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The Trickster
aka: Tricksters

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Be careful, watch that last step!

Aelius: I think that if someone tried to rob you in the street, you'd pick his pocket, sell him a better knife and probably offer him a job as a tax collector.
Basso: I choose to take that as a compliment.

A trickster is a character who plays tricks or otherwise disobeys normal rules and conventional behavior. The Trickster openly questions and mocks authority, encourages impulse and enthusiasm, seeks out new ideas and experiences, destroys convention and complacency, and promotes chaos and unrest. At the same time, the trickster brings new knowledge, wisdom and many An Aesop. Even when punished horribly for their effrontery, their indomitable spirit (or plain sheer foolishness) keeps them coming back for more.

Tricksters can be anything from gods of chaos, bedeviling heroes for a few laughs, to master manipulators who use cruel ploys and sadistic choices. They can also be heroes (or more likely Anti-Heroes) who make up for a lack of strength or bravery with manipulation, planning, or just plain cheating. The trickster is often a Master of Disguise and may have magical or super-powers. They're often found Walking the Earth.

In mythology and religion, the trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously but usually, albeit unintentionally, with ultimately positive effects. Often, the bending/breaking of rules takes the form of tricks or thievery, and their actions often end up changing the rules in the process of breaking them, much like an act of "civil disobedience".

Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. Even if not otherwise punished, they are often prone to being caught in their own trap, and are very vulnerable to Counter Zany schemes. Sometimes the Trickster appears as a sort of catalyst, in that their antics are the cause of other characters' discomfiture, but they themself are left untouched. (Or at least unenlightened, if the trick backfires.)

In modern literature, the Trickster survives as a character archetype, ranging from the self-aware and purposeful, through the merely impulsive and mischievous, to an openly hostile antagonist. Mythical versions may also be Hijacked By Satan, sometimes in direct contravention of their original legends.

In cases where The Trickster is an antagonist or villain, they are quite frequently a Harmless Villain and more of a nuisance than a threat. They often want nothing more than to show that they are smarter and more clever than the hero, who may also treat such a villain as an amusing diversion as they are often easy to defeat non-violently.

The Trickster is NOT the same as the Jerkass. While the Trickster may be mischievous, impudent and uppity, they are not necessarily openly malevolent or sociopathic; in fact, in many cases Tricksters are more friendly to humanity than the gods are. It is possible, however, for a character to be introduced as a Trickster before being gradually or suddenly revealed to possess depths of cruelty and malice that make them truly villainous, in a form of Bait the Dog.

Compare Messianic Archetype and The Fool. May overlap with Nominal Hero, particularly if the trickster is doing it purely for fun.

Sub Tropes


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach's Gin Ichimaru. Bonus points for not one, but two trickster Animal Motifs.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Edward Elric definitely fits this trope, especially when dealing with corrupt alchemists.
    • And ultimately, The Truth, aka God of the setting. All his sadistic glee in claiming the hefty toll was replaced with real joy that Ed finally learned the ultimate lesson, that alchemy isn't everything.
  • Satoko Houjou from Higurashi: When They Cry is a kid who enjoys playing pranks on her friends, especially New Transfer Student Keiichi. Her traps later come to good use when she uses them to trap men out to kill Rika.
  • K has Yashiro "Shiro" Isana. In the first season, the superpowered Red and Blue Clans, and the "Black Dog", Kuroh Yatogami, a lone superpowered fighter, are all chasing him because they believe he's the culprit in a murder. Shiro uses his cleverness to escape, get Kuroh to believe in his innocence, escape some more, and outwit the Blue Clan, the stoic-genius faction. Having a psychic cat around did help, though. Even after he gets his memories back and reawakens as the most powerful King, he prefers to use his cleverness rather than fighting.
  • Kaiketsu Zorori who considers himself an Anti-Hero, a self-proclaimed prankster genius and one of his goal is to become known as the King of Pranksters or a Prankster King.
  • Loki, from Kamigami no Asobi, is true to his mythological basis... mostly - it turns out he's in love with Baldr and doesn't want to have to kill him, but has to stop Baldr's Superpowered Evil Side, but until that part comes around, he's this exactly. He does things like putting magic rings on Yui (the harem center) and Tsukito (the moon god, Tsukuyomi) that connect themselves until they understand each other's hearts, just to freak out the rest of the harem; and when they do a school play, he gets cast as the prince's servant instead of the "star", so he derails the play with a coup d'etat (Thor, who usually keeps him in line, is busy Playing a Tree).
  • Lupin III is one of the most iconic tricksters in anime, using his skills as a thief to outwit anyone who tries to catch him, especially the ever-persistent Inspector Zenigata, and even when he does get caught he always finds a way out. His craftiness and sheer unpredictability almost always keep him one step ahead of his adversaries, and he usually makes complete fools out of them while making his escape. It helps that he's just as infamous for being a Master of Disguise as he is for being a master thief, just like his grandfather and namesake.
  • Chantez Arpinion of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, a highly mischievous nun who uses a deceptive fighting style that utilizes Super-Speed, Doppelgänger Attack techniques, Invisibility, and bald-faced lying. In fact, her first full scene had her cheerfully lying to the Clone Jesus analog of her Church just so she could have an opening in their sparring match. A later chapter reveals that she used to be a Street Urchin before the Saint Church took her in, which likely influenced this part of her personality.
  • In Mayo Chiki!, Kanade runs circles around most other characters. Or make them run circles around her, at any rate.
  • Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto crosses this trope with Determinator.
  • Xelloss in Slayers. He even refers to himself as a "trickster priest." ("fuzaketa puriisto", "the playful priest"; sometimes translated as "roguish priest" or "mysterious priest".)
  • Monkey D. Luffy from One Piece. The fact that he's also an Idiot Hero makes his opponents wonder whether he's really this or just really lucky.
  • Niou Masaharu from The Prince of Tennis. It's even his in-universe nickname.
  • Blue (Green in the US) in Pokémon Adventures starts off as a Con Artist who scams Red out of his earned Gym Badges and manipulating him to do a few cons on Team Rocket, namely getting any info/pics of the Mythical Pokémon Mew. But she isn't truly malevolent and is often an ally of Red throughout the original RGBY saga... just don't assume she always has your best interest.
  • Duplica the Ditto trainer, Zorua, and various Ghost Pokémon in Pokémon: The Series are all character who employ trickery and mischievous pranks to mess with people, often disguising themselves as other characters and imitating their behavior to near perfection. They don't do this out of malevolence unlike say, Team Rocket. They just want a good laugh.

    Card Games 
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG, the Ghosttrick Archetype's effects revolve around flipping monsters face-down and protecting themselves as long as they are face-down. In effect, they act like pranksters or mischievous spirits: popping out and scaring people, then running away and hiding.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman has The Joker and The Riddler. The Joker often spends just as much time performing pranks and other petty things as much as killing people. The Riddler has a compulsion to make complicated puzzles for his own amusement.
    • Bat-Mite, who comes from Mr. Mxyzptlk's homeworld of the fifth dimension, is a hyperactive fanboy who tries to help out, only to further complicate things, and he actually has respect for Batman, despite being more of a pest instead of evil.
  • Deadpool is an insane mercenary, so he does odd things and disrespects authority, but cops are okay, provided they're not trying to arrest him.
  • Jaeger of the aboriginal sci-fi comic Finder. Although he seems random and impetuous, his behavior is bound by the code of the titular super-scouts, but also his designation as a ritual scapegoat in his mother's native culture.
  • Loki, Marvel's version of the Norse God of Mischief and Lies. Varies from out-and-out villain to anti-hero, depending on the writer and the incarnation (for example, de-aged Loki is a lot less malevolent than his previous, older self).
  • Maelstrom, Cosmic Marvel's version.
    Maelstrom: I can't feed you to a giant demonic dragon if you're asleep! Where would the fun be in that?
  • The Cloud Gremlins in My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #2 . Doesn't help their quoting the appropriate Shakespeare play too.
  • Plastic Man, according to some people interviewed for the 80s cartoon DVD of the titular character, serves as a trickster in the DC Comics mythos of heroes.
  • The Powerpuff Girls has the Micro-Puffs, tiny sprite versions of the girls who show up merely to yank the girls' chains. They appeared in the DC run of the comic book.
  • Sam & Max's titular duo functions as one of these - Max provides the impulsiveness, Sam provides the Aesop and they both contribute to the chaos.
  • Spider-Man, whose actions end up teaching him his own wisdom.
    • He's also this in a literal and symbolic sort of way, being the smaller, smarter animal who outwits the bigger, and in some cases, dumber animals (his rogues gallery), to the point that his alter ego is (obviously) related to spiders, while those of some of his enemies are related to animals like rhinos, octopuses, scorpions, and vultures. And as mild-mannered Peter Parker, he has to contend with the likes of Flash Thompson and J. Jonah Jameson too.
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk from Superman is an imp with Reality Warper abilities. Which, interestingly enough, leads to Superman having to resort to trickster methods just to get rid of him.
    • Then you have The Impossible Man, and he and Mxy had a crossover together, where their differences became apparent. Let's just say it doesn't end in friendship.

    Fan Works 
  • Sacanas from The Captain Goodking Saga fits this to a T, especially when he tricked his apprentice's father into being Taken for Granite by promising the father he would be "forever young and beautiful". The clue's in the name. note 
  • Child of the Storm has several examples.
    • Doctor Strange is probably the stand-out one, using his extensive foreknowledge to both assist (when he deems it necessary) and to wind up the rest of the cast (when he deems it funny). It actually gets to the point where Odin irritably demands if Strange is present at a particular place for anything other than making smart remarks.
    • Loki, naturally. However, his pranks are only ever mischievous, never malignant (though he's still got a very ruthless streak where his enemies are concerned). For example, when Steve is trying to work a smoothie machine:
      Loki: There's something just a little off about that lid.
      Steve: [examines it closely] I don't see anything wrong.
      Loki: How about now?
      [the lid disappears, splattering everything within five feet]
    • Albus Dumbledore, Cool Old Guy extraordinaire, enjoys pulling Stealth HiByes on characters and gently teasing them. This does not, however, mean that he's not a threat.
  • The works of Fialleril (most notably Double Agent Vader and Heretic Pride) tend to expand on the culture and religion of the slaves of Tatooine. The most frequently-mentioned figure in that religion is Ekkreth, a shapeshifting gender-fluid trickster deity, whose role in every story about them is to find ways to outwit the slave masters and free the slaves, before slipping or flying away laughing.
  • Lorelei from the "Lorelei Chronicles" series. Being a universe-hopping Master of Illusion gives her MANY opportunities to screw with people, albeit in a non-cruel, non-destructive way. Justified in that she comes from a broken home, which leads her to believe that making people laugh is her mission in life.
  • Lana in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines once convinced her classmate Frax Lono to go to school without his shirt by telling him the class was to be about Alolan sumo.
  • Thanks, but no: Marinette picks Alix for the Fox Miraculous due to a long history of pulling pranks, from tricking a ten-years-old Chloe into thinking glue was hair gel to being one of the class’s trickster. When Lila comes and claims to be Scarabella’s best friend and a reserve hero, Alix convinces Kim to plot a prank on the transfer student under the guise of her hazing, but really it’s to make her pay for her lies.
  • Loki from The Two Year Emperor, a Great Gazoo mischief god who periodically shows up to have pun fights, be the comic relief, and be a Trickster Mentor for the main character by sliding him important hints.

    Film — Animation 
  • Disney's Peter Pan has the titular character as one. Not only are his antics on cartoonish levels, but he's quick-witted, fast on his feet, always one step ahead of Hook and his crew, and treats nearly everything like a game.
  • The Genie from Disney's Aladdin acts as one, though he's not nearly as malicious as most genies are portrayed. He enjoys playing pranks and creating elaborate setpieces.
  • The Bad Guys (2022):
    • Mr. Wolf engages in all sorts of trickery and thievery, having lead a team of other anthropomorphic criminals to amass a small fortune.
    • To a lesser extent, Diane Foxington was also one of these, though she cleaned up her act before the start of the film.
  • The crows from Dumbo are an interesting variation of the trope, as they're the Trope Namer for the Magic Feather. They don't quite fit the criteria for a Trickster Mentor but their general demeanor puts them very in line with more classical (albeit AT WORST amoral) examples.
  • Stitch from Lilo & Stitch was genetically-engineered to be this, using his strength, cunning, and other abilities for mischievous purposes.
  • Meeko from Pocahontas, although he's a bit less of trickster and more of an outright thief.
  • Eris from Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas spends all of her time playing tricks on the protagonist (along with all the mortals in the story) and well, just causing general chaos. just listen to this theme song.
  • Zootopia features a trickster rabbit and a trickster fox teaming up.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke has a disrupting influence on the day-to-day life in the prison.
  • Johnny Destiny, from Destiny Turns On The Radio, manipulates the fates of the entire cast, for better or for worse, and may or may not be Coyote in disguise.
  • Tyler Durden of Fight Club is a more malicious, destructive example.
  • The short comedy Harold Of Orange was made to show how this trope would be played out in Real Life.
  • Mr. Nick from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Yes, he's the Devil but he seems more interested in playing games than damning souls, to the extent that he actually tries to prevent Parnassus' daughter from going into Hell and when she does says, "Damn, I won" in a tone of regret.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Loki is the on-screen incarnation of the comic book character of the same name who, in turn, was based on the Norse God of trickery and chaos. He starts off as a trickster in Thor. When he returns post-banishment in The Avengers, he's decidedly less tricky, being now bent on revenge and subjugating Earth. In Thor: The Dark World Loki is more tricky than ever, and his powers of illusion drive much of the plot. The trend continues in Thor: Ragnarok, where he's called the God of Mischief in-universe, and it's even lampshaded in his play The Tragedy of Loki of Asgard:
      Loki Actor: I just couldn't help myself, I'm a trickster.
    • Frigga in Thor: The Dark World. While it's not to the same degree as her son Loki (or perhaps, that's what she wants us to believe), it still speaks volumes that she was his tutor not just in magic, but in cunning as well—it seems that Loki had studied from the best. Unlike her former pupil, Frigga maintains an air of being virtuous, and she exploits this by playing Odin like a fiddle for a year, committing what can be construed as treason by visiting Loki, an enemy of the Crown, in his cell, which her king has explicitly forbidden. Odin—whom she notes is not a very good liar—is plainly unaware of how wily and insubordinate his wife truly is. Malekith attempts to insult her by calling her a witch after he falls for her trick with Jane, and Frigga merely smirks with satisfaction—like Loki, she thoroughly enjoys outwitting her foes. It makes one wonder if she might be the Goddess of Mischief in all but name; she simply hides her underhandedness a lot better than her trickster son.
  • The Marx Brothers, particularly Groucho. And by extension, Roland T. Flakfizer from Brain Donors
  • The Mask (explicitly linked to Loki) and most other characters played by Jim Carrey, some mentioned elsewhere on this page, some not - such as Andy Kaufman (Man on the Moon), a Real Life trickster figure who would be called a troll today.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Jack Sparrow. Captain Jack Sparrow. In the commentary of the first film, during the scene where he tricks the two Interceptor guards into arguing, allowing him to slide out of the frame, sneak aboard and get behind the wheel before they even realize he's gone, the writers joke that they consider this scene akin to a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
  • Reg Dunlop from Slap Shot, as he hoodwinks a town.
  • Br'er Rabbit from Song of the South based on African-American folktales, is the American version of this archetype.
  • From Star Wars:
    • Han Solo, to a degree. In The Han Solo Adventures he pulls a wide array of tricks, with a playfulness that nicely offsets his grimmer, mercenary side.
    • Yoda. Though he would technically be more along the lines of Trickster Mentor, it's usually assumed that he likes practical jokes for their own value, too.

  • Alyss the demigoddess from the Legends of Lone Wolf novelization of the Lone Wolf gamebooks, and then appearing as a Canon Immigrant in the main series starting Book 16. She fancies herself as neutral and is certainly mischievous, but Big Bad Naar and his minions are such utter bastards that she systematically ends up on the side of Good anyway.


By Author:

  • Neal Stephenson very evidently likes to both use and reference this archetype; Hiro Protagonist is a Trickster/Technologist in Snow Crash, as are many of the key figures of both Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age. In The Diamond Age, The Hacker is explicitly name-checked as a modern trickster archetype, and in Cryptonomicon Enoch Root discusses with Randy the way various cultures have interpreted the archetype - from worship (Athena) to deep distrust (Loki). Root himself plays the role of Trickster Mentor in The Baroque Cycle. Jack Shaftoe is the Trickster in spades as is, to a lesser extent, Eliza.

By Work:

  • Peter Pan: Peter Pan's the Trope Codifier of literature. He treats everything like a game as much as he enjoys messing with Captain Hook.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: The Cheshire Cat.
  • In American Gods, Odin is a trickster and a literal con man. So is his son, Loki. It is a two man con.
  • Neil also wrote his own story about Anansi, going by the name of Charlie Nancy. He has... well, two sons who inherit his powers.
  • The Drode in Animorphs.
  • Francisco d'Anconia from Atlas Shrugged.
  • Robin Goodfellow in the Cal Leandros series. His species is a puck.
  • Willy Wonka of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and its many adaptations) is a Trickster Mentor and the trope namer for another trickster subtrope — The Wonka.
  • Colin in John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos. Always ready to pull a stunt whenever they need a distraction.
  • Tzigone from Counselors and Kings is a highly intelligent and playful street performer/thief (with latent magical abilities, though she really only starts developing those in the second and third books) who enjoys mocking her stratified society and overturning its rules wherever possible. Unlike some tricksters, though, when push comes to shove she's plainly one of the good guys.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo has an example in the titular Count who uses elaborate mind games and his obscene wealth to bring down his opponents as well as reward his followers. Somewhat Deconstructed as his games sometimes have collateral damage he does not expect.
  • Coyote in his Coyote Blue.
  • The Darksword Trilogy has Simkin.
  • Discworld:
    • Granny Weatherwax. She can't tell a joke to save her life, but is borderline unflappable, shows zero regard for societal norms whenever they get in her way, and has a knack for cutting people down to size by exploiting how they think. You don't have to have a sense of humour to be a Trickster!
    • Moist von Lipwig is a Con Man turned Boxed Crook who's never happier than when he's doing something insanely risky and / or selling a new idea to sceptical people.
    • Scrappy the kangaroo from The Last Continent. Acknowledged in exposition as a trickster god and therefore the sort of guy who puts a land mine under a seat cushion for a bit of a chuckle.
    • Other Discworld trickster gods are Hoki the Jokester (banned from Dunmanifestin for pulling "the old exploding mistletoe trick") and the dwarfish mine-spirit Agi Hammerthief.
  • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Love and War, the 25th century New Age Travellers have a trickster god they just call the Trickster (who doesn't appear to be related to The Sarah Jane Adventures character). During Jan's vision quest, he appears to Jan as "Arlan Jardolz, the Betalan comedian" and to Ace as Vic Reeves.
  • Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files believes himself to be this, but Murphy points out that he's actually very predictable in the sense that he enjoys familiarity and routine, despite being deceptively intelligent (as one of his exes puts it, he's only slow in the short term - in the long term, he sees everything); he just has authority problems. However, the trickster part comes in because while people know he's going to pull some trick on them, they just don't know what.
  • Robin Goodfellow from An Elegy for the Still-living talks in riddles, plays practical jokes, manipulates anyone he can get his hands on and implies that he is the Anthropomorphic Personification of the Trickster Archetype.
  • The Meddler of the Firekeeper Saga, who is known for having seemingly good intentions but never stopping to consider the consequences.
  • Pocket in Christopher Moore's Fool.
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, The Phoenix Exultant, and The Golden Transcendence, the Neptunians. All of them. They live that far out to live a wild life in which sending people computer viruses is considered high spirits. In The Golden Transcendence, Diomedes comments that he would steal a ship to carry out their plan, but he's surprised that inner-system people like Phaethon and Atkins would.
  • Ulric Skakki in Harry Turtledove's Golden Shrine trilogy.
  • The Grinch and The Cat in the Hat both fit this archetype to a t. And they do look almost quite similar in their live-action incarnations.
  • Neil Gaiman's "Harlequin Valentine".
  • In Harry Potter:
    • Fred and George Weasley are famous setting off pranks in Hogwarts. They later open a joke shop, thereby becoming professional tricksters.
    • Peeves is also a good example, but the Twins prove their superiority when, in Book Five, they leave and order Peeves to "Give her (Umbridge) hell from us." And Peeves salutes! It says a lot about how much the other teachers hate Umbridge, too, that they let Peeves get away with just short of murder during her short tenure. McGonagall, a Rules Lawyer herself under Dumbledore, is said to even help Peeves herself with discreetly muttered advice about which way to unscrew a chandelier.
  • Foxface in The Hunger Games, known for being Too Clever by Half.
  • Journey to Chaos: Tasio the Trickster flies in and out of mortal life, bring hope or despair as he fancies. One of his many names is "Overturner of Fortune" to reflect this. On an average day, he's just a pest.
  • In The Iron Teeth web serial, the protagonist Blacknail the goblin is a trickster. Throughout the story, he makes up for his small size through trickery and cheating. As an outsider among humans he also constantly disobeys convention and acts in unexpected ways. He is also fond of disguising himself using a long cloak.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, Tabaqui the Jackal.
    "All thanks for this good meal," he said, licking his lips. "How beautiful are the noble children! How large are their eyes! And so young too! Indeed, indeed, I might have remembered that the children of kings are men from the beginning."
    Now, Tabaqui knew as well as anyone else that there is nothing so unlucky as to compliment children to their faces. It pleased him to see Mother and Father Wolf look uncomfortable.
  • Merry and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings are also Those Two Guys.
  • Colin from the post-Apocalypse novel Malevil. Shrewd, often a pain in the ass, and as Emmanuel's favorite friend allowed to get away with a lot.
  • In MARZENA we have Unreliable Narrator, Mind Screw and Shout-Out lover Anika Fun Bremen, obviously. And Marian too, being the head of a Private Intelligence Company is all about psychology and fun mind games, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder ought to ensue.
  • The Marquis of Carabas in Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. He is named after the alias used by Puss In Boots, a Trickster character in his own right.
  • John Taylor from the Nightside novels, sometimes.
  • Randal Patrick McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Trixie the Halloween Fairy and Addison the April Fool's Day Fairy are fond of pranks and tricking people.
  • In Rainbows End, Mr. Rabbit deliberately invokes this archetype, teasing both friends and foes with his technological prowess and bizarre sense of humor. In the online world, he is nearly a god, and he likes to leave virtual carrot ends in other people's virtual worlds.
  • Harlequin, as seen in the story "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman by Harlan Ellison.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Much like his Beast Fable counterpart, Reynard the Fox, Reynard is this in spades. He particularly enjoys Batman Gambits.
  • Reynard the Fox: A Karmic Trickster fox from a series of European medieval tales. He is a downright criminal who always manages to fool everybody despite several attempts to bring him to justice.
  • Repairman Jack. Even though he's an "urban mercenary" he prefers using his wits to solve a problem than violence and his violent solutions often show a twisted sense of humor.
  • Aiken Drum in Julian May's Saga of the Exiles, exiled for such pranks as altering a dam's configuration so that a giant penis sticks out of it, peeing water. And that's before he gets superpowers.
  • In Rafael Sabatini's Scaramouche, Andre-Louis plays this role on stage and in life. This aspect of the character comes out even more so in the 1952 film.
  • Zosim the Trickser God is a minor member of the pantheon in Shadowmarch, though he's ultimately revealed to be the Big Bad, manipulating everybody to try and become top god. Interestingly, though the rest of his pantheon are clear counterparts to the Greco-Roman gods, Zosim himself resembles Loki far more than he does Hermes.
  • Puck from The Sisters Grimm. Given that he's supposed to be Shakespeare's Puck (from A Midsummer Night's Dream), this is unsurprising.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire gives us a smorgasbord of Trickster-types running the full spectrum from "light-hearted" to "sodding dangerous"... although quite a lot weigh more towards the dangerous; Gadflys, snarkers and Trolls abound. Included are the court Fools, Bards or Mummers like Moon Boy, Patchface, Butterbumps, the Blue Bard, Penny, poor "Jinglebell" and Marrillion, as well the historical Florian and Mushroom who either have been trained to include sanctioned havoc in their acts or otherwise make it part of their living in various shapes. However, if they overstep... Tyrion Lannister could have wound up as a trained Fool, himself, were it not for being born a Lannister trumping being a dwarf (however, he's not exactly escaped the trope, given his propensity to be a reactive, tricksome blighter of epic proportions). In fact, to get ahead in both Westeros and Essos, it pays to have an extensive bag of tricks up your sleeve and a will to use them — no matter who you may be. As a result, few major players don't have shades of the grifter and Trickster to them: even for those infamously without much of a sense of humour... eh, Lord Tywin or Lord Stannis? However, arguably the two biggest and straightest ones are Lord Petyr Baelish and "Lord" Varys. Both play others for their own ends using misdirection and any other means going, while being sardonic wits of the highest order. The major difference between them seems to be how much chaos they're willing to spread to achieve their goals and why. Varys seems to view collateral damage as a Necessary Evil to bring long-term stability. Petyr? It's all part of his Game: the more the merrier.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf
  • Star Wars Legends: In the New Jedi Order, the goddess Yun-Harla is a trickster venerated by the Yuuzhan Vong and is one of their premier deities (to the point that most of the Vong's intelligence network is actually overseen by her priests, the deception sect). Midway through the series, Jaina Solo (Han and Leia's daughter) begins deliberately taking on aspects of Yun-Harla to mess with the Vong's heads and becomes a trickster in her own right as a result.
  • The Supervillainy Saga has Gary Karkofsky a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillain without MercyTM is one as he is frequently overmatched by gods, demons, demigods, superheroes, and supervillains. He manages to survive only by the fact that he uses Obfuscating Stupidity and a variety of Confusion Fu tactics. He even gets the Worthy Opponent respect of Baba Yaga who calls him a "clever peasant."
  • Tailchaser's Song: The legendary Lord Firefoot is known as the smartest cat that's ever lived. He displays some aspects of a trickster, such as when he tricked a shark to take him across the ocean, only to landlock it and eat it.
  • Till Eulenspiegel: A medieval folk hero well known in German, Flemish, and Dutch folklore. He travels across the land where he tricks everybody by taking their words literally or fooling them in ways that he gets money or gets off scot-free, despite his actions.
  • Tortall Universe: Kyprioth the Trickster, who features most prominently in the Trickster's Duet, where he's plotting to regain his status as the patron god of the Copper Isles. The raka of the Isles have an attitude towards life heavily shaped by their peculiar patron god. The human Aly, a Tortallan spy he brings to the Isles as part of his plan, however, gives him a run for his money.
  • Lestat de Lioncourt, brat prince, from The Vampire Chronicles.
  • Miles Vorkosigan in Vorkosigan Saga.
  • Hirahim Lightfoot in the cosmology of David Weber's The War Gods. Notable in that unlike other deities who were created or fathered by the head deity Orr, he appeared from nowhere and not even Orr seems to know his origins.
  • Warrior Cats has Sol. In addition to his life of traveling the earth to screw things up in as many places as possible, he has actually once been called a trickster in the books.
  • El-ahrairah, the rabbit folk hero in Watership Down is stated to be based on Br'er Rabbit. As a punishment for his trickery, all the creatures of the world were set against him (and rabbitkind)... which just means he has to be extra-tricksy to escape from them.
  • Mat Cauthon of The Wheel of Time novels.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: There is a significant element of the Trickster in most if not all incarnations of the Doctor, but it's particularly apparent in their second, fourth, seventh and eleventh incarnations (who typically tended to be cheerfully anarchic types who relied on Obfuscating Stupidity and a veil of harmless eccentricity that concealed a sharp intellect and devastating, ruthless effectiveness). The very nature of the character is an aimless wanderer, exiled from a race of cold and distant godlike beings, who eagerly seeks out new knowledge and experiences, and who tends to stroll into a calm but usually oppressive status quo, object to some kind of injustice taking place, cause untold chaos in trying to resolve it and and then leave having completely upended society but ensured it is in a better, fairer state than it was before they arrived. They also tend to delight in puncturing pomposity, self-importance and arrogance wherever they find it; in addition to opposing the Big Bad of the week on principle, many episodes often find them zeroing in on a less malevolent but no less pompous and self-important character and finding some way of puncturing their bubble (a recurring gag in the Third Doctor's tenure, for example, was him finding some way of cheerfully undermining a pompous civil servant, military officer or scientist who crossed his path). The Doctor also tends to use cunning, manipulation and guilenote  to win their battles rather than strength or brute force.
  • Game of Thrones: Littlefinger actively destabilizes Westeros to provide himself opportunities to manipulate people and increase his own power.
  • Klus from Studio 100's Kabouter Plop series, he loved playing tricks and pranks around the other gnomes. Sometimes having his own pranks backfiring at him.
  • Holly Curran from Night and Day, through and through. One of the show's most mysterious characters and frequently ambiguous in motivation, she often spreads falsehoods for fun and will periodically pop up like a pagan deity to play mind-games and wreak chaos - especially with Alex Wells and, prior to her disappearance, Jane Harper. On one occasion she even manages to trick Alex into admitting to assaulting Josh Alexander by making him believe that he killed Josh, and that she's buried the body for him. Appropriately, during the School Play storyline, she is initially cast as Puck from Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • Rumplestiltskin in Once Upon a Time. Very, very much so — and he's pulled his tricks on everyone.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Walter Denton is a prank player, with limited respect for authority.

  • The jazz ballad Long Daddy Green by Blossom Dearie is a long description of a trickster, showing a character with benign sides, who gets more and more troublesome as the song progresses.
  • Rabbit's Song by S. J. Tucker is about a being only reffered to as "Trickster", implied to be a kind of demi-god or wizard, who's looking for an animal to help him teach his lessons to mankind "without instilling fear." He eventually settles on Crow, Raven, Coyote, and Rabbit.

    Myths & Religion 
  • African Mythology: The tortoise often played this role alongside the hare with the two being rivals. Of course, the tortoise always came out on top. After all, where did you think The Tortoise and the Hare came from?
  • Aztec Mythology: Tezcatlipoca subverts the archetype in that he was at the same time an authority figure and a very important one at that. The only times he was really trickster-ish was mainly when he wanted to annoy his brother, Quetzalcoatl. He was definitely at the far "god of chaos" end of the trickster archetype. Alternative names for him translate approximately to things like "he to whom we are his slaves", "change through violence" (likely a reference to revolution), and "enemy of both sides".
  • The Bible: Satan could be considered a much more sinister variant of this trope, as he uses his cunning to corrupt the virtuous and lead people astray.
  • Brazilian Folklore:
    • The Saci is the archetypal prank-player of the folklore, though he plays mostly harmless pranks. Other characters like Curupira and Caipora, also qualify, as they dwell in the jungles and use their guiles to lure poachers into traps.
    • Pedro Malasartes is a traditional character in Portuguese and Brazilian folklore, popular in several folktales. He is depicted as a cunning, picaresque, and unscrupulous country man who uses his wits and creativity to get by. In many humorous folk stories, Pedro disguises his craftiness with seeming naiveté to trick the more powerful, the rich, and the miserly. For example, he once told a stingy old woman that he was cooking a delicious "Stone Soup," so she would offer her own ingredients to eat it too. Pedro filled the soup with so much food that he could remove the rocks and eat his share. Another famous trickster character is João Grilo, who appears in Cordel literature from the Northeastern region and even became one of the main characters in the play and subsequent film O Auto da Compadecida.
  • Bulgarian and Macedonian folklore have Hitar Petar ("Sly Peter"). Nasreddin Hoja is also present in those tales as Peter's rival, but to the rather unpleasant history with the Ottoman Empire, he's always the one who gets outwitted.
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • The leprechauns are considered the most notable Irish version. If one should be lucky enough to catch a leprechaun, they should be very careful not to get distracted or take their eyes off them before they show you where their pot of gold is or grant you one or a few wishes, or the leprechaun will quickly run away, with very little chance of finding him again.
  • Classical Mythology has various examples, the main ones being descendants of Trickster God Hermes.
  • Japanese Mythology:
    • The bird-like Tengu are an entire race of tricksters, playing pranks on those who offend them.
    • Although Susano'o has been labeled as a Trickster God, he's quite a subversion due to being a lot more barbaric and bloodthirsty than other examples, although he did have one moment of genuine Trickster-ness with how he disposed of Orochi.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: Inanna. In one Sumerian myth, she tricks her grandfather Ea into giving her the me (the arts and skills of civilization) by getting him drunk.
  • Middle Eastern Folklore:
    • Nasreddin Hodja (in Persian- and Turkic-speaking countries)/Juha (or Joha or Guha or Goha or...) (in Arabic-speaking countries), the Sufi Muslim Trickster. His stories typically portray him as a somewhat reluctant Muslim cleric and judge, and a bit of a fool, who nonetheless manages to outwit his neighbors. A few typical stories:
      • Nasreddin running an avant-le-lettre Kansas City Shuffle on a hapless border guard: bringing donkeys carrying sacks of hay across the border, and always telling the guard that he's a smuggler. The guard searches the sacks but never finds anything but hay in the sacks. Years later, when the guard asks him what he was smuggling, Nasreddin/Juha just says "donkeys."
      • A specifically Egyptian tale has Goha being forced to sell his house against his will to a particularly unpleasant man who used shady dealings to cement the transaction. He hammers a nail into an interior wall of the house and uses the nail as an excuse to visit the old house whenever he likes. (To this day "Goha's nail" is an Egyptian term for something you intentionally leave at a place so you'll have an excuse to go back there later.)
      • Nasreddin/Juha is sitting in judgment in a lawsuit by the owner of a kebab stand against a poor man. The owner accuses the poor man of standing near the stand and enjoying the smell of the grilling meat as the poor man ate his bread, and demands payment. This exchange follows:
        Nasreddin: [to the poor man] Do you deny this?
        Poor man: I do not.
        Nasreddin: Do you have any coins?
        Poor man: Just a few coppers.
        Nasreddin: Give them here.
        Poor man: Your Honor, they're all I have!
        Nasreddin: That may be so, but please just give me those coins.
        Poor man: Very well. [hands over the coins]
        Nasreddin: [to the stand owner] Pay close attention. [drops coins on the table] Did you hear that?
        Stand owner: Yes, your Honor.
        Nasreddin: Excellent. Now you take the sound of those coins as payment for the smell of the meat. [returns coins to poor man]
    • In a set of Middle Eastern animal fables, Kalila and Dimna, two trickster jackals, serve the king lion and nearly always outsmart other animals.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Loki, if the number of works above that have made use of him wasn't an indication, is probably one of the most famous examples in this regard. In the original tales, Loki was the go-to Guile Hero of the Norse gods, and there's numerous tales of him helping to solve many problems through the use of trickery and manipulation, often because the other gods were threatening to beat him to death if he didn't (though, this was often because it was him who caused a lot of the problems).
    • Its notable that in the stories, Loki became something of a deconstruction of this; his trickery and pranks eventually soiled his relationship with the other gods, who didn't like him much in the first place, which in turn made Loki resent them and become crueler in his jokes. This eventually led to Loki being bound to a boulder by the entrails of his murdered son where he spent years tortured by a snake dripping venom into his eyes (in the earlier stories, this was because he lashed out at them during a dinner after they snubbed him and made fun of him behind his back, in the later, post-Christianization versions of the myths (in order to make the Aesir look less like psychotic jerks), this is in response for killing Baldr), until he broke out and lead the armies of Asgard's enemies against the gods, eventually leading to Ragnarok.
    • Odin is also a trickster in Norse mythology, though more beloved than Loki. One of Odin's common actions is to hide as a human among mortals and check their hospitality, honor, etc. It's even theorized that Odin and Loki originated as the same character, but the myths evolved to split them so that the negative aspects were all concentrated into Loki.
  • Maui, the demigod from Pacific Mythology, most recently depicted in Moana. Among his achievements were stealing fire from the Underworld / (the island goddess Te Fiti's heart in Moana), fishing out New Zealand (and the Hawaiian Islands, and basically every island Polynesians live on) from the ocean, and lassoing the sun so it wouldn't streak across the sky so quickly. "Lassoing" isn't the full story; he also beat the living crap out of the Sun until it agreed to slow down.
  • Puerto Rico's Juan Bobo is often characterized as a boy who does tricks to get out of situations.
  • Hanuman of the Ramayana. Many scholars consider him a predecessor or even inspiration to the aforementioned Sun Wukong.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • If there is one professional wrestler who qualifies, it's "Lie, Cheat, & Steal" Eddie Guerrero. And to a lesser extent, his nephew Chavo (at least after Eddie's death). Eddie's favorite trick was to take advantage of the Glass-Jaw/Easily-Distracted Referee and couple it with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit (in which he'd slam a chair on the mat and toss it to his unwitting opponent before lying down) or Let's You and Him Fight, such as using Shaniqua's whip on the Ref's rump before tossing it to Danny Basham. He became a fan favorite because of his unabashed cheating.
  • The large majority of exoticos, going back at least to Gardenia Davis in the 1940s, given that their method of winning involves destroying the opponent's masculine pride, rather than his physical body.
  • Luscious Latasha, the cheerful Zumba enthusiast, uses lots of unconventional tricks during her matches to throw off her bigger opponents (nearly all of them).
  • Second City Saints Ace Steel and Colt Cabana, especially the latter, are more inclined to goof off during matches than try and hurt their opponents too much.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: House Tytalus play this role in Magical Society, testing themselves and others in the belief that only conflict can inspire growth. The House gained a bad reputation when they tried to outwit Satan himself, resulting in widespread diabolism.
  • Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: Rinley, the Troublemaker. Rinley's job is twofold: first, to be The Heart and provide a social glue holding the group together; and two, to mess with them in the process. If you need someone to break into a building through a window it doesn't actually have, switch people's hearts, push a pompous character like Leonardo into a koi pond or tell a story so convincing it deceives even people who saw what actually happened, you should get Rinley to do it.
  • Games Workshop games:
  • Kitsune: Of Foxes and Fools: The player's characters are Kitsune playing tricks on mortals to gain the approval of the Kitsune Elders.
  • Scion features several trickster gods from mythology, and the Trickster is one of the Callings.
  • The Worldof Darkness:
    • The pooka from Changeling: The Dreaming are an animalistic kith given to unearthing the best (or worst) of people through their antics. Their kith weakness is that they cannot tell the whole truth unless they make an effort at it.
    • A watchtower is devoted to this concept in Mage: The Awakening, the Acanthus. A fifth of mages in existence, and all of them devoted to the trickster concept of the Fool Tarot.
    • Vampire: The Masquerade: Vampires of Clan Ravnos have always been this, with 5th Edition emphasizing it more than others; in earlier editions, they were depicted as a clan of vampiric Roguish Romani, but Values Dissonance had them re-written as a more multi-cultural group. Modern Ravnos view themselves as heirs to the various trickster gods of humanity, such as Loki, Anansi, Hermes, and Coyote. In all cases, Ravnos Vampires have access to unique illusory powers.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse:
      • The Ragabash Auspice are the trickster class of the Garou, although they more closely resemble rogues or thieves in other RPG settings. Their role in the Garou society is to question the ways of the pack, in order to make the others think differently about how they do things. Often accomplished through trickery. Various Trickster spirits from mythology also appear as Totems for werewolves to follow.
      • There's an additional Splat of were-coyotes called the Nuwisha who are the Ragabash cranked up, although their "intended role" in the world is as the Teachers of Gaia, using their wiles to teach others lessons. Their backstory claims that their progenitor Coyote played a trick on Luna so heinous that she turned her back on him forever. Their Coyote takes the form of every trickster deity in the world, allowing players to choose which aspect of Coyote they want their character to follow. To cement their trickster status, the Nuwisha character sheets featured an entry for "Pants?".
      • The Corax were-ravens are also Trickster archetypes, although to a lesser extent.
  • Taken at face value with the Trickster Archetype in Unknown Armies.

  • Early plays frequently featured Stock Characters of this type, usually underlings or servants—a trope solidified by the plays of Plautus. This was carried on into the Commedia dell'Arte and Elizabethan plays, such as the works of Shakespeare.
  • Pseudolus from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is an amalgam of every character of this type in Plautus. His name means "liar", by the way.
  • The eponymous character in The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro (it's the same guy). At the time of publishing "Marriage" (the sequel in canon, but made into an opera long before the first story), this kind of character being the lead in an opera was unheard of. Combined with Figaro being a commoner, it caused quite a stir in the music world. Needless to say, now they're some of the most beloved and famous operas in the world.
  • In Gianni Schicchi, the title character is this trope amped to ridiculous levels. His Gambit Pileup he makes up on the fly, hinging on the other characters' greed both for him to prevail in the end and get off with impunity.
  • Cirque du Soleil's KOOZA doesn't mess around — its Gentleman Snarker trickster figure is named The Trickster. Other trickster figures in Cirque include:
    • The Queen of the Night and the King of Fools in Le Cirque Réinventé
    • Madame Corporation and the Great Chamberlain in Nouvelle Experience (Great Gazoo)
    • Le Baron and Eddie in Saltimbanco (separate characters but played by the same actor), as well as the Baroques (a Blithe Spirit species)
    • Brian Le Petit in Mystere.
  • An incredibly dark version of this is Iago from Othello (sometimes spelled Otello for the opera).
  • In some of Tomson Highway's plays, Nanabush is a prominent character but can either not be seen or fully recognized by most characters in part symbolizing a loss and marginalization of (Canadian) native culture.

    Video Games 
  • In the cartoon shorts produced by Bendy and the Ink Machine's Joey Drew Studios, Bendy is known to pull pranks on Boris, whether because Boris has just done something to deserve it or just For the Lulz.
  • Lance Galahad sure is one in Brain Dead 13, especially when he plays a few ones on Fritz from the very beginning.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Lorkhan (aka Shor, Shezarr, Sep, Lorkhajj, etc.), the "dead" creator god of Mundus, the mortal plane, is said to be this even by those religions with a highly favorable view of him. Depending on the telling, he convinced/tricked some of the other pre-creation spirits (Anu et'Ada or Aedra) into sacrificing a large portion of their power in order to create the mortal world. Feeling betrayed by him, these other spirits "killed" him, cut out his heart (or "divine center"), and cast it down into the world he helped to create, where his spirit is forced to wander. The races of Mer (Elves), particularly the Altmer, typically despise him as they believe he robbed their ancestors of their pre-creation divinity and forced them to experience mortal loss and suffering. The races of Men (especially the Nords and Imperials) instead view him as a cosmic Greater-Scope Paragon and champion of Mankind.
    • This is within the realm of Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness. One of his favorite games is making mortals or even other Daedra look like idiots. The lesson is usually "don't underestimate/bargain with/upset/stand near/shirk worship of Sheogorath", but it can be kinder ("there's always room for creativity") or crueler ("there's madness within us all"), depending on his whims...
    • The Tribunal deity Vivec, most prominently seen in Morrowind, has this as one of his "mythic roles." A cunning Warrior Poet, Vivec has been known to bedevil the universe's other divine beings, especially if they mess with his people (though he is known to exaggerate his role in some of these events and tells a number of Metaphorical Truths to make him seem more divine than he really is). He also implies (steeped in heavy metaphor) that his "godhood" essentially comes from realizing that he's in a video game and using that knowledge to "edit" the situation around him. When he disappeared in the 4th Era, so did his power keeping the Ministry of Truth (originally the "rogue moon" Baar Dau) floating over Vivec City. Even with people sacrificing souls to Clavicus Vile, the Daedric Prince of Bargains and Wishes to keep it afloat, it fell with the same momentum it had before Vivec stopped it and annihilated the island. In its wake Vivec City turning into the Scathing Bay, Red Mountian erupted, Vvardenfell became covered in choking ash, and the survivors were forced to evacuate. And then the Argonians invaded...
  • Kefka from Final Fantasy VI falls squarely into the "evil trickster" mold, then becomes something even worse.
  • Yuffie Kisaragi and Cait Sith from Final Fantasy VII. The former enjoys stealing the party's money if they prove unsuccesful in convincing her to come along, while Cait Sith likes giving out fortunes while pretending to be an ally, being The Mole controlled by Reeve Tuesti within Shinra.
  • In NEO: The World Ends with You, Motoi Anezawa turns out be this, whose fame as An0ther is all a huge con he created by stealing quotes from other people and taking all the credit from them to become a social sensation. He then uses this for his advantage in the Reapers' Game by controlling Rindo, who was a big fan of his until he found out that Motoi was using him in order to claim a spot as a Reaper. Needless to say, Rindo is disgusted and beats him so.
  • Persona 5: Discussed, with the game outright asking you to take the role of a "Trickster" in the Opening Narration. Your protagonist is unsurprisingly a seemingly quiet and docile high schooler who ends up embracing a Secret Identity as a notorious Gentleman Thief out to reform the world through covert activities like Heel–Face Brainwashing corrupt serial abusers in positions of power.
  • Pokémon Black and White introduces us to Zorua/Zoroark and Cottonee/Whimsicott. Cottonee has Prankster as one of its abilities, and Zorua can actually disguise itself as another Pokémon to trick its enemies.
  • One of the most iconic tricksters in gaming is Sonic the Hedgehog, who has a reputation as a Mascot with Attitude, and ranges from being a Silent Snarker in the classic Sega Genesis games to a plain old Deadpan Snarker in the modern era (and anything where he's not a Heroic Mime). He performs heroic feats and foils Dr. Eggman's plans while humiliating him in a manner reminiscent of characters like Bugs Bunny.
  • In Stray Gods, Pan being god of mischief leads him to tell half-truths and play pranks, such as spreading the rumor about Cupid being a winged baby, to Eros's displeasure.
  • Juppo and Meg from the Suikoden series are "tricksters" by occupation.
  • Dimentio from Super Paper Mario manages to combine this with Monster Clown.
  • Illidan Stormrage from World of Warcraft: He managed to deceive demon lords and to gain their powers (The vision of Sargeras, for example). He had a cunning and inventive intellect- he was the first demon hunter, using the powers of the Burning Legion against itself. His "gift" for the night elves slightly reminds at the Titan Prometheus, too. The arcane is comparable to fire: It can lead both to high cultural advantages (the elves of the magical kingdom Quel'thalas were admired even by the mages of Dalaran for their perfection in the arcane arts) and immense destruction). Additionally, Illidan had traits of an Anti-Hero.
    • Actually, the Night Elves already had magic but abandoned it after nearly destroying Azeroth by overusing/abusing it. Prometheus did bring fire to the humans, while Illidan brought hellfire to the Night Elves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kokichi Oma in Danganronpa V3 initially appears as an annoying prankster with a penchant for lying, and is likened to an attention-wanting child. In reality, he is a master of Xanatos Speed Chess, coming up with schemes to beat the killing game, with his methods ranging from comical to outright cruel, and manipulating everyone to do his bidding. Kokichi intentionally makes himself out to be a villain who enjoys the killing game before revealing he's the mastermind who started it all. Except that's a lie, and he actually loathes the killing game, and all of his actions have been in an effort to end it. To that extent, he even comes up with a way to meddle in the class trials postmortem after arranging for his own murder. Kokichi also shows some shades of Trickster Mentor to Shuichi during their Free Time Events, explaining in his own convoluted way that it's possible to win a game by not playing which is ultimately how they beat Team Danganronpa.
  • In Remember11, Yuni is (rightfully) called Trickster in the opening credits, to go with the game's Jungian tones.

    Web Animation 
  • El Corretón from Cálico Electrónico isn't portrayed as outright evil, but more like someone who really likes pranking people... and happens to own a Super-Speed machine.
  • Dreamscape: Keedran likes getting under people's skin and making them question things. She also hates doing things 'by-the-book' of her fellow guardians like Kai, which sometimes annoys them.
  • DSBT InsaniT: As Lisa tells Koden and the others in 'The Camping Episode', she doesn't have anything against them, she just likes to mess with them. Especially Asia.

  • Bronze Skin Inc.: The Saci that appears in one chapter is one. He takes after Looney Tunes characters both in his design and his Reality Warper abilities taking the form of Cartoon Physics.
  • In 8-Bit Theater the totemic spirit Raven once tricked Thief into thinking that he had died and was now in his own personal hell where he owned everything (and there was nothing left to steal). Then, several comics after "reviving him" tried to collect on the debt Thief owed him, instead Thief tricked Raven into admitting that he was never dead.
  • Sam "Some of my people have even survived after uttering the phrase 'Watch This!'" Starfall, of Freefall. Sam claims this is good for humanity. (Also, his species.) Many other characters have elements of this as well; heroine Florence Ambrose is even a relative of Coyote's.
  • April Fools' Day in the webcomic Holiday Wars is a shapeshifting prankster.
  • Homestuck:
    • John Egbert. You cannot hope to beat Egbert in a prank-off. He is simply the best there is. It also seems to run in the family.
    • A more supernatural example in the vein of Coyote is Godcat, who is just as likely to teleport you into a paddock across town in the middle of a heavy rainstorm for giggles as he is to save you from an explosion by summoning a convenient couch floating in midair.
  • In Koan of the Day, the tortoise is a Trickster, able to easily subvert another's beliefs.
  • Chaos of Life and Death. Plays cross-dimensional golf, teaches people to hold their tempers in the most obnoxious way possible, and can be a show off. DO NOT piss him off though.
  • In A Magical Roommate, Mermaids are, as a culture, deliberately annoying. In an inversion of typical sirens, mermaid musicians can actually cause shipmen to suicide crash simply due to the utter cacophony.
    "I know! To regain our surprise, let's perform Morning Screams!"
  • Coyote and Reynardine (based somewhat on the above-mentioned Reynard the Fox) from Gunnerkrigg Court.
  • Jareth is the resident one in the fancomic Roommates and its Spin-Off s (Girls Next Door and Down the Street), but his whole family has shades of this.
  • Nudge from Wapsi Square is a classic trickster. She eventually discovers that she is the kind of trickster who makes people want to punch her.
  • In The Water Phoenix King, the goddess Ailari, patron of travelers, messengers, merchants, inns, freedom, and fortune. Her various servants and champions all embody these aspects in different ways, starting with Anthem's protests that she's nobody's servant, thankyouverymuch, and Gilgam's shameless Rules Lawyering and outright deceptions to see justice done without giving her away. (Vish even has Hermes' winged sandals, for all his Lawful inclinations.)
    Vish: ...Lady Luck. My Goddess. Yours now. Sanctifier of Journeys, Lady of Crossroads, Gallows-Girl of Thieves and the Courts of Night.
  • Rowan's speciality in Weak Hero. He makes up for his lack of strength by constantly exaggerating the feats of himself and his allies, escaping fights by intimidating his foes with tales that are a mix of fact and fiction.
    Hopping between facts and lies, it was the exaggerating trickster Rowan Im's chaotic bullshit party!

    Web Original 
  • This ends up being Shayma's class in Blue Core, a role she settles into well as the story progresses.
  • Hermes shows up in the 7th Chrono Hustle story. While it is his status as messenger of the Gods that is in play, his trickster tendencies show up as well.
  • Survival of the Fittest: Liz Polanski. Oh Liz. This is a character who starts out her game Obfuscating Insanity by slicing the head off a dead body and carrying it around, smearing her face with makeup, and overall trying to make herself look as Ax-Crazy as possible in front of other students so they'll leave her alone. She then one-ups herself by pouring melted aluminum all over her collar to deactivate it. And it works.
  • Coober the Wizard in Unforgotten Realms Live. He tried to sell the main party a bunch of cursed artifacts in The Nuren Campaign, and he disguised himself as a Kobold for unknown reasons in The Sunswords.
  • The YouTube parodies of Der Untergang turn Hermann Fegelein into a Trickster Arch-Enemy of Hitler. Everything that goes wrong in the Third Reich can be attributed to Fegelein and his antics. Himmler helps him out on it too on at least one occasion, and is pretty explicitly said in the parodies to also have been a major trickster.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • While Beltane and Thorn both see themselves as tricksters among the students at Whateley Academy, they are nothing compared to Sun Wu Kong, who has been plaguing Bladedancer ever since his first appearance.
    • Sun isn't the only Trickster God to show up at the school, either. It is known that Tracer is the incarnation of Hermes, for example, and while he has only shown up in-story occasionally, it's been mentioned that he's been playing pranks around school. In the Gen 2 stories, there are hints that Ame-no-Uzume's Paladin may be showing up soon (it has also been mentioned that Benzaiten and Susano-o are also looking for Paladins, so things may get a bit crowded when it comes to Physical Gods sometime in 2016 - again).
    • When Coyote shows up on Pejuta's doorstep, things get Darker and Edgier very quickly, and for a character arc that involves rape, multiple murders, and an attempted frame-up, that's saying a lot.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Tricksters, Trickster Archetype


Monkey King

The Monkey King, Sun Wukong, has a tendency to season his lessons with his trademark overconfidence and lackadaisical attitude - and a healthy side of goofball antics.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / EccentricMentor

Media sources: