Photo by Colton Sturgeon on Unsplash.
Here in South Eastern Pennsylvania we have this heinous tradition of committing rambunctious pranks and acts of petty vandalism the night before Halloween. It is dubbed Mischief Night or Devil’s Night or Gate Night… or Moving Night, Goosey Night, Cabbage Night, Mat Night…you get the idea. New Jersey, Cincinnati, and Detroit know what we’re talking about, but for the rest of America and the globe, here’s a brief history.
No matter what you call the night though, it’s a night for throwing toilet paper into trees, egging houses, sticking forks in lawns (yeah, it’s a thing), and causing a good ol’ fashion ruckus. Think of it as The Purge, but not sanctioned by the government and hopefully with less destructive and life-threatening consequences. Sometimes it’s harmless and even fun, like hiding candy for your friends, but other times it’s more tricky, and we know a few mischievous characters who would take Mischief Night by storm.
Joker from Persona 5
Whether you call him Ren, Akira, Joker, or something personalized like K00lkiD, the playable protagonist from Persona 5 earned his Joker codename for a reason. Although his abilities within the metaverse (a realm of humanity’s subconscious desires) act as a trump card against a variety of enemies (like the Joker card does in various card games), Joker and his team, the Phantom Thieves, are practically pulling pranks and vandalizing people’s subconscious left and right (for good reason!). Along with the rest of the Phantom Thieves, Joker would use Mischief Night to send a “calling card” (aka: a threat/warning) to their next target, no doubt an individual who abuses their power, money, or status for their own gains. The team would go to town on their property, writing accusatory words on the house windows and sidewalk in spray paint as well as on the car with shaving cream as to permanently damage the car’s paint job. After it all, their internet Phans would blow up photos of the damage online and make sure no matter how hard the target scrubs their property or how many photos are taken offline, the internet and the target’s customers and clients won’t soon forget those accusatory words.
Sans from Undertale
Ah, Sans. A fourth-wall-breaking, pun-dishing loafer who loves his brother, his friends, and occasional humerus pranks (like stacking hot dogs on your avatar’s head in-game). He would definitely be the guy to stick hundreds of forks in a lawn or maybe even just one in an obvious and oddly threatening location, like the end of your walkway. He’d also be fond of placing nonsensical objections on patios and porches, like cucumbers or hot dogs perhaps, and leaving scattered hints throughout the property for a scavenger hunt that doesn’t have an end or reward. Watch out though because if he has a bone to pick with you, his pranks may be a little less innocent and more malignant (so stay on the straight and marrow).
Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls
This pyramid, illuminati triangle, dorito dream demon would revel in Mischief Night, and not in a fun let’s-jokingly-prank-our-neighbors-and-laugh-about-it-later sort of way but in a relentless and unforgiving way. He would straight-up set off cherry bombs in mailboxes, pull up flower beds, turn on water hoses and leave them running all night, kick down fences and bird feeders, break windows with an iconic red brick, crush lovingly carved jack-o’-lanterns, key cars, slash tires—you name it. He’d cause as much property damage as possible, get bored, open up a portal, and invite his interdimensional demon friends over for a good ol’ house stomping so there’d be no more property to damage.
Mr. Nick from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
This well-dressed, cigar puffing trickster is basically the devil, tempting souls and locking away the ones deemed bad by a magical mirror (imaginarium) and its trial-like scenarios, so of course he’d partake in Devil’s Eve. He typically doesn’t involve himself in tomfoolery outside of the imaginarium, but he’s a sneaky son-of-a-gun and he’d take advantage of the already present chaos to lure shifty individuals into the mirror and test their soul. He’d target Mischief Night vandalizers as well as victims who are already agitated from some silly human prank. He’d even rile some humans up himself, maybe by egging their doors and sending them on a wild goose chase for the perpetrator. Either way, he knows something as small as one night of vandalism can lean a person’s soul towards choosing the “bad” or the “good” option in the imaginarium.
Deadpool from Deadpool
Deadpool is a complete wildcard. When you’re an infamous mercenary who gains the ability of superhealing and virtual immortality, it’s no wonder your already twisted sense of humor doubles and fluctuates from mild joshing to deadly pranks. He’s so notorious that other Marvel jokesters like Hawkeye often can’t handle his humor, and Mischief Night would actually just be another night on the town for Wade. His pranks would be vast—some familiar, some original, some nonsensical, some purposeful, some silly, some gross. He’d definitely be the type of guy to place a paper bag of feces on a porch or lawn and light it on fire, but he’d also be the guy to send an order of ten cheese-less, sauce-less, topping-less pizza pies to your door. Like Bill, he could cause actual harm, but depending on his mood he could lean more towards a Sans prank and just draw glasses on your lawn flamingo with a Sharpie.
Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist/Brotherhood
Another mischievous “immortal” with a snappy attitude and rapid regeneration abilities, this embodiment of greed wouldn’t so much enjoy Mischief Night as he would nonchalantly use it as an excuse to burglar. Granted, he would steal money, property, lives, anything he wants at any given time, but the night before Halloween would bring out the petty thief in him. He’d order his chimera henchmen to steal someone’s patio furniture just because he thought it’d look nice in their latest squat spot. Garden gnomes, lawn pinwheels, car hood ornaments, abandoned packages, you name it—nothing is safe on Cabbage Night if Greed sees something he likes.
Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Reclusive and eccentric Mr. Wonka may not need or want more publicity—the man is retiring after all— but as a candy businessman who loves a healthy dose of imagination, the unrestrained night before Halloween would be a perfect time for him to host a global Mischief Night scavenger hunt with Wonka goodies for prizes. He’d plan something that could be done virtually or from anywhere in the world, with questions like “find something as ever-lasting as my gobstoppers.” There’d be some trick questions and Wonka-product related riddles for that hint of mischief, but as jaded as Mr. Wonka is, he’d want to throw something as large-scale as his golden ticket stunt with results that would allow children across the world to enjoy an extra bit of magic on a potentially scary night.