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Trickster Girlfriend

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"Nothing is falser than the idea that mockery is necessarily hostile. Until they have a baby to laugh at, lovers are always laughing at each other."

This is the type of girlfriend who will reply to everything her beloved tells her (including compliments) with sarcastic witticisms; who will deliberately speak in riddles and foreign languages she knows he doesn't understand to amuse herself at his expense; who will arrange complex pranks and April Fools jokes on him (especially as payback for misbehavior on his part), and will not waste any opportunity to demonstrate that she is smarter than him. In detective couple series, she will usually figure out the mystery before her boyfriend/husband does, and keep him Locked Out of the Loop until The Reveal.

Nevertheless, they seem to be a very loving and mutually understanding couple... This is because, unlike a Fetishized Abuser, the Trickster actually has a heart of gold, upholds a strong moral code, and cares for her beloved very much. Once things get really tough, she will drop the "trickster" facade in an eyeblink and give him all the love and support he needs. Basically, the primary reason she puts on the facade is that she knows that though her boyfriend/husband would never admit to it, this is exactly what attracts him to her. Besides, with a girlfriend like her, you will forget what the word "boredom" means.

If her boyfriend is "turned on" by being the victim of her pranks, this may also overlap with Power Dynamics Kink. A more generic trope is Romantic Ribbing.

Compare Teasing Parent, for the same kind of thing in parent-child relationships.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • C.C. from Code Geass is very sarcastic and often keeps secrets from Lelouch, and there are implications of a romance between them.
  • In Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro it's very clear that Nagatoro and her Senpai really like each other, but between her constant teasing and bullying, or her getting flustered when he does fire back, there's not much progress on the "girlfriend" part. Still, when she does mellow out, she fits the trope to a T.
  • The titular character of Teasing Master Takagi-san relishes in this trope with her crush Nishikata. Their entire relationship is based on Takagi teasing and/or embarrassing Nishikata because it amuses her and the latter trying to get back at her but (usually) failing miserably. A running example is challenging Nishikata to tickle her sides and watching him struggle to do so. Even after the two are married this continues, with Takagi coming out on top most of the time, and their young daughter also seeing it as the best way to show her father affection.
  • Downplayed in Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, as while Hana and Shinichi are romantically interested in each other, they aren't officially a couple yet precisely because Hana's constant teasing and smug attitude make it difficult for either of them to actually confess their feelings, much to their friends and families' frustration. They eventually become an Official Couple, but Hana tones the teasing down a bit.

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman is usually this to Batman, with her stealing things just to get his attention and then playfully teasing and flirting the entire time he chases her, all because she knows he enjoys it as much as she does.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Etta's relationship with her most common paramour Oscar seems to revolve around the two playing tricks on each other, often involving sweets. Nearly all of their dates start with Oscar buying her a box of candies and then sneakily stealing candy from the box until she smacks him.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The eponymous protagonist in Amélie begins as this for Nino; she plays elaborate cat-and-mouse games with him without even revealing her face. It's mostly due to shyness though.
  • In the Spanish movie The Body 2012, Mayka Villaverde, the main character's wife, has pulled many pranks on her husband, including jokingly saying "No" at the wedding altar and pretending that she fired him from her company. It later turned out that she and her husband were not such a loving couple at all when he cheated on her and then poisoned her to get her money.
  • The Game (1997): Christine definitely qualifies as this for Nicholas; downplayed, since being a trickster is part of her job as a CRS employee, but while playing tricks on him, she has genuine feelings for him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Castle, Kate Beckett absolutely loves to play jokes on Castle. Special mention goes to the episode "Lives of Others", in which it turns out that the WHOLE murder mystery was staged by Beckett as a pretext for a surprise birthday party for Castle.
  • River Song from the Doctor Who series is this for the Doctor himself. She really enjoys teasing him and withholding information from him (as a time traveler, she has to conceal information about the future to avoid a time paradox, but she turns it into a way of amusement); "I know something that you don't" is basically her motto. She can also fly the TARDIS better than he can, and enjoys rubbing his nose in it (although some of what she says is just Blatant Lies, such as the infamous line about him leaving the brakes on whenever he lands).

  • Scheherazade, the narrator of the Arabian Nights essentially cons the Sultan to save her own skin (and next women's heads), with the power of her silver tongue that keeps the king interested in her stories night after night.
  • Tzigone from Counselors and Kings is a street-smart girl, a little bit thief, a little bit con artist, a little bit actress, and a little bit wizard. There are romantic overtones between her and the protagonist Matteo, and she really loves to play tricks on him, including stealing his Jordaini medallion and pretending in public that she spent a night of love with him when she's disguised as a courtesan. She also believes that telling the plain truth is boring, and it's better to add some "color and flash" to it.
  • Amy Dunne from Gone Girl is an extremely dark subversion of this trope. She really likes to mislead other people, including her husband Nick, but instead doing it just for fun, she's very serious about it, and she does intend to ruin their lives.
  • Emmie Reese, the main character's wife from The Harry Reese Mysteries series by Robert Bruce Stewart. She simply loves all sorts of pranks, surprises, and schemes, and keeps many secrets from her husband.
  • Miss Rin, a mysterious and charismatic art teacher from The Magic of the Season by Sarah Bartash (published in the anthology Love is on the Wind), becomes a Manic Pixie Dream Girl for the lonely teacher Nathan Fishbrook. She repeatedly teases and plays tricks on him, for instance, by incinerating his Christmas list.
  • The Magus: Lily/Julie for Nicholas; subverted, since it seems like she's only faking her feelings for the purpose of Conchis' game... or is she?
  • In The Odyssey Penelope, of all characters, may be the Ur-Example. She is revealed to be pretty sharp herself (Odysseus must have married her for a reason) as she keeps the suitors under her thumb with various tricks...and then she plays a mind game with her husband, the King of Tricksters, when he shows up in disguise, giving orders to drag Odysseus's bed from their chamber—causing Odysseus to demand who dared to cut the bed from the living olive tree he carved it from. It's something only the two of them knew, thus tricking him into proving his identity while she proves her fidelity to him in a single move.
  • The Spice and Wolf character Holo enjoys teaching Lawrence (her future husband) about human nature, often by showing off her skills in manipulation. Even when flirting with him, she speaks in indirect terms like "Women enjoy men's jealousy" and lets him figure out their personal subtext.

  • The Merchant of Venice: Portia, who arranges a complex prank on her fiancé Bassanio. First, she gives him a ring and makes him promise that he won't give it to anyone. Then, disguised as a male lawyer named Balthazar, she saves his friend Antonio in court and asks for "himself" this ring as a sign of gratitude. When he comes back to her after that, she teasingly pretends to be angry and accuses him of infidelity, then takes out that very ring and says that she slept with Balthazar to get it back... And finally, she admits that she was Balthazar herself.

    Web Comics 
  • Violet Zombie: the protagonist, a beautiful zombie girl Penelope Mortinez, has a really twisted sense of humor (this probably comes with being a zombie) and enjoys playing jokes on people, including her boyfriend Philly.

    Real Life