6 Unforgettable Literary Pranksters

By Anna Patrick, Associate Digital Publicist

The web has been rife with April Fools’ pranks today – it’s hard to know what news information you can trust! While viral social media pranks have been the talk of the day, we decided to find our April Fools’ inspiration offline, in some of our favorite books!

Read on for six unforgettable literary pranksters, each of whom have a thing or two to teach us about mischief.



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Fred and George Weasley of the Harry Potter series. While magic tricks are a dime a dozen in the wizarding world of Harry Potter, twin brothers Fred and George Weasley took pranking to the next level with some of their hilarious spells. Who could forget their life-size dragon firework that saved the day in one of the final installments of the series?



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Tom Sawyer, from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The image of Tom whitewashing a fence with his infamous pals is splashed across odes to classical literautre everywhere, but don’t be fooled – Mark Twain wrote one of the most notorious tricksters in the literary world when he dreamed up Tom Sawyer. One of Tom’s most memorable pranks? Convincing those pals that whitewashing the fence was fun.



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Viola and Sebastian from Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night. Taking it back to the classics, let’s take a moment to honor one of the original prankster duos in literature: identital twins Viola and Sebastian. Before Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen hit the screen as child stars, Viola and Sebastian were the reigning sibling duo dressing up as one another to fool everyone they came in contact with.



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Gollum from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Last but not least comes the greatest prankster in middle earth, none other than Gollum himself. For being the first one to whistleblow on other pranksters (“The master tricks us!”) Gollum is no stranger to pulling a heist on any hobbit who comes his way. One particular heist was documented in film, when Gollum falsely planted crumbs on Sam’s cloak to make Frodo think that Sam ate the last of the food. Gollum used this trick in an attempt to turn the two against each other, all for the ultimate purpose of keeping his precious ring to himself.


In sum, before you set out to pull any more pranks this April Fools’ day, take a page out of these four characters’ books. Whether the goal is a magic ring, disguising your identity, getting a laugh out of your friends, or just the pure joy of trickery, pranks are just another cultural staple handed down to us through books, in the form of some of our most cherished characters.


Related: Meet our MC Team: Anna Patrick



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