Created By: WaxingName on January 4, 2013 Last Edited By: MetaFour on August 17, 2013
Troped

Evil Sounds Raspy

Raspy voices are common in bad guys.

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Trope
Next to deep voices, this is the most common auditory clue to an evil character. Raspy voices are very popular as a vocal choice for evil characters, especially Evil Old Folks.

Compared to deep voices, raspy voices have less of an intimidating effect but more of a sinister tone. This makes it particularly effective for the Big Bad of a show, especially when juxtaposed with a deep voice of his Dragon. A rasp is also good for a particularly creepy Evil Laugh. Sometimes, this trope overlaps with Red Right Hand, when the rasp is caused by a physical defect or injury, usually to the throat or otherwise to a respiratory organ. This can occur hand in hand with Vader Breath, if the character is raspy because of smoking or a physical ailment.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Film - Animated
  • The ruthless Carface from All Dogs Go to Heaven smokes cigars and roars at his underlings. Much of his menace was supplied by the late character actor Vic Tayback.

Film - Live Action
  • Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious is given a raspy voice in the Star Wars films. As Chancellor Palpatine, he doesn't speak this way, but he uses this voice more once this act is shed.
  • Played for laughs in The Princess Bride when the albino in the dungeon starts out speaking in a raspy voice. Suddenly he clears his throat and is speaking in a perfectly normal voice.
  • Freddy Krueger has a distinctive demonic-sounding raspy voice. This is achieved by slowing down Robert Englund's dialouge. It helps that Mr. Englund has a pretty raspy-sounding voice to begin with so slowing it down makes it sound even more meanacing.
  • Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a somewhat raspy voice to go with his creepy persona, though he's not exactly "evil" (at least less evil compared to Frank). The concept is Played for Laughs parodying the "creepy butler with a raspy voice" character from old cheesy horror/sci-fi films. His singing voice is also pretty raspy-sounding.
  • The Killer's threat to Mark in Dario Argento's Deep Red is delivered in a creepy raspy voice. When her true identity is revealed her voice is normal.
  • Reversed and played straight in The Dark Knight Saga movies. Batman has a very raspy voice throughout all three movies of the trilogy, and the third movie's villian, Bane also has a ragged voice due to a respiratory problem.
  • Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings sounds like this after centuries of corruption by the One Ring. He's nicknamed Gollum because of the distinctive swallowing noise he makes.

Literature
  • Justified in The First Law with Shivers, who undergoes a Face–Heel Turn in Best Served Cold after he's captured and tortured and one of his eyes is burnt out. His screaming in pain damaged his vocal cords, causing him to have a raspy voice from that point onward- so, the evil and the raspy voice have a common cause.

Live-Action TV
  • Professor Yana from the Doctor Who episode speaks in a low raspy voice after he remembers who he really is.
    Yana: I...am....The Master....

Music

Professtional Wrestling
  • Exploited by Professional Wrestler Brian Pullman, who had a raspy voice due to multiple childhood throat polyp surgeries and was almost always a heel.

Tabletop Games

Theatre
  • Lampshaded with Sir Despard's Villainous Lament in Ruddigore:
    Sir Despard: Oh why am I husky and hoarse?
    Chorus: Ah, why?
    Sir Despard: It's the workings of conscience, of course.
    Chorus: Fie, fie!
    Sir Despard: And huskiness stands for remorse.
    Chorus: Oh, my!
    Sir Despard: At least it does so in my case!

Video Games

Web Animation
  • Ultra Fast Pony subverts this. The villainous Night Moon Mare sounds like she gargles sand every day. However, when she gets cured of her evil by the "vaguely established magical friend power" and reverts to her original Princess Luna persona, her voice still sounds just as raspy.

Western Animation
  • Mark Hamill's Joker from the DCAU is a classic and one of the most iconic examples.
  • Rasp in Dino Riders has a, well, raspy voice. And he's evil.
  • Kip O'Donnell (voiced by Keith Szarabajka) in The Wild Thornberrys
  • Played for laughs in an episode of South Park, in which one of Satan's minions is telling a corrupt politician what to say and has to remind the politician not to repeat the raspy hisses that punctuate his phrases.
  • Heavy Metal segment "Harry Canyon". The main villain Rudnick has a raspy voice that he uses to repeatedly threaten and warn the title character.
  • Baron Silas Greenback from Danger Mouse has an extremely raspy voice, bordering on Vader Breath.
Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • January 5, 2013
    Met
    Played for laughs in The Princess Bride when the albino in the dungeon starts out speaking in a raspy voice. Suddenly he clears his throat and is speaking in a perfectly normal voice.
  • January 5, 2013
    McKathlin
    Suggested indices: Voice Acting Tropes and Evil Tropes.
  • January 7, 2013
    dvorak
    Heavy Metal singers who snarl the lyrics.
  • January 8, 2013
    KobyFish
    Rasp in Dino Riders has a, well, raspy voice. And he's evil.
  • January 8, 2013
    ThatDonGuy
    Kip O'Donnell (voiced by Keith Szarabajka, who is probably a candidate for Hey Its That Guy or at least Hey Its That Voice) in The Wild Thornberrys
  • January 14, 2013
    pliff
    • Freddy Krueger has a distinctive demonic-sounding raspy voice. This is achieved by slowing down Robert Englund's dialouge. It helps that Mr. Englund has a pretty raspy-sounding voice to begin with so slowing it down makes it sound even more meanacing.
    • Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a somewhat raspy voice to go with his creepy persona, though he's not exactly "evil" (at least less evil compared to Frank). The concept is Played For Laughs parodying the "creepy butler with a raspy voice" character from old cheesy horror/sci-fi films.
      • His singing voice is also pretty raspy-sounding.
    • Professor Yana from the Doctor Who episode speaks in a low raspy voice after he remembers who he really is.
      Yana: I...am....The Master....
      • Also the main Zygon in Terror of the zygons, and the evil computer from The war machines.
  • January 15, 2013
    Tuomas
    It's maybe worth noting that this trope can overlap with Red Right Hand, if the raspy voice results from a physical defect or injury.
  • January 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Exploited by Professional Wrestler Brian Pullman, who had a raspy voice due to multiple childhood throat polyp surgeries and was almost always a heel.
  • January 15, 2013
    Onitatsu
  • January 16, 2013
    BOFH
    Played for laughs in an episode of South Park, in which one of Satan's minions is telling a corrupt politician what to say and has to remind the politician not to repeat the raspy hisses that punctuate his phrases.
  • January 17, 2013
    rodneyAnonymous
    "Heavy metal singers who snarl" is covered by Harsh Vocals (aka Death Growl) and Metal Scream.

    This seems like a variation on Evil Sounds Deep, though. Expand that article? Add this, but sister trope at best? Compare and contrast it? (And I mean elaborate on those in the description, not just adding "compare/contrast X" to it, which is lazy.)
  • January 18, 2013
    WaxingName
    ^Actually Evil Raspy voices are generally high-pitched. Deep raspy voices are quite rare. And I did acknowledge Evil Sounds Deep. It's the first sentence of the description.
  • January 18, 2013
    MokonaZero
    In Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood Envy's voice sounds pretty raspy.
  • January 20, 2013
    Onitatsu
    The Killer's threat to Mark in Dario Argento's Deep Red is delivered in a creepy raspy voice. When her true identity is revealed her voice is normal.
  • January 21, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Heavy Metal segment "Harry Canyon". The main villain Rudnick has a raspy voice that he uses to repeatedly threaten and warn the title character.
  • January 21, 2013
    TrustBen
    Can occur hand in hand with Vader Breath, if the character is raspy because of smoking or a physical ailment.
  • February 3, 2013
    Entirity
    Averted with the new batman movies.
  • February 3, 2013
    WaxingName
  • February 3, 2013
    Excise
    The original Megatron in Transformers was very raspy.
  • February 4, 2013
    Entirity
    Reversed and played straight in the new Batman movies. Batman has a very raspy voice throughout all three movies of the trilogy, and the third movie's villian, Bane also has a ragged voice due to a respiratory problem.
  • April 21, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    Shiiiiiiiire... Baggiiiiiiiins... [cough cough] Laryngiiiiiiiitissssssss...
  • April 21, 2013
    Lyendith
    Wasn't there an episode of Hey Arnold with the urban legend of a murderer who took a raspy voice on purpose?
  • April 27, 2013
    McKathlin
    ^^ Here's an entry on Noaqiyeum's reference:

    Film - Live Action
    • Smeagol from The Lord Of The Rings sounds like this after centuries of corruption by the One Ring. He's nicknamed Gollum because of the distinctive swallowing noise he makes.
  • April 28, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
    I was thinking of the Ringwraiths, actually, on the occasions that their distinctiive shrill shrieks form discernable words, but Gollum is also a good example.
  • April 29, 2013
    TheHandle
    In Metal Gear Rising, Raiden's voice gets raspier, harsher, and more guttural the more he reverts to his Jack The Ripper persona.
  • April 29, 2013
    LuXou95
    I'd say Lord Voldemort from HP has a pretty high/raspy voice.
  • April 29, 2013
    Prfnoff
    • Lampshaded with Sir Despard's Villainous Lament in Ruddigore:
      Sir Despard: Oh why am I husky and hoarse?
      Chorus: Ah, why?
      Sir Despard: It's the workings of conscience, of course.
      Chorus: Fie, fie!
      Sir Despard: And huskiness stands for remorse.
      Chorus: Oh, my!
      Sir Despard: At least it does so in my case!

  • April 29, 2013
    Hodor
    • Justified in The First Law with Shivers, who undergoes a Face Heel Turn in Best Served Cold after he's captured and tortured and one of his eyes is burnt out. His screaming in pain damaged his vocal cords, causing him to have a raspy voice from that point onward- so, the evil and the raspy voice have a common cause.

  • April 29, 2013
    ilniaj
    Warhammer 40000 zig-zags with this in voiced works like Dawn Of War or Warhammer 40000 Space Marine, ranging from the more articulate voices of Eliphas the Inheritor, Sindri Myr, and Chaos Lord Nemeroth to the Large Ham levels of raspiness of Bale, Warboss Grimskull, The Necron Lord of Kronus, and Crull.
  • April 29, 2013
    Djanchorhead
    Averted by Adam Jensen from DeusExHumanRevolution. His voice is raspy but he's the hero of the story.
  • April 30, 2013
    Surenity
  • May 1, 2013
    McKathlin
    Does anyone have a good reason this shouldn't be launched, or is it just that the person maintaining this YKTTW hasn't done so yet?
  • May 2, 2013
    Arivne
    The OP Waxing Name hasn't posted here since February 2nd, so this is Up For Grabs if anyone wants to launch it.
  • May 2, 2013
    TonyG
    Baron Silas Greenback from Danger Mouse has an extremely raspy voice, bordering on Vader Breath.
  • May 2, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The ruthless Carface from All Dogs Go To Heaven smokes cigars and roars at his underlings. Much of his menace was supplied by the late character actor Vic Tayback.
  • May 3, 2013
    Noaqiyeum
  • May 4, 2013
    arbiter099
    Just Launch It Already

    I would but I'm on a phone atm.
  • August 17, 2013
    MetaFour
    Since this has been Up For Grabs for a few months, I'ma take control of it. I've added the few examples that weren't added.

    One last bump for examples, then I'm launching later today.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=volhj633j7fab1n6hqg0665t&trope=EvilSoundsRaspy