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Central High School Library Home Page: Menten: You Teach You Resources

Mythology: The Trickster



Trickster Characters in Folklore and Popular Culture

Tricksters in folklore and fiction

  • Anansi - the spider trickster of African origin
  • Amadan-na-Briona - The Fool of the Forth
  • Br'er Rabbit - a slave trickster of African American origin.[2]
  • Coyote in various native North American mythologies.
  • Curupira - a Brazilian folklore (male) jungle genie that protects the animals and the trees of the forests. It has red hair and backwards feet to confuse hunters and lumberjacks.
  • Dionysus - Greek God of wine, madness, and ecstasy. More than any other Greek God, he is associated with shape-shifting and taking on other identities (which is part of why is also associated with actors). A thoroughly ambiguous person, in personality, but also in his androgynous figure, you never know exactly what he will do next.
  • Eris - Greek Goddess of chaos in Greek mythology.
  • Eshu/Eleggua/Legba - one of the primary orishas in Yorùbá religion, patron of roads (especially crossroads), doors, and travelers, as well as a spirit of chaos and trickery.
  • Hermes - messenger of the gods in Greek mythology (or Mercury in Roman mythology), inventor of fire, and patron of travelers, boundaries and thieves.
  • Jack - (best known from the story Jack and the Beanstalk) is a young boy who uses his wit to outsmart characters in many stories.
  • Jack Mary Ann - a folk hero from the Wrexham area of north Wales whose fictionalised exploits continue to circulate in local folklore.
  • John the Conqueror - character who appears in many stories from the African American tradition. He is a slave that is so much smarter than any slave-master, he simply cannot be controlled.
  • Kuma Lisa - a fox and trickster figure in Bulgarian folklore.
  • Kyprioth the Trickster - a character first mentioned in the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce and is a main character in the Daughter of the Lioness duo by the same author. He is head god of the Raka of the Copper Isles and has a direct tie to George Cooper and Aly. He is the god of thieves and tricksters.
  • Loki - a shape-shifting, troublesome god in Norse mythology.
  • Māui - a Polynesian culture hero famous for his exploits and his trickery.
  • Pan - god of shepherds and flocks. He is a satyr: a creature that has the upper body of a man and the legs of a goat. In many stories, they talk of Pan, or just satyrs in general are known to play tricks on people, especially children, for their amusement.
  • Puck/Robin Goodfellow - from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, plays tricks on a group of humans who stumble into a forest. His final monologue explains the nature of tricksters.
  • Puss in Boots - a magical cat who tricks a king into raising a low born miller to the station of a great noble.
  • Reynard - a red fox and trickster figure who plays a central role in the moralistic fables of the Reynard cycle.
  • Saci - a Brazilian folklore character, a one-legged black or mulatto youngster with holes in the palms of his hands, who smokes a pipe and wears a magical red cap.
  • Satan - In some interpretations of Christianity, Satan could be seen as the ultimate trickster whose role is to corrupt humanity. Satan was sometimes depicted as a trickster in English miracle plays.
  • Susanoo - Amaterasu's brother, Trickster of Japanese mythology.


Search trickster gods


Tricksters in movies, television, animation, novels, short stories, comics, and video games

  • Aang - The hero of Avatar: The Last Airbender enjoys tricking and playing jokes on his foes. Most of the Fire Nation thinks this of him as a child.[3]
  • Bart Simpson - from the animated TV series The Simpsons.[4]
  • Bugs Bunny - a rabbit trickster, in some respects similar to Brer Rabbit.[5]
  • Discord - an antagonist of Season Two of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and a protagonist in Season 3. He is a chimera-like creature known as a "Draconequus" and the spirit of disharmony in the world of Equestria.
  • El-ahrairah - the Prince of Rabbits, or the "Prince with the Thousand Enemies"; the trickster folk hero of the rabbits in Watership Down.
  • Felix the Cat - a "transgressor of boundaries" (in the most literal sense).[6]
  • The Great Gazoo - A resident of the planet Zetox, Gazoo arrived in Bedrock to annoy Fred and Barney in The Flintstones.
  • The Great Milenko - a character in the Insane Clown Posse's joker's cards series who performs illusions on individuals. His role is to tempt individuals into performing evil acts by showing them illusions. These can be the mental way we block the truth of our actions or specific lies that convince us to take improper action. Then, right before he kills the person, he shows them the complete truth of how evil they have been.
  • Harvey the pooka, a large anthropomorphic rabbit who can be seen only by the protagonist, from the play and film bearing his name.
  • Impossible Man - an amoral, childlike, shapeshifting extraterrestrial from the Fantastic Four comics.
  • Jack Sparrow - A notorious pirate captain from Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Sparrow uses wit and deceit to attain his goals, preferring to end disputes verbally instead of by force.[7]
  • Jareth - King of the Goblins from Jim Henson's Labyrinth, who changes forms and uses magic to cajole the story's heroine through a series of puzzles.
  • Joseph Joestar - Protagonist of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2: Battle Tendency. He defeats most of his opponents through clever tactics and tricks.
  • The Joker - The chaotic counterpart to Batmans strive for order displays several characteristics of the trickster. Inscrutable, unpredictable and a defining obsession with gags and pranks that are sometimes harmless, sometimes deadly.
  • The Mask - wears a mask imbued with Loki's powers and lack of inhibition.
  • Mister Mxyzptlk - an imp from the fifth dimension featured in the Superman comics.
  • The Pink Panther - a character featured at the start of the film and the animated series of the same name.
  • Q and fellow members of the Q Continuum - from the TV series Star Trek.
  • Sam - the main character of Roger Zelazny's novel Lord of Light, he created Buddhism on the colony world to oppose the dictatorship of impersonators of Hindu gods who ruled the planet.
  • The Doctor- the title character of Doctor Who. Certain (if not all) incarnations of the Doctor can be seen as tricksters, particularly the second, fourth and seventh Doctors.
  • The Trickster - the main antagonist of Thief: The Dark Project, he masquerades as an eccentric noble named Constantine, and apparently has the ability to shapeshift. His disguise serves to trick Garrett into giving him a powerful artifact that will return the world to a wild state.
  • The Trickster (Gabriel)- an antagonist of Seasons Two and Three of Supernatural, who often plays tricks on Sam and Dean. In Season Five, it is revealed that he is the archangel Gabriel who came to Earth to get away from the fighting between his angelic brothers in Heaven, and that he took on the name of Loki and masqueraded as a pagan god once on earth.
  • Wile E. Coyote - featured in the Road Runner cartoons and based on a traditional Native American trickster figure, Old Man Coyote.[8] An argument might also be made that Wile E. Coyote's nemesis, the Road Runner itself, is also at least as great a trickster as Wile E. himself.
  • Woody Woodpecker - "A less complex version of the Trickster."[9]
  • Puck from Gargoyles - The Faerie trickster from A Midsummer Night's Dream, he plays a major role in the Disney animated Television show "Gargoyles (TV series)"
  • Beetlejuice - from the Tim Burton Movie, he is a Poltergeist from the Underworld, who can change shape and make things appear out of nothing. He is obnoxious and devious and is a perfect example of a trickster.
  • Clopin- King of the Gypsies and Master of Ceremonies at the Festival of Fools, from the Disney Film The Hunchback of Notre Dame, he is a brightly clothed jester who is devious and has a dark humor.
  • Loki (comics)-from the Marvel comic series, and from the new marvel movies Thor and Avengers. He is based directly off of the trickster god Loki from Scandinavian mythology.
  • Bartimaeus- A cheeky djinni, and the main character of the book series by Jonathan Stroud The Bartimaeus Sequence. He is a shape-shifter, and a humorous and arrogant character with a high intelligence.

Trickster TED Playlists

PBS--A World of Stories

Video Resources

This site offers free online often university-level courses that by subject area. "We also make sure there is something for everyone: whether you want to explore a new topic or advance in your current field, we bring the amazing world of academia to you for free." Look at PLAYLISTS and VIDEO ELECTIVES.


A library of over 2.800 free videos and lessons covering nearly everything.


From Science to Social Studies, Crash Course offers it all in quick-paced, imaginative videos aimed at learners of all ages. Explore the amazing collection here, with new resources and courses added constantly to broaden the reaches of the Crash Course experience. 


Watch Know Learn has indexed over 33,000+ educational videos, placing them in a directory of over 3,000 categories. All videos are availble to teachers and students free.


TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


Scroll down to "Video Lessons and Tutorials" and Keep Scrolling 


Note: You cannot access YouTube on a school-issued device. is a destination designed to offer teens and adults quality learning content. Here you will find playlists that spark your curiosity and content ranging in subjects from physics to filmmaking. So, whether you’re studying for a test, want to learn a new skill, or are just curious about the world around you, has something for you!


This site contains thousands of easy to search educational videos. 

Visual Resources/Databases

Google Arts & Culture puts the treasures, stories and knowledge of over 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries at your fingertips. From the suffragettes who fought for women's rights, to performing arts at the Paris Opera, to NASA's archive of stunning images, discover stories about our cultural heritage.


Since 2012, Aeon has established itself as a unique digital magazine, publishing some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. We ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society and the arts. This site contains essays and videos. 


Psyche has three content channels: Ideas (short articles of 1,000-1,800 words) from experts and writers; Guides, which provide in-depth, expert-written, practical know-how; and Films, which showcase immersive short films. New content is published every weekday.

How to Use Search Terms to Find What You Are Looking for

There are many strategies that you may employ when looking for information in a database. When starting your search, it is important to plan out your search strategy in advance, and follow these 4 important steps to insure that you receive the results that you are looking for.

1. Define your topic (write a few sentences that explain what you are looking for)
2. Choose keywords (select keywords from your sentences)
3. Group like keywords together
4. Decide how groups of keywords are related.


Information Seeking/Location and Access


Use the Resources Below to Help You Research Basketball



Click to learn about basketball and physics with links to video


Search Khan Academy for basketball and science questions



What is a Karen anyway? (see below) 

Search Term Ideas: Basketball and Racism / Basketball Shoes/ Basketball and Math

Athletes and Racism :


Search Term Ideas: Basketball and History / Basketball and Race

Search other resources for Naismith and rules 





Search Terms: Shoe Business / Shoe Brands / Shoe Engineering /



Search Terms: Shoes / History of Shoes 

Search Terms: Shoes and Engineering / shoes history

Search by grade-level and subject

Search Terms: Shoes

The History of the Shoe


There are 524 talks about shoes. 


Use the Following Resources to Help You FInd Research on Myths


Search Terms:  Mind Control/ Social Media 


Search Terms: Social Media Addiction


Click on the link to visit Google Arts and Culture. Search Social Media. 

Audio Resources

Important note on the How to Search Video above

I have to confess that when I made the video, I spent two minutes searching for podcasts related to shoes. Instead of having you watch me spend two minutes not finding what I was looking for, I thought I'd summarize the experience below. Note the different search terms. 



Notice that I searched the terms "the history of the shoe" above. 

Notice that I searched "the history of shoes" here 


The results were very different. The first is a podcast about sneakers, the second is a podcast for foot doctors. 


 The 150 Best Podcasts to Enrich Your Mind

Science Versus

Need some inspiration for your next science project? In this science podcast, the hosts take on everything from DNA kits, shark attacks, and the keto diet to determine if the scientific research actually backs up the claims and myths. Is almond milk actually better for the planet than dairy milk? Is 5G a technological revolution, or a health threat? They even have a whole bunch of recent episodes about COVID-19, turning to the research to answer common questions. This makes a great educational podcast for teens because you can find the topics you are interested in and the fast-paced, never-bored format of the show will keep you entertained! Listen to Science Versus

Stuff You Missed In History Class

Even if you aren’t a fan of history class, this podcast is a great option as an educational podcast for teens. The history the hosts cover in the podcast is not what you’d usually read about in a textbook. Therefore, instead of a dry list of names and dates, episodes feel more like fascinating and crazy stories than make you go, “Wow, who would have thought?!”. Listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class 

Switched On Pop

Regardless of what kind of music you’re into, Top 40 is inescapable. But why is a podcast about Top 40 music making the cut for our list of educational podcasts for teens? The hosts – a songwriter and a musicologist (yes, that’s a real job) – dissect the most popular songs of the moment to determine what makes them catchy and successful. It’s a fun podcast that’s easy listening, but after a few episodes, you’ll find yourself with a surprising amount of classical music theory and listening to songs differently! Listen to Switched On Pop 

TED Talks Daily

It’s not a list of educational podcasts without TED Talks… right? All the interesting, thought-provoking content of TED Talks, but in audio form. Now there’s no excuse not to check out that TED Talk you keep meaning to! You can listen to it while cooking, going for a walk, or just taking a break from screens. Of course, being a leadership program, we especially like the many inspiring talks from leaders who have created big change in the world in every field possible! Listen to Ted Talks Daily

Philosophize This!

Philosophy was never so interesting, making this a great option for those of you looking for an educational podcast for teens covering topics you may not get in high school! Designed to provide a foundational understanding of philosophy and its many thinkers and approaches, you don’t need to have any background in philosophy to enjoy this podcast! Start back at Episode 1, and each subsequent episode builds your knowledge, gradually moving into more deep and complex topics. The host explains everything in easy-to-understand language, making it unpretentious, understandable, and totally entertaining! Listen to Philosophize This!

How I Built This

Interested in entrepreneurship? This podcast is home to conversations with the founders of some of the biggest and most successful companies and movements in the world. Not only will you learn more about the origins of your favorite companies and their founders, but also be inspired by the many different forms of leadership and the many different paths to success. Listen to How I Built This

Good Together

You’re probably (hopefully!) thinking about climate change and how you can live more sustainably, but there’s so much to understand! Good Together makes it onto our list of educational podcasts for teens as an easy way to learn more about the topics within sustainability that interest you. Tiny houses? The impact of online shopping? Bees? Zero waste? 45 minutes later and you’ll feel more informed, inspired, and ready to make a difference than ever. Listen to Good Together



The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world. Listen to Throughline.


  Revisionist History

Welcome to Revisionist History, a podcast from Malcolm Gladwell and Pushkin Industries. Each week for 10 weeks, Revisionist History will go back and reinterpret something from the past: an event, a person, an idea. Something overlooked. Something misunderstood. "Because sometimes the past deserves a second chance." Listen to Revisionist History. 

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