often tries to reach his goals through lying and cheating.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Mask of the Raccoon" focuses on a French-accented raccoon named Ze Archer, who "borrows" from others and says that he intends to give the stuff away. When his cover is blown (he's not really French and his name is Archie, and he's keeping the stuff for himself), the penguins use him to help give to the less fortunate.
  • Get Muggsy!: Carl Raccoon joins his opossum friend Tred in begging for food from humans.
  • Thunder Cats 2011: Tookit, although his seemingly harmless and amusing antics are a mask for something a lot more dark and manipulative.
  • Trust Me, I'm a Genie: Ziggy is a purple raccoon who also happens to be a genie and he fits the rascally stereotype to a T.
  • Timon & Pumbaa: "Yosemite Remedy" has the duo's belongs stolen by a raccoon thief named Thief (he repeatedly states it's pronounced "Thyfe").
  • The Raccoons is a subversion or aversion. Ralph and Melissa are very sensible characters. Bert has the trickster aspects, but is more a practical joker than a thief. They're usually trying to stop a crooked developer from stealing their forest home.
  • Total Drama: In the Total Drama Island episode "Wawanakwa Gone Wild!", part of the day's challenge had Duncan trying to catch a raccoon. Playing with the trope a bit, the raccoons he encounters aren't "rascally" in the usual sense–instead, they transform into the raccoon version of a humoungous mecha and chase Duncan off.
    • In the Total Drama: Revenge of the Island episode "Backstabbers Ahoy!", Chris uses the mutated raccoon to scare the campers out of the lodge in order to cut the breakfast time off. Lightning falls victim of the said raccoon and get thrown out of the lodge through the window.
  • Stuart Little: The Animated Series: In "The Great Outdoors", there's a pair of raccoons who are a villainous version of this trope. Not only do they try and steal The Littles' food but they also threatened Snowbell that they would pluck his fur for refusing to give them the food.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: The Recurring Raccoon, who pops up out of nowhere, swipes something from the characters, then leaves. He has no role in the show outside of Rule of Funny. He's even got his own jingle.

    Real Life 
  • Raccoons are notorious for using human urban areas to their maximum advantage.

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