Created By: TooBah on April 26, 2011 Last Edited By: TooBah on May 3, 2011
Troped

Signature Laugh

A unique laugh that immediately brings a particular person to mind.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Launching Monday. Any title comments?


There are some unique laughs that, when imitated by anyone, immediately bring to mind a single person. It may be an Annoying Laugh (even a Most Annoying Sound) or an Evil Laugh, it may be the sounds/words used, or the fact that it's at a terribly inappropriate time, but everyone knows who it's connected to. When this happens, this person has a Signature Laugh.

It doesn't count if it reminds you of a type of person (like the Noblewoman's Laugh), nor just a type of laugh (like The Hyena). It must be an individual who springs immediately to mind when it's heard. Can overlap somewhat with Verbal Tic.

Some of these sounds are difficult to translate onto a page, but when you hear them, you know.

Compare Annoying Laugh, Evil Laugh, Laughing Mad.

Examples

Advertising

Anime and Manga

Comic Books
  • The second Blue Beetle Ted Kord always has his laughter written as "BWAH-HA-HA-HA"
  • "Fnarr, Fnarr, Fnarr!" will forever be associated with the Viz character Finbarr Saunders. Usually it was unleashed whenever he noticed a Double Entendre, however convoluted.

Film

Literature
  • Terry Pratchett seems to love these:
    • "Hat. Hat. Hat." from Mr. Cletes
    • Dragon-King-of-Arms and his "ah-ha".
    • The Death of Rats and his "Snh-Snh-Snh".

Live-Action TV
  • Curly's "Nyuk-Nyuk-Nyuk"
  • The Muppets have plenty:
    • Stadler and Waldorf use "DOH-ho-ho-ho-hoh!"
    • Ernie's hissing "hee-hee-hee"
    • The Count's "ONE <insert noun here>, Ah-ha-ha..."
    • Elmo has one of the most distinctive laughs in children's television, as anyone who has ever owned a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll can attest to.
  • Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter had two signature lines: "Oooh, Oooh, Mr. Kotter," and his Signature Laugh.
  • Tim Allen's grunting laugh from Home Improvement (it actually started in his standup routine).
  • Fran Drescher's nasal, snorting laugh in The Nanny
  • Kitty on That '70s Show. Both how she laughs, and how often she laughs.
  • Sybil Fawlty, anyone?
  • Janice from Friends, with her nasally "nghanghanghangha"
  • In-universe example: In an episode of Sister Sister, Tia has a boyfriend whose laugh is very hard to miss, and it ends up being the way she finds out that he is on a date with another girl.

Professional Wrestling

Radio
  • Difficult to type, but the radio version of The Shadow had a very distinctive laugh, at least when Orson Welles was in the role.
  • Carolina Bermudez (of Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo) has a quite a distinctive laugh, a "Ha ha ha ha!" that is almost like a fusion of an evil cackle and Elmo's laugh.
  • Live-Action TV: The Great Gildersleeve... Again, impossible to spell out. Also crosses over to Live-Action TV.

Real Life

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Scooby-Doo has his "heHeHEHeHehe" chortle, often followed by, "Rooby Roo!"
  • The Simpsons: Nelson has very distinctive laugh.
    • Also, Ms. Krabapple's single "HA!"
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Toph's laugh was what tipped Aang off that she was the girl from his vision.
  • The Proud Family has Papi's nigh-irreproducible laugh. It was a plot point once, when an imposter actually managed to get it down perfectly.
  • The distinctive throaty snickering of Dick Dastardly's canine sidekick, Muttley, in The Wacky Races, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines and Stop The Pigeon.
  • Several Batman villains:
    • The Penguin's "wah wah" squawking laugh
    • Riddler's high pitched giggle
    • Joker's maniacal cackle (particularly Mark Hamill's interpretation)
  • Harvey Birdman: HA-HA! Phil Ken Sebben!
  • Goofy's distinctive "Ah-Hyuk!"
  • Elmer Fudd's "Hehehehe".
  • Mickey Mouse's high-pitched giggle from when Walt Disney was voicing him. Wayne Allwyne's short "He-He!" from more recent times is almost as memorable.
  • Other SpongeBob characters have distinctive laughs: Squidward's nasal chortle, Mr. Krab's pirate-accented "Ar-ar-ar-ar", Plankton's Evil Laugh, and many others.
  • Dishonest John's "Nya-ha-HAH!" from Beany and Cecil.
  • Popeye - "Ug-ug-ug-ug-ug!"
  • Mandark from Dexter's Laboratory has his "HA haHA! HA haHA haHA!" In fact, one episode has no dialogue apart from this, Dexter's laugh and a few other sounds.

Other
  • Santa Claus, in all his incarnations (I don't need to say it, do I?).

Rolling Updates, Do We Need This, etc.

Index: Laughter Tropes
Community Feedback Replies: 58
  • April 26, 2011
    Duncan
  • April 26, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
  • April 26, 2011
    BraveHoratio
    • Woody the Woodpecker

    Under the Discoworld entry, Dragon-King-of-Arms and his ah-ha. Also, someone I believe has a hem-hem sort of laugh - Captain Swing, maybe?
  • April 26, 2011
    Antigone3
    I can't type it, but the radio version of The Shadow had a very distinctive laugh. (At least when Orson Welles was in the role. Most of my recordings are from his run, but I assume the later actors kept it.)
  • April 26, 2011
    DaibhidC
    Another Discworld one: the Death of Rats and his Snh-Snh-Snh.
  • April 26, 2011
    TooBah
    @Fearmonger, please don't edit the original post. Instead, please use the reply button. Thanks.

  • April 26, 2011
    Glucharina
    The Simpsons: Nelson has very distinctive laugh.
  • April 26, 2011
    captainbrass2
    The distinctive throaty snickering of Dick Dastardly's canine sidekick, Muttley, in The Wacky Races and Stop The Pigeon.
  • April 26, 2011
    Koveras
    IIRC every major villain in One Piece has a unique laugh.
  • April 26, 2011
    MC42
    Professional Wrestling:
  • April 26, 2011
    TheChainMan
  • April 26, 2011
    jaytee
    Santa Clause is a silly Christmas movie (and it's two inexplicable sequels). Santa Claus is the jolly bearded fellow that likes cookies (so I hear).

    Just sayin :)
  • April 26, 2011
    CousinApril
    • Kitty on That70s Show. Both how she laughs, and how often she laughs.
  • April 26, 2011
    Darthcaliber
    Several Batman villains:

    The Penguin's "wah wah" squawking laugh Riddler's high pitched giggle Arguable Joker's maniacal cackle (particularly Mark Hamil's interpretation)

  • April 26, 2011
    azul120
    Ryuk from Death Note: "Hyuk hyuk hyuk!" Tsuruya from Suzumiya Haruhi.
  • April 26, 2011
    jaytee
    For live action, Chandler (or was it Joey? I don't really like Friends that much) had a girlfriend with a Fran Drescher-like laugh.

    Also, Jabber Jaw (western animation) apes Curly's laugh exactly. Maybe not an example, since it's technically a Shout Out, but I'll throw it out there anyway.
  • April 26, 2011
    SmashingMelons42
    Tommy's signature "haha" from The Room. Often used at inappropriate times.
  • April 26, 2011
    deuxhero
    Korea has gotten "kekekeke", a romanization of 크크 (designating laughter).
  • April 26, 2011
    Kohdok
    Final Fantasy VII Heidigger and Scarlet are at one point referred to as "Gya-Ha-Ha" and "Kya-Ha-Ha" by one of the party members.

    Resident Evil Code Veronica Alfred Ashford is known for his hideous laugh.
  • April 26, 2011
    MetalKev
    The second Blue Beetle Ted Kord always has his laughter written as "BWAH-HA-HA-HA"
  • April 26, 2011
    TBTabby
    Ashuraman's "Ka ka ka ka ka" laugh is so deeply associated with him that it's featured in his Villain Song.
  • April 26, 2011
    totlmstr
    From above: compare Laughing Mad.
  • April 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Advertising: The Jolly Green Giant's "Ho ho ho!" Spelled the same as Santa's but very different.
  • April 27, 2011
    DougSMachina
    Muttley's snickering from Wacky Races and Dastardly And Muttley In Their Flying Machines, usually when something happens to Dick Dastardly.
  • April 27, 2011
    Hukky
    Fassad's "Nwehehehehehe!"
  • April 27, 2011
    ThoseTwoDudes
    Harvey Birdman: HA-HA! Phil Ken Sebben!
  • April 27, 2011
    TooBah
    @jaytee, yep, I can't spell, apparently. Must have been the Tim Allen reference earlier... :-) Also, I thought about Jabberjaw, but yeah, it's still Curly's.
  • April 27, 2011
    TooBah
    OK, this one's got some traction with examples. Any other critiques on the writeup--title OK, etc.? I'm not familiar with all the examples, but keep in mind this isn't just "someone has a wierd laugh," but that they're known for it.
  • April 27, 2011
    LeeM

  • April 27, 2011
    TonyG
  • April 27, 2011
    0dd1
    Radio example:
    • Carolina Bermudez (of Elvis Duran and the Morning Zoo) has a quite a distinctive laugh, a "Ha ha ha ha!" that is almost like a fusion of an evil cackle and Elmo's laugh.

    And speaking of which...
    • Elmo (of Sesame Street) has one of the most distinctive laughs in children's television, as anyone who has ever owned a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll can attest to.
  • April 27, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • April 27, 2011
    Flioro
    Some video game examples:

  • April 28, 2011
    TooBah
    Alternate title: Hey Its That Laugh!
  • April 28, 2011
    Octagon8
  • April 28, 2011
    captainbrass2
  • April 28, 2011
    PS3D
    Peewee Herman had a very distinctive laugh.
  • April 28, 2011
    anya1594
    Prussia from Axis Powers Hetalia has the rather unique "Kesesesesese".
  • April 28, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    from the Ranma One Half anime and manga, Kodachi Kuno's (high pitched in the anime) "ohohohohohohohoho". Her appearance is always accompanied or heralded with that laugh.
  • April 28, 2011
    Winterwhip
    Larxene's laugh as well as Vexen's laugh and death cry are pretty well known around the Kingdom Hearts fandom.
  • April 28, 2011
    FalconPain
    Mandark from Dexters Laboratory has his "HA haHA! HA haHA haHA!"
  • April 28, 2011
    randomsurfer
  • April 29, 2011
    captainbrass2
    Comic Books example -
    • "Fnarr, Fnarr, Fnarr!" will forever be associated with the Viz character Finbarr Saunders. Usually it was unleashed whenever he noticed a Double Entendre, however convoluted.
  • April 29, 2011
    FalconPain
    Kodachi doesn't quite count on the grounds of it being the standard Noblewomans Laugh.

    Banjo of Banjo Kazooie fame has a Goofy-like but still distinct "guh-hyuck".
  • April 29, 2011
    TooBah
    OK, updated.

    @randomsurfer, not sure who comes to mind when you hear the "Uh-Oh Lady". Also, Ed has a distinctive laugh (and I'll add that), but "Heyooo!" is more of a catch-phrase, don't you think?
  • April 29, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Well, possibly the Uh-Oh Lady doesn't count. I'd compare her to the Wilhelm Scream, only for laughter.
  • April 30, 2011
    Lavalyte
    Eddie Murphy has a distinctive laugh, to the point where I'm sure it was featured in the promos for Beverley Hills Cop
  • April 30, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    Kodachi crossesover with Noblewomans Laugh but in the series it is still her signature laugh.
  • April 30, 2011
    FalconPain
    Hmm. That's difficult. If you're correct, most characters with a Noblewomans Laugh are the only ones to routinely use it in their series, so they would all count. Meanwhile, I was under the impression that most of these examples are laughs that should be recognized as a single character in all of fiction. (Not every example fits that, but many do.)
  • April 30, 2011
    TooBah
    @Falcon Pain, yes, I want this to stay with a laugh invoking a single person, period. There are some here that are similar (Arnold Horshack and Louis from Revengeofthe Nerds are similar, for instance), but I want to give a little leeway. So if Kodachi's laugh is strictly a Noblewomans Laugh, it shouldn't count, but if you think it invokes her specifically, it's OK.
  • April 30, 2011
    CrypticMirror
    I would say Kodachi's laugh is an OTT exaggeration of a Noblewomans Laugh, because Takahashi is invoking the OTT noble tropes with the Kunou siblings. But it is also her signature laugh and accompanies every appearance, usually heralding it (in an Incoming Ham kind of way). Tropes don't always exist in isolation, but often hunt in packs. Fear the pack of sabre-toothed tropes!
  • April 30, 2011
    AaronHong
  • April 30, 2011
    Rolf
  • April 30, 2011
    dalek955
  • May 1, 2011
    JoeG
  • May 1, 2011
    JoshBails
    Lets not forget Janice from Friends, with her nasally "nghanghanghangha"
  • May 1, 2011
    originalhobbit
    Not sure if this counts but:
    • In-universe example: In an episode of Sister Sister, Tia has a boyfriend whose laugh is very hard to miss, and it ends up being the way she finds out that he is on a date with another girl.
  • May 3, 2011
    sedicebisonte
    Anime example:

    • In Strike Witches, Sakamoto Mio had a signature laugh in the first season, when she was played by Chiba Saeko (Ha! Ha! Ha!). In the second season, Chiba was unavailable to play the character, so she was played by Seto Saori, who didn't use the laugh.

    Film example:

    • Christopher Lambert seems to have a signature laugh across multiple characters. As Connor Macleod (of clan Macleod) from Highlander, he frequently used a creepy "heheheh" sort of laugh, and then later used the same laugh as Lord Rayden in Mortal Kombat.

    Western Animation:

    • The titular characters of Beavis And Butthead were practically defined by their signature laughs, "Ehhhehehe" and "Uhhhhuhuhu" respectively. The whole first episode is dedicated to their inability to cease this laughter.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=cvk6n4v472qdtblp4adee7za