[[quoteright:300:[[Film/{{Spaceballs}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/DarkHelmet_9602.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:''*gasp* *wheeze* *raise helmet*'' I CAN'T BREATHE IN THIS THING!]]

->''"Oh, boy. Here comes an evil asthmatic.''"
-->-- '''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 Tom Servo]]''' on a scene from [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S04E05BeingFromAnotherPlanet ''Being From Another Planet''.]]

''(For the optimal experience, read this page while listening to [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VBm5xNobrs this]].)''

''SSSHHH HOHHHHHH...'' There is something particularly creepy about wheezy or labored breathing. ''...SSSSHHHHH'' Unnatural breathing can characterize someone as being''...HOHHHHHHH'' unnatural, or less than human. As a result, ''...SSSSHHSH'' this sort of breathing is often given to ''...HOHHHHHHHHHHHHH'' evil characters. This has been particularly true since 1977, when the TropeNamer first appeared in [[Film/ANewHope film]]. Ideally, the creepy breathing is combined with some sort of ''...HOHHHHHHH'' creepy voice, and an EvilLaugh ''cough''. Sometimes the creepy breathing is justified by some sort of disfiguring accident, which gives the evil character a [[RedRightHand creepy appearance]] as well.

This may or may not be part of the package of a DarthVaderClone.



[[folder:Trope Namer]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** DarthWiki/DarthVader. Weirdly, the breathing never stops, even when he's talking. This is most apparent at the very end of ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'', when Vader's yelling "[[BigNo Noooo...]]" According to ''Literature/DarkLordTheRiseOfDarthVader'', his vocal cords and lungs are both only barely usable and he [[WeCanRebuildHim relies on an artificial life support system built in his suit]], and the constant asthmatic breathing is a constant mechanical pump supplying oxygen, while his speech is really severely amplified to make it louder than a whisper. In ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire'' we see that he can use TheDarkSide of the Force to briefly heal and breathe on his own, but only for a moment, and then his sudden joy at being able to do that breaks his Dark Side focus. There were plans to give Vader a [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Darth_Vader%27s_armor#cite_ref-DSn_43-0 new suit]] that would remove several of the problems mentioned above. Too bad the procedure put his life at serious risk -- specifically, the previous suit would have to be removed, including the oxygen pump.
** General Grievous has a rather nasty sounding hacking cough. In canon, he always had it, while in ''Legends'' he only gained it shortly before ''Revenge of the Sith'' from when Mace Windu made his chest implode.
** By the events of ''Film/RogueOne'', Saw Guerrera relies on a breathing mask which makes this sound, though he doesn't need to use it constantly.
* Almost any [[DarthVaderClone parody of Vader]], including the ones done by ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' and ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark,'' must include Vader Breath. Conversely, if a character on a show such as these suddenly develops Vader Breath, it ''becomes'' a parody of Vader.
* Parodied in ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}''. And the RuleOfFunny helps cover the fact that, as stated above, Vader can't breathe OUTSIDE of his suit. Dark Helmet didn't ''need'' his helmet to survive, he just wore it because [[CompensatingForSomething it was sooooo big.]]
--> "I can't breathe in this thing!"
* The German sci-fi parody ''(T)raumschiff Surprise''[[note]]It's a German language joke. "Raumschiff" is German for spaceship. "Traum" is German for dream[[/note]] has a Vader-like character who is merely asthmatic. No mask, but he needs to use his puffer a lot.
* In the brief moment he is described as "Darth Valer" in ''Fanfic/MyImmortal'', [[Franchise/HarryPotter Voldermort]]'s quote has ellipsis and is described as having "a raspy voice", meaning that Tara Gillesbie ''intentionally'' drew attention to this. It's an underappreciated piece of evidence that the whole thing is a TrollFic.

* Kuma in ''Anime/AfroSamurai'', until his helmet is torn or knocked off.
* Jagi of ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' is also given this, as a result of the damage inflicted by Kenshiro in their first battle.
* Death Gun in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline's'' second season has this going on with his skull mask.
* Bui from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', until he removes his [[PowerLimiter armor]].
* Pia Decem in ''[[Anime/GaoGaiGarFINAL GaoGaiGar Final]]'', since he doesn't talk, this is the only sound he makes.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory''. Buzz's breathing when he first appears on the bed and we see from inside his helmet.
* The opening of ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' uses the real Vader sound, along with some other Star Wars sound effects in and around Zurg's base.
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', Ralph does this when using a ReedSnorkel.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/PhantomOfTheParadise,'' Winslow Leach has a freak accident with a record press, severely deforming his face and damaging his vocal chords. He later sneaks into the Paradise, with his own labored breathing imposed over the soundtrack- predating the Trope Namer, by the way.
* The version of Cobra Commander (known as "[[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate The Doctor]]" before he assumes his famous title) from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
* The very creepy Pale Man from ''Film/PansLabyrinth.''
* Kroenen from ''Film/{{Hellboy}}''.
** After Hellboy resurrects a long-dead Russian man named Ivan, the guy has to breathe in to speak and does so with a large wheeze.
* Michael Myers in the ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' movies.
* In ''Film/{{Quarantine}}'', when the CDC guys enter the building, their gas masks make this noise; it's a little over-the-top.
* In ''Film/TheGrudge 3'', [[spoiler:Naoko]] makes raspy, gurgling breathing noises after she becomes a StringyHairedGhostGirl, thanks to being [[spoiler:stabbed through the throat]].
* The gas-mask wearing slasher in ''Film/MyBloodyValentine3D''.
* Non-villainous (but still damn creepy) example: the astronauts' heavy breathing in their spacesuits in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
* Done for laughs in ''Film/TheGraduate'', when Benjamin's demonstrating the scuba outfit his parents gave him.
* In ''Film/WhenAStrangerCalls'', many of the phone calls made by the titular Stranger consist of his creepy, heavy breathing.
* The thing that haunts Lucie in ''Film/{{Martyrs}}''.
* The opening scene of the Ian [=McKellen=] version of ''Film/RichardIII'' has the title character leading gasmasked commandos in a raid on the previous King's headquarters. Once the tank smashes through the wall the gun battle is muffled, with the main sound being Richard's breathing through his gas mask up until the moment when he shoots the king. The script notes that he is breathing in iambic pantameter.
* [[Creator/CillianMurphy Rippner]] in ''Film/RedEye'' gets a distinctly wheezy breath after he [[spoiler:gets stabbed through the windpipe with a pen,]] which would do that to you. Especially if your idea of [[spoiler:medical attention for it is ripping it out with your bare hands and using somebody's silk scarf as a bandage/cravat to buy you some time for the climax of the film.]]
* Vega in ''Film/StreetFighterTheLegendOfChunLi.''
* The appropriately-named Wheezy Joe in ''Film/IntolerableCruelty''.
* One of the casualties in ''Film/DogSoldiers'' realized that there was a werewolf behind him [[spoiler: in the back seat of the truck]] due to its heavy breathing, then had his suspicions confirmed when a rush of exhaled vapors flowed past his shoulder. Oh, and also when it ripped him to shreds.
* Referenced in ''Film/{{Jarhead}}''. During a gas mask drill, one of the solders can't help but breathe extra-deeply and throw a few Vader lines.
* Saddam Hussein does this (Along with a Vader impersonation) in ''Film/HotShotsPartDeux'', before succumbing to a coughing fit. After a drag on his inhaler, he's back to normal.
* Parodied in the second ''Film/NightAtTheMuseum'' film, where the BigBad Kahmunrah recruits historical "bad guys" UsefulNotes/{{Napoleon}}, UsefulNotes/IvanTheTerrible, and UsefulNotes/AlCapone as his [[TheDragon Dragons]]. Later, two more "bad guys" ask to join them. One is [[Series/SesameStreet Oscar the Grouch]] and the other is Darth Vader, who doesn't say a word. Kahmunrah doesn't get what's so scary about Vader and points out that he sounds as if he's having trouble breathing. Vader tries a Force Choke, further confusing Kahmunrah.
* ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly''. When Bond is about to be attacked by an enemy diver in JIM equipment, all we see is a POV shot accompanied by the sound of the air regulator.
* Bane in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.
* In ''Film/RevengeOfTheNerds'', the head jock is wearing a helmet and gas mask disguise at the carnival. Louis, the head nerd, "borrows" this disguise to get with the head cheerleader. A perspective shot through the mask has a Vader Breath sound.
* In ''Film/TheWraith'', the title character is TheVoiceless, with this trope as an exception.
* Wheezy the weasel from ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', complete with hacking and coughing, due to his [[GoodSmokingEvilSmoking smoking habits]].
* ''Film/TheWildGeese''. The mercenaries use [[DeadlyGas cyanide gas]] to [[CombatPragmatist kill a room full of sleeping guards]]. Unfortunately their Vader Breath starts [[SpecialEffectsFailure before the mercenaries have put on their gas masks]]. Nevertheless the laboured breathing of the sleepers suddenly coming to a stop as each dies has a sinister effect.
* [[EvilOverlord Immortan Joe]] in ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad.'' WordOfGod states that his respirator is actually just to filter out sand, worn out of habit ever since he was young and healthy, and his labored breathing (and sore-covered body) are just results of [[RealityEnsues being an old man living in a post-nuclear wasteland.]]

* Max Barry's ''Literature/MachineMan'' has this for [[spoiler: Dr. Charles Neumann after he's been reduced to a ManInTheMachine]]. Every word he speaks requires another gasp from plastic lungs.
* In ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'', Martian breathing is described as "tumultuous," and it's assumed that it's because they're not used to Earth's atmosphere and gravity.
* A minor character in the Literature/CiaphasCain novels is severely injured during ''Caves of Ice'', and doctors have to give her an augmetic lung as a result. Every other time she shows up in the series, there's at least one reference to the noise of her breathing.
* The ''Fire of Heaven'' series justifies this with the Arkhos of Nemohaim, and immensely fat man who already has breathing trouble and who is usually left wheezing and gasping for air after exerting himself.
* The Crippled God from ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' has to constantly inhale incense in order to keep his lungs clear. Even then, his breathing is still ragged and wheezing.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Gregor Clegane very noticeably breathes heavily after Qyburn's treatment.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'':
** The Cigarette Smoking Man, the main villain of the MythArc, always smokes and his habit gave him heavy breathing.
** The creepy mutant hibernating liver-eating serial killer from episodes "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
* William Raines in ''Series/ThePretender''.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Ice Warriors.
** So does the Astronaut in "The Impossible Astronaut".
** And older Amy in "The Girl Who Waited".
* ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle''... ... ...
** The show... has...Malcolm's...friend...Stevie...who has...a really...bad...case...of asthma...and...only...one...lung. His...inability...to say...more than...a couple...words...at a time...is always...played for....laughs...usually...by giving....him....[[OverlyLongGag very....long...lines]]...and having...the other....characters...lose patience...before he's...finished....speaking.
** And when....he's under...stress...his father...develops...this same...problem.
* Cheney's cough is played up in [[http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-november-3-2008/indecision-2008---last-day this]] clip on ''Series/TheDailyShow''. Part of their running riff on the evil of the former vice president. They eventually stopped. [[InsultToRocks Vader called and complained]].
* EvilCripple [[spoiler:ComicBook/LexLuthor]] in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'''s eighth season suffered from this, due to breathing by means of a respirator.
* Tony Soprano from ''Series/TheSopranos'' had one of these when he got particularly worked up.
* An episode of ''Series/That70sShow'' centered on the original release of ''Film/StarWars: Film/ANewHope'' had Eric punch an asthmatic rival for Donna's affections in the nose; this causes him to speak in a Vader-like voice ("Donna WILL be mine!") and develop the trademark breathing.
* In ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'', "[[Recap/SherlockS02E02TheHoundsOfBaskerville The Hounds of Baskerville]]" features [[spoiler: the true killer]] doing this through [[spoiler: his red-eyed gas mask.]]

* "Forsaken" by [[Music/KoRn Jonathan Davis]] as covered by [[Music/{{Disturbed}} David Draiman]] has this layering the track.
* The intro of "Edge of Dawn" by Music/{{Covenant}}.
* "Mr Frump in the Iron Lung" by Music/WeirdAlYankovic has this, done with the air valve from his accordian.
* Music/PinkFloyd has it in the background on "Don't Leave Me Now".
* Music/JeanMichelJarre's ''Music/{{Oxygene}}'' album has a white noise breathing sound effect between certain tracks, hence the album title, while "Oxygene Part 10" from ''Oxygene 7-13'' ends with a digital sample of a respirator.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Raistlin from the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' stories.
* Techpriests in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' often have their lower face and lungs replaced by cybernetics. Because of the [[SchizoTech strongly varying tech-levels]] of the setting, this can work perfectly well and even surpass the original organs - or result in Vader Breath, which in the roleplaying games makes strenuous physical activity harder (the lungs are less efficient at oxygenising the blood) and applies a penalty to Sneaking rolls.
** Cue inevitable {{Shout Out}}s--for example, a Techpriest model for ''Inquisitor'' reminding the creator of "He's more machine now than man."
--> Dmitri hisses like an asthmatic pensioner when he breathes, naturally.
** The Necron Lord of All Kaurava in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar''. A Necron that speaks ''at all'' is unique in the setting.

* In the ScreenToStageAdaptation of ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast,'' the stage directions say that when Belle arrives at the castle to try and rescue her father, she can hear the Beast breathing behind her - "animal-like."

[[folder: Theme Parks]]
* On of the scares in ''Ride/TheHauntedMansion'' is a door that bulges out and gives off a heavy breathing sound.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Regenerators from ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''. These things sound like someone might if they tried to breathe with a slit throat.
* King K. Rool in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'', in a rather obvious nod to ''Film/StarWars''.
* Psycho Mantis from ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''.
* Von Bolt, the BigBad of ''[[VideoGame/NintendoWars Advance Wars Dual Strike]]''.
* Kassadin, one of the Champions in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', has this when he has charged one of his moves, Force Pulse. It gets irritating after a while which makes the player want even more to use the move on an unsuspecting enemy.
* Gol in ''Franchise/JakAndDaxter'' wheezes constantly for no apparent reason. It may be an effect of his Dark Eco corruption, but none of the other corrupted characters in the series have any noticable breathing difficulty, including Gol's sister. Gol has parts of his body [[ArtificialLimbs replaced with precursor technology,]] so it's probably either a result of the tech itself, or whatever injury caused him to lose those parts of himself in the first place.
* Inner Lavos, the second form of the final boss in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* Dark Star in ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', among other ''Film/StarWars'' references.
* In ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'', the Vizier's bloody cough is probably for this purpose, underlining his evilness. It's not the IncurableCoughOfDeath, since he, well, doesn't die of it. Only because [[spoiler:the Prince kills him first.]] It ''was'' a sign he was dying, making part of his motivation to find the sands the promise of immortality.
* Used as part of the background music in ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'', and in the OST tracks [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4xDleBC7uM "Never Again 2"]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpExfM_pVjM "Die"]]. The in Universe explanation is that it's Alessa's labored breathing on a hospital ventilator. The real world explanation is that a game that breathes as you play it is ''fucking creepy''.
** Likewise for some of the ambience in ''VideoGame/SilentHill2'' and ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'', which also sometimes include a HeartbeatSoundtrack.
* The G-Man, particularly in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''. * gasp* The right man in the wrong place...
** In the ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'''s ExpansionPack, ''Opposing Force'', the second stage of Headcrab Zombies could be identified by their creepy breathing. This breathing carries on with [=HL2=]'s poison headcrab zombies.
* For some strange reason, the magical lampposts and lanterns in the Night Elf regions of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' make this noise whenever you stand near them, leading many confused newbies to ask in the in-game chat rooms, "All right, who keeps doing the Darth Vader impression?"
* The Pyromaniacs from ''VideoGame/{{Sacrifice}}''. Their unit quotes are also filled to the brim with Darth Vader and Lord Helmet {{Shout Out}}s.
* The zombies in ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' have a bad, bad case of bronchitis.
* The ending seasons of the ''[[VideoGame/MegamanBattleNetwork Mega Man Battle Network/Rockman.EXE]]'' featured Zero.EXE. It helps that he's not only based on a hero, but is seen working for the [[TheDarkSide side of evil]] at first and has a [[LaserBlade lightsaber]] for an arm when he fights?
* Vohaul from ''VideoGame/SpaceQuestIIVohaulsRevenge'' is hooked up to a ventilator machine and has a Vader-like mask (although his dialog is all text).
* ''VideoGame/BattleRealms'' Lotus Clan has a unit called the Diseased One, which attacks by coughing toxic spores onto enemies.
* The volus in ''Franchise/MassEffect''. The drastic differences in pressure and gravity require them to wear special environment suits on other planets (or at least all the ones Shepard has seen them on). They're not exactly evil, but they are a ProudMerchantRace without any really "heroic" representatives until the multiplayer DLC.
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords'' has a section where your character must don a spacesuit to travel across the outside of a space station. Seeing as it's a Franchise/StarWars game and can't go ten minutes without a {{shout out}}, the spacesuit has breathing very similar to Vader's.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'', you breathe very loudly when you put your [[GasMaskMooks gas mask]] on, and when your filter starts to fail, you start wheezing (while looking at your lens fog up).
* Q from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''. Idling makes him do Vader Breath, and the rest of his voicework is VoiceGrunting.
* The Vores from ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'' appear to suffer from this.
* One of the sound effects in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', generally only used in very creepy situations and when the narrator is sufficiently badly injured.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkFall: Lost Souls'', the Inspector whom you play has emphysema, and starts breathing hard if you climb steps or ladders, or stay in one place outside in the cold for long. The opening segment of the game consists of a black screen, and the sound of his increasingly-desperate attempts to draw air into what's left of his lungs.
* ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein 2009}}'s'' [[PoweredArmor Heavy Troopers]] sound like this, if you can get close to them unnoticed. It's probably because they're vat-grown {{Super Soldier}}s with insufficiently developed lungs.
* ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' has Mi-Gor, a small zombie wearing a gas mask. The breath is not actually heard, just described in the dialogue lines as *wheeze* before every line, and before that, "as if someone is trying to talk with his throat full of mud".
* The ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' DLC Dead Money has the Ghost People, all of whom have wheezy, raspy, ''loud'' breath. The loud breathing is the best way to tell when they're sneaking up on you. Serves as ParanoiaFuel when you can't see them, but you can hear them breathing.
* ''Videogame/{{Minecraft}}'' have blazes which breathe heavily.
* Titanite Demons in ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' do this to indicate their presence, even though they don't seem to have a head.
* [[TheUnintelligible The Pyro]] in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has this in Meet the Pyro and presumably in-universe as a result of asbestos lung damage.
* [[spoiler:Porky Minch]] in VideoGame/MOTHER3. It is explained that [[spoiler:[[TimeAbyss his extensive abuse of time travel has left him immortal, but still with an aging body,]]]] resulting in oft-childish banter and insults being peppered with the coughs and wheezes of an old man.
* VideoGame/{{inFAMOUS 2}}: Ice Heavies
-->'''Ice Heavy:''' We don't want...your thanks....We want...your blast core.
* Agent 5, Gage Blackwood in ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject'' Turbo gradually descends to this if you take too long in the maze below the Mars Colony. Once the music dies down, you can hear him struggling for air through an oxygen mask he's wearing.
** You can also hear him breathing heavily if he doesn't have the mask on at all in the maze or the NORAD VI time zone, which has [[spoiler: sleeping gas]] in the vents.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}} Black Plague'', the music for the Chemical Laboratory has what sounds like heavy breathing in the background.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCE3DIRtqlw This ambient track]] from ''VideoGame/{{FEAR}}'', first heard in Interval 3-1.
* ''VideoGame/{{Exmortis}}'' starts with the player character breathing like this, out in a cold forest at night.
* ''VideoGame/TwilightPrincess'': The Hero's Shade breathes like this constantly, despite being a skeletal ghost.
* Tim and Tom Weaver from ''VideoGame/{{Wick}}.'' Tim from having caught polio as a living child, and Tom from having all his bones broken.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' [[spoiler: Durkon, when turned into a vampire,]] as an undead, doesn't normally breathe. When he has to fake breathing, it becomes a ''gwoooBWEARF'' sound. It starts out much worse the first time he tries.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/OneHundredYardStare'': The mysterious masked man suffers from this condition.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Brainy (That boy who keeps creeping up behind Helga and getting clobbered) in ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold''. There's also the legend of "Wheezin' Ed."
* ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'':
** In "Teed Off", the groundskeeper whose job is to ensure that Mr. Dupette wins has a respirator just like Darth Vader.
** Another episode features a rogue vacuum cleaner that does this as it comes after Rocko and friends.
* Noxious from ''WesternAnimation/SkysurferStrikeForce''.
* Kaia from ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}'' does this, due to her gas mask. [[spoiler:When she takes it off, her voice is somewhat distorted]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The territorial calls of groups of howler monkeys, if heard from a long way off, can sound ''exactly'' like Darth Vader's breathing.
* Bears. One of the many recognizable things about them is their heavy breathing.
* Since Darth Vader doesn't seem to be carrying an oxygen tank around with him, he is assumedly using a RealLife device known as an [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_concentrator oxygen concentrator]]. As the name implies, these work by pulling concentrated oxygen out of the surrounding air, and it really does sound ''just like'' Vader Breath.
* Ben Burt found the sound for Vader's breathing by sticking a microphone into a Scuba regulator, and breathing in and out. So if you've ever been Scuba diving, the sound is quite familiar.

''[[OverlyLongGag ...HOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH...]]''