This has been a surprisingly difficult prompt for me to meet.
I love humor. I mean, who doesn’t? When I went through my “read” list on Goodreads, I realized that I haven’t read many books that weren’t serious in some sense. So, this prompt was a difficult one for me to meet.
However, the more I thought about a “prankster,” I began to realize that I don’t necessarily think of a prankster as someone who is just funny–I think of someone who is tricky. This opens the doors to allow the character to be either a protagonist, antagonist, or both.
Before we get started, I’ll need some help from Count Olaf to clear the air as to what this post is about:
Okay, maybe that was more funny in my head than it really was.
Either way, let’s move on to the list I compiled of my favorite (heroic or villainous) literary pranksters.
So, Chip Gaines is not a fictional character, but he technically is a literary character because he's in two books (written by himself and his wife, Joanna Gaines.) If you aren't familiar with this couple, they have a show on HGTV called "Fixer Upper," where they renovate houses for people around Waco, Texas.
Chip is absolutely hilarious and was one of the main reasons why I became hooked on the show. In all honesty, he reminds me of my Dad with the sense of humor he has but he is way more over the top. He's constantly playing pranks on those around him, especially his wife, and that same spirit comes through his writing.
The Phantom (Of The Opera)
The Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera is one of those antagonist pranksters I mentioned in the intro. This is the trait that made me like his character so much. While he's definitely creepy, he's constantly taunting the opera, and it adds some unexpected humor to this rather dismal tale.
Count Olaf from The Series of Unfortunate Events is yet another antagonist "prankster" or more appropriately titled, trickster. Constantly hunting the Baudelaire orphans in order to get their fortune, he's a pro at tricking everyone but the orphans with his appearance . His strange, eccentric, and rather comical character adds such a unique twist to each installment in this series.
Merry & Pippin
Peregrin Took (Pippin) and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry) are two of my favorite characters from The Lord of the Rings series. These two add comic relief to a rather serious plot line. When they aren't pulling pranks on each other and other characters, they are getting in trouble with someone (normally Gandalf.)
Fred & George Weasley
These guys are probably the most obvious choice out of all the characters in this list. The fact that they are pranksters is why people enjoy their characters so much. They always show up at the right times to ensure that the serious parts aren't too serious.