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Annoying Laugh
"I do realise that when I laugh, it sounds like a seal is being molested."
Jimmy Carr, The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2009

Laughter, of course, is one of the best known and most treasured ways that human beings express happiness. In addition to laughing when they find something funny, people laugh when they find something joyous, or heartwarming, or even stimulating. In general, a person enjoys hearing another person laugh. Unless, of course, that other person has a laugh that, rather than sounding joyous, sounds painful or cringe-inducingly awful.

The Annoying Laugh usually comes in several specific flavors (the Asthma Attack bellow, the high Hyena-like cackle, the Snort-Snort-Snort, the Machine Gun Chuckle, and the Donkey-like Bray being the most common). In some cases, the Annoying Laugh is used in place of actually fleshing out a character, since the type of annoying laugh can lead the audience to assuming the character basically is just as annoying as his or her laugh happens to be. In some cases, a character will have an Annoying Laugh because the script calls for it, but sometimes its because the actor playing the role laughs like that for real.

The supertrope of the Noblewoman's Laugh. Almost always Played for Laughs. Compare Un Evil Laugh. Sometimes part of an Overly Long Gag. The annoying laugh is very common in animation and sitcoms. Subtrope of Signature Laugh.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • This 2013 VW Jetta commercial.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Naga the Serpent from Slayers, whose epic Noblewoman's Laugh can be classified as a deadly weapon in 37 states. It also sends old women scrambling to the nearest shrine, begging whichever deity that happens to be nearby to "please make it stop".
    • Her voice actress also did a bit more laughing as Black Rose Kodachi in Ranma ˝.
  • Esmeraude from Sailor Moon.
    • Also Zoycite from the DiC English dub. Voiced by the same actress.
    • Taken, as one would expect, to the N'th degree in Sailor Moon Abridged.
  • 4Kids manages to do it to 2 antagonists: Meowth from the Pokémon anime and Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh!.
  • Renge's voice in Ouran High School Host Club is considered to be either cute or annoying.
  • Waji gets Guu to laugh in Jungle wa Itsumo Hare nochi Guu, needless to say Guu's laugh is not as much annoying as it is blood-curdingly creepy!.
  • Umineko no Naku Koro ni: "Kihihihihihihihi..." One wonders why Rosa gets upset about the "uuuuu~"s when Maria insists on laughing like that.
    • Even Beatrice does this, as her butler Ronove points out.'
    • And Battler. Sorta; his is actually "Ihihihihihihi...", but it is also the first of the three to show up.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Jinnai could be the anime mascot for this trope.
  • In Keroro Gunsou, the other characters find Kululu's "Ku-ku-ku!" laugh annoying. Every time he laughs, the others know he's causing mischief.
  • The Italian dub of One Piece is basically one big Lampshade Hanging of how the unusual different kinds of laughter (case in point: Hogback), while somewhat acceptable in a manga, actually end up working awfully when get animated. On the other hand, there are exceptions such as Brook's Italian VA, who did a perfect job at that.
    • Actually, the laughs are played quite good (just listen to Perona) but they did, however, simply ignored the 90% of the remaining laughs.
  • Kodachi in Ranma ˝, who (as mentioned above) shares Naga's voice actress. Mocked often in Ranma Abridged.
  • In Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate, Matthew Perry has a laugh that Lelouch compares to the buzzing of a mosquito.
  • The villain Nazalloff from Lupin III: The Columbus Files, several characters note this and Lupin even mocks his laugh at one point.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia gives us Prussia, France and Spain.
    • America is also given a unique - but more cute than annoying - laugh in the Japanese dub.
  • Tubby was given one in the Little Lulu anime, as demonstrated in Episode 2.
  • In Oregairu, Yukino and Yui find Hikigaya's laugh unpleasant.
  • Guruma from Fist of the North Star Zero: The Legend Of Kenshiro, it goes like "Dee Hee, Dee Hee, Dee Hee!".

    Comics 
  • Blutch from Les Tuniques Bleues.
  • This recent Pearls Before Swine comic had Rat go out on a date with a girl who laughed this way when he told her a joke. He then lampshades it with the line, "Bad laughs, the great deal-breaker."
  • Life in Hell - in a segment on love, there are a couple of reference to one's spouse's hyena-like laugh.

    Film 
  • In Revenge of the Nerds, both Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowell had annoying laughs, as did Lewis' father.
  • Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, as played by Tom Hulce in the film version of Amadeus, had a hyena-like cackle.
    • According to the writings of some of Mozart's friends, the man really did laugh like that, making this entry Truth in Television.
  • In Fight Club, Tyler tells the Narrator when they first meet: "you have a sick desperation in your laugh"
  • One of the murder victims in Hot Fuzz had one. In a subversion of convoluted murder mystery plots, it turns out that this mundane annoyance was actually the reason that she was killed.
  • Dwight Frye's Renfield's laugh in the original english film version of Dracula, which was copied by Arte Johnson when he played the role in the spoof Love at First Bite.
  • Mary Poppins has a whole song about annoying laughs. With some bad jokes thrown in for good measure!
  • Joe Cox's laugh from RoboCop (1987).
  • The Chief Blue Meanie's laugh from Yellow Submarine, it goes something like "Eeee heee eee heee heee heee!".
  • Salacious B. Crumb, the Kowakian monkey-lizard from Return of the Jedi, has one of the most obnoxious laughs of all time. Nobody complained about him dying in the explosion of the sail barge.
  • '30s and '40s movie comedian Hugh Herbert had a constant "Hoo-hoo!" laugh as part of his onscreen schtick. This was later borrowed by Daffy Duck.
  • A date gets interrupted in Muriel's Wedding by two men who seem to think Muriel is hurt and choking.
  • Princess Ting-Ting in Mulan II has a snorting laugh which she hates, so she does her level best to avoid laughing for most of the film. However when she finally does crack up and laugh, Ling (her love interest) finds it cute.
  • Scutt Farkus in A Christmas Story. Needless to say, when Ralphie snapped and beat the snot out of him, it was very satisfying to watch.

    Literature 
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels have a few:
    • Carcer from Night Watch. Used as one of quite a few indicators that the man is a complete psychopath.
    • Mr. Cletes from Soul Music. Hat. Hat. Hat.
    • A minor variant (and only mentioned perhaps twice) is Strappi's laugh from Monstrous Regiment, which is described as "a harsh gargling at the back of the throat."
  • Count Olaf and Esme Squalor from A Series of Unfortunate Events.
  • Mariel of Redwall introduces the Honourable Rosemary, whose laugh is loud and long enough to deafen everyone in hearing range. It's also said to be able to curdle cream from thirty paces away.
  • Sammy in Sideways Stories from Wayside School.
  • Honor Harrington is convinced she has one of these and goes out of her way to avoid showing any sign of having a sense of humour in response.
  • Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter has a high tittering laugh...which hides her sadistic nature.

    Live Action Television 
  • Sylvia from Dear John; her ex-husband even informed her of this.
  • Myrna- Oscar Madison's secretary on The Odd Couple.
  • Harold from The Red Green Show is a cinch for this one.
  • Arnold Horschach, from Welcome Back, Kotter, had the standard comedy relief "nerd asthma attack" style of annoying laugh.
  • Family Matters Steve Urkel.
  • Red Dwarf: The Low version of Lister.
  • On an episode of House when Cuddy is trying to get pregnant, House brings one of the sperm donors she's considering in for an interview. The man had a very annoying laugh which came out when he was nervous. This was one of House's arguments for why he shouldn't be considered as the father.
  • One episode of Seinfeld has Jerry dating a woman with an annoying laugh, and he can't bear to tell her. It's compared to "Elmer Fudd sitting on a juicer."
  • Kitty from That 70's Show. Unlike a lot of television characters who have annoying laughs, who basically have annoying laughs because the actor involved does, Kitty's laugh is not the actual laugh of actress Debra Jo Rupp.
  • Fawlty Towers: Sibyl Fawlty. A combination of the Machine-Gun Chuckle with a Donkey Bray finish. According to her husband, it sounds like "somebody machine-gunning a seal".
    Sybil: A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-EUUUUH!!
  • Boycie from Only Fools and Horses has the machine gun rattle down to a fine art.
  • Friends:
    • One of Janice's annoying quirks is her laugh.
    • Chandler's work laugh is very annoying and he explains it was invented for survival reasons. He warns Monica she will need to invent one as well to survive his work colleagues. She does.
  • Chrissy on Three's Company was a snorter.
    Janet: Well, at least I know how to laugh. Ahahahahaha! What do you do? SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT!...
  • Another snorter is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
  • One of the guests on Malcolm McDowell's Fantasy Island had a fantasy about hooking up with his childhood crush, who he remembers as having a wonderful laugh. Maybe it was selective memory, but when his fantasy comes true it turns out she has a kind of glass-breaking rattle.
  • A Wings episode has Helen dating a man with a laugh like a braying hyena. It becomes so annoying that Helen eventually decides to break up with him because of it, but before she can do so, he dumps her because he cannot stand her Southern accent.
  • Fran Fine from The Nanny. Her laugh is practically the tagline for the show.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys has the character Strife and, later, his twin brother Deimos, who are both infamous among the other characters for their hyena-like laugh:
    Hercules: "Deimos... I'd know that laugh anywhere!"
    Deimos: "Ah-hahahaha!"
    Hercules: "That was not a compliment!"
  • Tony Atlas uses this to great effect on WWECW.
  • Jerry Ledbetter (Paul Eddington) on The Good Life usually deployed a rather grating snicker.
  • Ever Decreasing Circles, written by Good Life creators John Esmonde and Bob Larbey, followed in Jerry Ledbetter's wake with Howard Hughes (Stanley Lebor) and his almost improbably high-pitched giggle.
  • The kids possessed by hyenas in the season 1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Pack".
  • Vince Masuka from Dexter does a Beavis and Butthead style laugh whenever he or someone else makes a double entendre.
  • Sonny With A Chance has a blogger named Sharona, who has a very irritating, high-pitched laugh.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Phantom of Krankor from the experiment Prince of Space. While his drawn-out "Heeeeeeeh heeeeeeeeeh heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh" never draws any comment from characters in the original movie, it earns him much derision from the SOL crew.
  • Arthur Atkinson of The Fast Show' has an annoying voice and "personality" at the best of times, but his laugh could kill small animals.
  • In Sesame Street, Bert had a machine gun chuckle, while Ernie had one which was sort of a cross between wheezing and gargling.
    • Elmo also has his annoying "Uh-HA-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
  • Guido Geller of Caméra café fame used to be the page picture, much to Patti's horror.
  • Skull from Power Rangers' early seasons definitely had this. As does his son, Spike, in Power Rangers Samurai.
  • Melanie Pearson from Neighbours, not helped by her overreacting to Henry's jokes.
  • The kid villain Tram from Choujin Sentai Jetman has one of these.
  • Mickey Doyle from Boardwalk Empire, not helped by him also being The Hyena.
  • Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Whether it's supposed to be his way of actually laughing, or as a sarcastic chuckle for what us lower forms see as "humor", it's annoying.
  • Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo in I Love Lucy. His laugh sounded phoney, and kind of forced, but it wasn't. That was Arnaz's real laugh.
  • Travelers had a notorious example in Robin Kipp. It actually proved useful at a haunted house site, when she dressed up as a phantom. Lucky those who haven't heard it.
  • DC Kray from The Thin Blue Line, very much so.

    Radio 
  • Disk jockey Elliot Segal, of Elliot In The Morning in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, has a very annoying laugh.
  • Australian cricket commentator Kerry O'Keefe.
  • Dawn from the Rob, Arnie and Dawn Show has a very cackly and annoying laugh.
  • During his tenure on The Howard Stern Show, the various laughs of Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling, were a fairly big part of the show - ranging from a low dirty giggle to a big expressive "Whoop!"
  • Sherlock Holmes, in the BBC Radio adaptations starring Clive Merrison. Watson complains about it a few times.

    Theater 
  • In Oklahoma!, the protagonist Curly dates a girl named Gertie to make heroine Laurey jealous. Gertie must be played by an actress who can affect an obnoxious laugh. An example of a particularly ear-splitting performance can be seen here. That's Gertie cuddling Curly and laughing uproariously at the beginning of the video, while Laurey looks on from the porch in disgust and irritation.
  • A Very Potter Musical: This page needs to start doing things... THE UMBRIDGE WAY! A DERDERDERDERDERDER. The extended version when s/he tries to keep Harry from going to Hogsmeade is even more annoying.

    Video Games 
  • From Kingdom Hearts: Vexen and Larxene in the Japanese versions of Re: Chain of Memories. People on YouTube loop their laughs and dare people to see how long they can listen to them without clawing their ears forcibly off their heads. Have a listen.Or two. Make it stop indeed.
  • Heidegger from Final Fantasy VII has a "gya-ha-ha" laugh that irritates the other heads of Shinra to no end. There's also Scarlet's "kya-ha-ha," Bugenhagen's "Ho ho ho" Santa Claus laugh and... well, let's just say this game is loaded with characters that have annoying laughs and leave it at that.
    • And from the same franchise, we have the infamous laughing scene in Final Fantasy X between Tidus and Yuna. (Though, of course, they were forcing it.)
      • "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"
  • Moe the clown from case 3 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All. "Aha! Aha! Aha! Aha!"
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Misha's trademark "Wa ha ha~!" laugh seems to be this; it certainly seems to grate on Hisao's nerves after a while. Probably a good thing the developers decided not to go with full voice-acting...
  • Soda Popinski of Punch-Out!! lets out a truly aggravating laugh when he knocks you down. It's bad enough in the Wii version, where it's a real person; in the NES version, it's an eight-bit digitized laugh, similar to the one used by Ganon in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
    • Nearly everyone does this in the Wii version.
  • Team Fortress 2: Given the nature of the game and the character, it's almost certain that the Scout's self-satisfied laughter is designed to annoy the people he kills. Given how he's also the source of many a Most Annoying Sound, this isn't all that surprising.
  • Of course, there's the legendary Duck Hunt dog, whose laugh has earned him the hatred of an entire generation of gamers.
  • In killer7, your enemies are the dreaded Heaven Smiles who blow up on contact and laugh constantly. Each different Smile has a different laugh, a good number of which are extremely annoying. (Especially the Bombhead Smiles)
  • If you don't defeat all of the pigs in Angry Birds, they will do a really annoying laugh. Thankfully you can skip it by pressing the "Restart Level" button.
  • Laharl's attempt at an Evil Laugh in the Disgaea series can be this, especially to Etna, who considers it the Most Annoying Sound.
  • Evil's Evil Laugh from Custom Robo.
  • A number of characters in League of Legends have rather annoying laughs, most infamously Lux and Lulu who both have incredibly high-pitched and hysterical giggles. Extremely aggravating when spammed non-stop at your opponents, although you may find your teammates leaving you to fight alone just to get away from the sound.
  • Sweet Tooth and Heihachi lets out one of these in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale.
  • Ripper Roo from Crash Bandicoot, though his laugh track is barrowed from Disney's Lady and the Tramp.
  • Rochelle's laugh in Left 4 Dead 2 comes off as shrill and annoying, which is what some players do to annoy everyone else.
  • A knight's laugh in The Last Story is used to show how pompous and corrupt he is, especially during the attack on Gurak civilians.
  • In Jojos Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle, Ultimate-Life-Form Kars has an unbelievably irritating cackle (Ha~Ha~Ha Ha Ha~!) whenever he uses his long-ranged, obscenely powerful and unblockable tentacle attack that counters any and all attempts to jump close to him.

    Web Original 
  • Rich Evans of Red Letter Media has an amazing laugh that the fans love, but still fits this trope.
  • His laugh is probably the most annoying thing about The Annoying Orange.
  • Penelope from The Quest For Geekdom when she tries to do an Evil Laugh.
  • Gronkh tends to imitate one of these in Oh Crap moments.
  • During the wake held for their deceased comrade Jetstream, Achilles of the Global Guardians turned to his teammate, Ultra-Man, and drunkenly asked, "Could you explain how a huge guy like you laughs like a six year old girl?"
  • Nahman of the GI Proz has a "Monkey Laugh," which can be heard on Kieza's channel.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged: Raye. "Where did you fly off to Darien? The moon? HA. HA. GET IT? I MADE A FUNNY KIDS."

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Ricky Gervais is well known for his hysterical cackle of a laugh.
  • A number of sitcoms that James L. Brooks worked on, including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Taxi, frequently featured Brooks' own loud, honking laugh as part of the studio audience.
  • Every character Fran Drescher has ever played has a donkey-like nasal bray of a laugh... because the actress herself really laughs like that.
    Roger Ebert: Fran Drescher is a taste I have not acquired, but I concede that one could acquire it. It would help if she made a silent film.
  • Tom Selleck's actual laugh is of the "high-toned hyena cackle" variety.
  • The late Michael Landon laughed that way, too.
  • Jimmy Carr, as he points out in the page quote.
  • American Idol contestant Tatiana del Toro has a laugh that is equivalent to dragging one's fingernails down a blackboard. It's not supposed to be intentional, but that's debatable.
  • Pretty much everywhere, it's gonna be hot.
  • Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. "Octomom". Particularly frightening during her interview on The View.
  • Ricky Ricardo's distinctive "AHH! AHH! AHH! AHH!" laugh was his real life laugh. Occasionally you hear it in the live studio audience.
  • Natalie Portman
  • At the final screening of Clerks at Sundance, where Kevin Smith was hoping to find a distributor, after about 20 minutes or so, Kevin noticed someone with a loud, incredibly obnoxious laugh drowning out the laughter of the rest of the audience. "Turns out it's Harvey Weinstein."
  • Alan Alda's laugh, frequently heard on Mash.
  • The French channel Canal+ caricatured its then-president Dominique Farrugia's laugh as sounding like a sea-lion.
  • This guy's laugh will give you nightmares.
  • Due to internet stereotypes, the Brazillian "HUEHUEHUEHUEHUEHUE" has become the bane of MMO players everywhere.
  • Craig Ferguson, when he first started hosting the The Late Late Show, was told by his producer that his laugh made him "sound like a psychopath", a fault he openly acknowledged.
  • Comedian Esther Ku.
  • Joshua Hayward of The Horrors has a really unnerving laugh, as seen here. (It helps that it might be an affectation.))
  • Anderson Cooper's laugh is often said to sound like a dying weasel.
  • Apparently Mozart, his friends said it was like "grating a cobblestone down a piano's string."
  • Comedienne Sarah Silverman has a variety of these. Andy Samberg calls her out on it, then everyone tries to follow her with their own annoying laughs.
  • According to her husband (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Sarah Michelle Gellar laughs "like a hyena suffering through an epileptic fit." According to him, he finds it endearing that she has the one "unforgiveable flaw".
  • Jim Carrey once joked during an appearance on Letterman that success had introduced him to the way that wealthy people laugh.


    Laughter TropesCircle of Shame
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