Evil Laugh

You're hearing it in your head right now, aren't you?

Kent Brockman: Alright, let's go live to Bob headquarters now, for Mayor Terwilliger's victory speech.
Sideshow Bob: (approaches podium) Ahem. Heh, heh, heh. Hah, hah hah, hah hah! HA HA HA HA HA!!
Kent Brockman: And just look how happy he is!

Your Applied Phlebotinum doomsday device has been activated. The MacGuffin is within your grasp. The good guys are locked away in the Death Trap. Your circuitous Evil Plan is three-quarters complete! You know what, screw being the Evil Overlord of the worldyou're already a god. There is only one thing left for you to do — but first things first:

Muahahahahaha... Muahahahahahaha... Muahahahahahaha!

The Evil Laugh. Don't knock it 'til you tried it, folks.

This has become an Undead Horse Trope long ago, and usually will produce nothing but pure Narm. There are only a few characters who are able to get away with this in modern media:

In any case, it has since devolved to the occasional evil chuckle (which may or may not be a bit scarier) or so every once in a while, except in certain cases, and the trope of laughing while your victim is helpless is definitely dead, as modern villains usually laugh while they work (to much better effect). A common subversion is to have a villain have an Un Evil Laugh, with snorting, chuckling, and squeaking, especially if they are a villain in a comedy series.

In anime, haughty female villains (as well as some male ones) will overlap this with Noblewoman's Laugh. Other villains, for reasons known only to themselves, go for the Giggling Villain approach. Often goes well with Drunk on the Dark Side; almost obligatory if the villain is a Large Ham.

It's even more jarring (and awesome) when the villain in question is an emotionless character.

Just remember, you Genre Savvy villains, the Evil Overlord List:
20. Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly.

Truth in Television: Passionate laughter, like screaming, is a great relief for stress and adrenaline, with the added benefit of embarrassing and taunting self-conscious opponents. Just don't take it too far in public.

Compare Noblewoman's Laugh, Evil Is Hammy, Evil Gloating, Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor, Laughing Mad, and Laugh with Me.

See here for a huge compilation of this trope.


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • The character "Mayhem" for All State insurance actually has one, the best being in slow-motion during the "I'm Your Blind Spot" commercial.
  • Shire Post Mint (which makes coins from fantasy novels) did a short advertisement in which a Westorosi lord is given a chestful of newly minted coins. As the lord ponders on what use he might make of this wealth, he starts to chuckle in a sinister manner.

    Ballads 
  • In The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward, after the steward had stolen the young lord's identity, he does this.
    He laughed the bony child to scorne
    That was the bonny Lord of Learne.
    He laughed that bonny boy to scorne;
    Lord! pitty it was to heare;
    I haue herd them say, and soe haue you too,
    That a man may buy gold to deere.

    Comics 

    Fan Fics 
  • Every villain in the Calvinverse has done this at some point or another. It's lampshaded in Retro Chill:
  • Lina Eastwood/Cure Western from Pretty Cure Hollywood Stars is a rare heroic example of this trope, and BOY does she make the most of it! She tends to laugh evilly in her hammier moments, such as in episode 12.
  • A Shadow Of The Titans: The HIVE actually has a seminar on this, debating whether or not it's worth it.
  • Discord and Darkheart both enjoy celebrating their victories with an evil laugh in The Return Of Chaos.
  • Queen Celesia in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure has one, which she generally uses after doing something For the Evulz.
  • Red Cyclone and Gilda are fond of doing these in Ace Combat The Equestrian War.
  • In The Hunt for Harry Potter a non-villainous friend of Harry's called Henchgirl said that because she was a mad scientist, "the rules" stated that she had to cackle at least three times a day. When he later found himself cackling madly after completing some correspondence tests that he felt certain he'd pass, he muttered that "Maybe it's time for me to expand my circle of friends to include people that don't think the laws of physics are . . . how did she put it, 'silly little suggestions?'"
  • When Chrysalis is brought into the Ponies Of Olympus series, literally the first thing we see her doing is coaching her daughter Aurelia in how to do one of these properly.
  • Hago, Shocker, Death, and many other villains from The Lion King Adventures are quite proficient at the art of evil laughter.
  • In The Matrix fanfic Bringing Me To Life there are two successful examples from Smith.
    • Along with more if you count the failed, silly sounding ones by the Merovingian. About the Merovingian's attempts -
    Smith: If you are going to do one, do it properly, you are such an embarrassment to a former villain.

    Films — Animated 
  • Villain Songs have a tendency to end with the villain laughing maniacally.
  • Few villains rock the Evil Laugh harder than Evil Chancellor Jafar on Aladdin, and nowhere does he rock it harder than at the end of his Dark Reprise of "Prince Ali". In the Crossover with Hercules, Hades calls him on it. When Jafar actually convinces Hades to give it a shot, the big blue guy admits that "It's cleansing."
  • In the final battle scene of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston does an evil laugh before he taunts Beast.
    • A prize example (not from a villain, but still quite scary) is given by the castle's stove.
  • In Flushed Away, the Toad and his henchrats (including Spike) do evil laughs repeatedly.
    • Also when Le Frog finally hands out the cable for the Toad's plan, the Toad starts laughing maniacally for about 30 seconds, annoying Le Frog
    Le Frog: Just TAKE it!
  • In Barnyard, Dag laughs evilly repeatedly.
  • Hexxus from Ferngully: The Last Rainforest has a laugh at the end of his extended song that ends with a dry cough. Can be seen as a satire, but actually justified, as Hexxus is the embodiment of pollution.
    • He indulges in some much more frightening laughter when he assumes his One-Winged Angel form.
  • Mad Scientist Dr. Cockroach of Monsters vs. Aliens has a resounding Large Ham one, apparently as an involuntary reflex whenever he's doing mad science.
    Susan: OK, go. But... don't do the laugh.
    Dr. Cockroach: Don't worry, my dear, you won't feel a thing! Mwu-ha-HA— Sorry. Sorry.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung does an evil laugh at one point.
    • Speaking of Kung Fu Panda, Shifu pulls an absolutely epic one while threatening Po with the Wuxi Finger Hold.
    Shifu: You know the hardest part? The hardest part is cleaning up afterwards, hrmhrhrhrhrhrhr...
  • Shan Yu from Mulan, standing on top of the Imperial Palace's roof.
  • Thrax from Osmosis Jones tends to pull this off in a way that appears either demented or schizophrenic— and still somehow really, really creepy.
  • Maleficent lets out many memorable evil laughs, notably when she turns into a dragon in Sleeping Beauty.
  • In Hoodwinked, Boingo keeps doing evil laughs.
  • In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the wicked queen uses an Evil Laugh as an ingredient of her disguise potion.
  • Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, after his attack on Basil. Voiced by Vincent Price. Can't get much greater than that.
  • Ursula from The Little Mermaid lets out an evil laugh so friggin' scary while Ariel turns into a human that it shames the Wicked Witch, Jafar, and Maleficent put together.
    • She's also got this smug snarl/chuckle thing going on in other scenes, too. It's wonderfully malicious.
  • In Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil, Moss does an evil laugh at the bridge scene after an 18-year-old Red tells him, "Bring it!".
  • In The Lion King, a young Simba laughs evilly after he says, "I laugh in the face of danger!" in the Elephant Graveyard. Also, Scar lets out a particularly great evil laugh at the end of his Villain Song "Be Prepared".
    • Well, when your henchmen of choice are hyenas, you've got a lot to live up to.
    • Surprisingly, Ed, the Cloud Cuckoo Lander of the Terrible Trio who spent the movie cackling like an idiot, actually had one of these at the end of the movie, shortly after Scar denounced the hyenas to Simba. When Shenzi and Banzai ask Ed if they heard Scar correctly, Ed lets loose a disturbingly low chuckle punctuated by him licking his lips hungrily, looking intense for the only time in the whole movie. Then, the hyenas close in on Scar, all giggling murderously, and his desperate begging (and later screams) is eventually drowned out by the sound of their laughter.
    • In the sequel, Zira has several. One was heard towards the end of her Villain Song, and another is when her lioness army leaves Simba to be attacked by her during the final battle.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has both straight and subverted use of the Evil Laugh. Oogie Boogie laughs evilly at the end of his Villain Song and later when he tries to escape from Jack, and our hero, Jack Skellington, laughs evilly no less then 4 times in the film — just to remind you that he's a member of Halloweentown. Dark Is Not Evil.
  • In grand Disney tradition, Dr. Facilier ends his Villain Song with a grand howling laugh in The Princess and the Frog. Later, his shadow gets one too.
  • One of the scariest from Disney is the Headless Horseman from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Don't ask how he laughs, though.
  • The Coachman from Pinocchio has a rather creepy evil laugh after he tells Foulfellow and Gideon "They'll never come back...as BOYS!!!" And yes, both Foulfellow and Gideon were both extremely frightened by the Coachman as soon as they heard him say "BOYS!!!"
  • In the DC Animated Universe films Batman: Mask of the Phantasm and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, the Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill) possesses a terrifyingly insane laugh which puts Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson to shame.
  • In Open Season, Shaw laughs evilly repeatedly.
    • In Open Season 2, Fifi does an evil laugh when he is about to press the button to explode Elliot.
  • In Toy Story, Sid does one repeatedly.
    • In Toy Story 2, Al does one when he leaves his apartment in his chicken costume.
    • In Toy Story 3, Bonnie does one when playing with her toys as the "witch" (which is really Dolly).
  • Megamind, being a Genre Savvy Card-Carrying Villain, makes a point of practicing his evil laugh to get it right.
  • Professor Z from Cars 2 can be heard laughing evilly during the scene where he and several Lemons blow up Rod "Torque" Redline.
  • The Blue Meanies from The Beatles film Yellow Submarine, especially the leader.
  • This part of the song "Pink Elephants of Parade" from Dumbo.
    I can stand the sight of worms
    And to look at microscopic germs
    But technicolor pachyderms
    Are maybe too much for me! Muhahahahahahaha!!!
  • Syndrome of The Incredibles has a pretty terrifying evil laugh, letting it loose after unleashing his robot and revealing his plan to turn the entire world "super".
  • Superman of all people pulls off a terrifying one in Superman vs. the Elite when he deliberately takes out The Elite Mook Horror Show style.
  • In DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Merlock the Evil Sorceror loves indulging in these. The best is when he turns Scrooge's Bin into his fortress of evil and re-establishes his throne.
  • In Horton Hears a Who!, Vlad has one as he prepares to find Horton and destroy the clover under the kangaroo's instructions.
  • The Mansions of the Gods:
    • Caesar has one, amplified by his extremely echo-ey throne chamber.
    • Obelix has one, of sorts: it's the laugh of a Boisterous Bruiser about to do what he loves best.

    Literature 
  • Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events has a distinctively wheezy voice and a laugh to go with it. In The Grim Grotto, he's doing his darndest to make it the most elaborate, obnoxious evil laugh ever. (This is great fun in the audio books with Tim Curry doing the reading.)
    • In later books in the series, Olaf deliberately inverts this by shortening his laugh to a simple "Ha!"
    • In the movie, Olaf kind of experiments with it near the end. On the DVD feature Interact Olaf, he demonstrates an evil laugh at one point.
  • There are many villains with Evil Laughs in Discworld. One of them (in Maskerade) writes his evil laugh down. With five exclamation marks. Sure sign of insanity.
    • A relatively minor character in Making Money has one of the best evil laughs seen in the series. His co-worker Igor laments that it is so unfortunate that he is neither technically insane nor evil.
    • Granny Weatherwax does not do this, but her genteel chuckle when she is about to do the Right Thing has been described as far, far scarier.
    • Witches of the Discworld in general try to watch themselves and each other for excessive cackling, which is a sign of going mad and turning into a fairytale-style wicked witch.
    • Lampshaded with Lord Hong, who would only have laughed maniacally if he were the traditional type of Evil Grand Vizier.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Lampshaded by Harry Dresden in Grave Peril. At Bianca's party, the lights go dark, and spooky laughter comes out of nowhere. Harry notes that it's tough to beat vampires at the creepy laugh. They get a lot of practice.
    • Harry points out an Evil Laugh again in Dead Beat when he encounters the vampire Mavra. He also gives a fairly apt description of what makes an evil laugh.
      Maybe it was the atmosphere, but something about it, the way that it simply lacked anything to do with the things that should motivate laughter... There was no warmth in it, no humanity, no kindness, no joy. It was like Mavra herself — it had the withered human shell, but underneath it all was something from a nightmare.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Gods of Mars, when John Carter and Tars Tarkus enter a chamber, the door closed behind them and "And then, from unseen lips, a cruel and mocking peal of laughter rang through the desolate place."
  • In the Harry Potter series, Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. Subverted with Sirius Black, who had one, but turned out to be a good guy. Voldemort's "high, cold, cruel laugh" is one of Harry's earliest memories (immediately after the flash of green light that killed Lily). Quirrell does one after being revealed as a villain at the end of the first book.
  • Doctor Impossible in Soon I Will Be Invincible declares in the narration that he will have the last laugh, "and I have a very good laugh." Damsel says to the other heroes "He's out there somewhere, probably half a kilometer underground. Laughing his freaky laugh. Talking to his robots." When he captures them, he lets it rip.
  • Saint Dane, of The Pendragon Adventure fame, has a trademark laugh that Bobby hates having to listen to — probably in part because half the time, it means he's about to hear how he's been outsmarted this week.
    • While it is normally left to the imagination, there is a spectacularly chilling example from the audio-book of The Rivers of Zadaa. Who knew William Dufris had it in him?
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch Shall Be Born", when Salome's Evil Gloating reveals Taramis' helplessness, both she and her flunky Constantius laugh mockingly.
    • In "The Scarlet Citadel", Pelias' laughter at a dead man is not pleasant. Even his comment that the dead man tortured young men to death doesn't keep Pelias from creepiness — especially since he then proceeds to raise the dead man as a zombie to open the door that he and Conan need to get out. Even when they're on your side, sorcerers in the Conan universe are creepy.
  • Darkness Visible has one rather creepy example, when the heroes have finally captured the villain at the end:
    Sir Michael threw back his head and laughed and laughed. The sound set my teeth on edge, for there was little sanity in it, and it was a twisted mockery of the laugh I knew so well.
  • Mogworld: Dreadgrave's Evil Laugh is described like so:
    “a hearty and insane laugh, about as far removed from polite after dinner laughter as you can get. That was the kind of insane laughter even the truly insane have to practice for years to get right.”
  • In Galaxy of Fear: Spore, Tash's little brother gives one because The Virus is using his body to tell Tash to give up and be assimilated. She's surprised at how sinister he sounds. Lampshaded later.
    "So I have an evil laugh, huh?" Zak asked. He gave a wicked-sounding chuckle.
  • In Murderess, Lu Killer, the protagonist, descended from a family with a reputation of being vicious murderers; the book naturally features In the Blood as a recurrent theme. At one point she accidentally has one in the middle of the snowball fight. She quickly stops in horror, wondering if she’s indeed a killer after all.
  • In Cannon Fodder, it's mentioned that evil laughter is an essential overlord skill. Alec Nightshade can't quite master one, though.

    Multiple Media 
  • Noob:
    • Judge Dead, who's mostly seen onscreen during the Judge, Jury, and Executioner part of his job, is the bad guy from the point of view of any player he need to punish for breaking the rules and knows it. Since he actually enjoys giving out punishments on top of this, it's not surprising to hear him uttter such a laugh right after telling someone he's temporarily or permanently banning them from the game.
    • The comic version of Master Zen has been shown to be prone to this.

    Music 
  • The beginning of the song "Bump In The Night" by Allstars has a talking section similar to the Thriller example above which is followed by an evil laugh.
  • Near the end of Arthur Brown's "Fire". "You're gonna burn! Burn! Burn! Buuuurrrn!!! Ah-hahaha!!!"
  • Peter Murphy's cackle two-thirds of the way through Bauhaus's cover of John Cale's "Rosegarden Funeral of Sores" definitely counts. Crowning Moment of Awesome ensues.
  • Wilfrido Vargas (or someone in his band) does three evil laughs in his band's song "El Vampiro".
  • Cradle of Filth's song A Gothic Romance features a more rarely-heard female Evil Laugh.
    • The last track on their album Damnation and a Day features an evil laugh at the end.
    "And the Earth...was without form...and void. And Darkness...was upon the face of the deep. Mmm hmm hmm heh heh ha ha. AH HA HA HA HA HAA!"
  • David Draiman's laugh at the beginning and end of "Inside the Fire". He does this perfectly live. He also does one in the beginning of "Asylum". From the same album comes "The Infection", which has a more amused, mocking laughter laying parts of the track ("And a thousand voices share their laughter at my demise").
  • Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" usually gets this in live shows.
    • And it has absolutely nothing on the laugh at the end of "Moonchild". Now that's textbook evil laughter.
  • At the end of Metallica's Master of Puppets, a fairly sinister laugh could be heard.
  • Vincent Price ends his section of "Thriller" with a wry evil laugh, arguably doing more to relieve the tension than to amplify it. Man was creepy.
  • "These Hands" by The Damned tells the story of a demented circus clown, ending with the clown throttling someone and a rather fitting evil laugh. And then a slightly irritated "STOP LAUGHING!"
  • Averted with, of all people, The Protomen's version of Dr. Wily. While he does his fair share of Evil Gloating, he never once laughs.
    • Protoman, however, has a particularly good Evil Laugh in the live shows.
  • Ozzy Osbourne does a great evil laughter in "Bark at the Moon" and a smaller one in "Crazy Train". His normal laugh sounds somewhat foreboding and maniacal. Especially when you slap an echo effect on it. Yikes.
  • Gorillaz: De La Soul's manic laughter in Feel Good Inc.
  • Genesis' "Mama"?
  • In Nightwish's "Kinslayer", Tuomas lets out a classic evil laugh.
  • The Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK" begins with one of these.
  • A trademark of Jon Oliva, lead singer of Savatage and Jon Olivas Pain.
  • Till Lindemann doesn't do this often, but when he does, it's enough to make your skin crawl.
  • "Giants" by Five Iron Frenzy opens with one.
  • Ian Gillan lets off a sinister chuckle near the end of Deep Purple's "Speed King".
  • "Easy Money" by King Crimson ends with a rather grotesque evil laugh.
  • The teacher from Pink Floyd's The Wall does one in "The Happiest Days Of Our Lives".
  • Doctor Steel can be heard engaging in one near the end of his self-titled song, "Dr. Steel."
  • "Rockin' in the Graveyard" by '50s rocker Jackie Morningstar.
  • 600,000 Volts (Out Of My Way) from the Phoenix Wright Musical Project features no less than three bouts of this, courtesy of Manfred von Karma. The most impressive one is right at the end. In addition to being hammy as all get out despite its tone of menace, the song contains some spoilers for the end of the first game.
  • Andrew Eldritch lets some echoing ones go in "Lucretia My Reflection".
  • The main chorus of Faith No More's Land Of Sunshine is Mike Patton's sinister, maniacal spine chilling evil laughter while evil circus clown music plays with the words "Does life seems worthwhile to you?" being sung over it.
  • Akiko Shikata does this in Kin'iro no Chousou (related to Umineko no Naku Koro ni). Especially chilling when it comes from her of all people.
  • Creature Feature's song "A Gorey Demise" features one after this part of the song:
    And Z is for Zach
    Who simply went...
    Insane.
    Ahaha...bwahaha!

    Pinball 
  • The Twilight Zone: The Power mocks you with an Evil Laugh if you cannot defeat it before time runs out.
  • In Black Knight, the titular knight laughs if you engage the Magna-Lock but fails to save the ball.
    • In 2000, he does this a lot more.
  • The Master does this in Doctor Who when his bonus (obtained by draining the ball in a specific spot) is awarded.
  • General Yagov does this in F-14 Tomcat, just in case the Russian General Ripper didn't seem evil enough to you.
  • A rare protagonist example: The Shadow himself does this in The Shadow during Vengeance mode, and at the start of Shadow Multiball.
  • The Shredder does this in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • As does Dr. E. Shock of Strange Science.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase's Evil Laugh was so important to his character that it was even part of his entrance music.
  • Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart had an Annoying Laugh that sometimes terrified opponents. His daughter's laugh is almost identical (and was used in her entrance theme for a short while.)
  • The Undertaker has been known to do these before, mostly when he was in his Ministry of Darkness phase. He laughed evilly when abducting Stephanie McMahon, for example.
  • OMEGA trainee Caprice Coleman is a subversion. His laugh, when he full laughs rather than chuckles, is on par with any other example in this section, with his eyes seemingly bulging with malice as he does so, but he tends to slide pretty close to The Paragon without dropping this characteristic.
  • Ultimo Dragon's most frequent form of communication in WCW, especially after dropping people on their heads.
  • Yoshihiro Tajiri in Impact Championship Wrestling while celebrating the injuries he inflicted on Low Ki.
  • You beat TAKA Michinoku? He thinks not! For you are not the first WWF light heavyweight champion! For you are not fast nor focused nor strong! For you are not Japanese! And you are most certainly are not EEEVVVVIIILLLLLLL!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!note 
  • Even when shown as the good guy, Kane is likely to do this at the end of his promos. He didn't become a true bona fide psycho until he was unmasked, though, his first masked run being largely silent altogether.
  • The late Larry Sweeney of Ring of Honor and CHIKARA fame had a naturally boisterous laugh that he used to great effect when playing the Heel.
  • Appropriately enough, this was Toshie Uematsu's response when she saw Nanae Takahashi crying over the fact Uematsu had chosen REM(Real Evil Makers) over the Dream Catches.
  • Vickie Guerrero began a habit of doing this during her feud for the Miss WrestleMania title, and this was practically her second catchphrase as SmackDown!'s official consultant.
  • Awesome Kong, or Kharma, when she was in WWE. It was her Leitmotif.

    Puppet Shows 
  • On Sesame Street, The Count would famously laugh in a somewhat sinister fashion after counting things out, accompanied by thunder and lightning. "I will now count these letters to myself! One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Five letters! Ah ha ha!"
    • It was originally a lot more maniacal, but was toned down to avoid frightening children away from learning to count.
  • Mr. Meaty.

    Radio 
  • Adventures in Odyssey: Dr. Regis Blackgaard has a memorable evil laugh that was quite effective in small doses. When he appears in the "Darkness Before Dawn" arc, you can hear bits of it trying to escape at certain points, but he holds it in until he finally takes over Whit's End.
    • A minute before the scene in question, he and his underling, Mr. Glossman, actually share a laugh together. The contrast makes him sound positively demented.
    • In a later episode, we learn that while his twin brother Edwin may be merely a hammy actor with an inflated ego, he has the laugh in his repertoire as well.
  • The Shadow is another example of a hero using the evil laugh — in his case, as psychological warfare. After all, maniac laughter from nowhere is unnerving, and criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot...
  • The French summer radio show Les Persifleurs du Mal (Deadpan Snarkers from Hell) uses the Evil Laugh in its opening credits. It fits the show's general tone and what they do to some of the people they invite...

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • During Ross Noble's Randomist show an audience member admits he's looking at his watch because "he has to get up in the morning" and a lone woman laughs in a way that startles both Ross and the rest of the audience.
    Ross: "Don't know why she's laughing like a mad woman. [as the woman] [maniac laughter] He won't be waking up to-morrow."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has "Tasha's Uncontrollable Hideous Laughter", a spell that can give any character the opportunity to let one of these fly. Also, a monster called the Gibbering Mouther has the evil laugh threaded through the cacophony of its constant utterances.
  • Ravenloft:
    • Esan the Mad, the Darklord of Vechor, not only has an Evil Laugh, but when he desires to seal the borders of his domain (a power that most darklords have) anyone who tries to leave Vechor against his wishes is struck by hideous, demonic laughter that only the victim that hear, which eventually drives the victim insane (in game terms, it causes Wisdom damage) unless he stops trying to leave Vechor.
    • One of the special powers of the Bone Golem is to unleash a terrifying laugh that can slay any living being who hears it and fails both a fear and a horror check.
  • The Witch class in Pathfinder can acquire the Cackle ability, which does nothing in and of itself, but extends the duration of a wide variety of nasty hexes. With some practice (i.e. Feats), you will be cackling non-stop, all the while laying down more hexes.
  • Chaos in Warhammer 40,000 specializes in this; most Traitor Marines having been turned batshit insane over ten thousand years of war and slaughter and the mind-warping effects of the Immaterium. Dawn of War has Chaos Marines randomly break down and cackle occasionally.
  • Mwahahaha!, naturally. It's a card game of mad scientists competing to conquer the world. You start small with your superweapon, only threatening cities and states (and can set the weapon off on places that fail to bow before you, making it easier to issue threats later when you show it's not a bluff). Naturally, it's a lot more fun if everyone hams it up.

    Theater 
  • Damn Yankees has Applegate sing the Villain Song, "The Good Old Days", which, while sounding a lot like an inspirational song in the way it is sung, has Applegate laughing evilly in between stanzas.
  • The title character in Mozart and Da Ponte's Don Giovanni has a very unsettling laugh in the beginning of act two.
  • Older Than Radio: The aria "Vous qui faites l'endormie", from Faust by Charles Gounod, has a number of evil laughs written into the score. This is perhaps unsurprising, as it's sung by Mephistopheles.
  • The title role in Gilbert&Sullivan's "The Mikado" has some improvised Evil Laughs in between verses in his song about the CoolAndUnusualPunishments he's concocted.
  • In Act One of the The Phantom of the Opera, the Phantom breaks out in evil laughter when he ruins Carlotta's performance and later crashes the chandelier. Michael Crawford really makes the most of both occasions on the original cast album.
  • Though the Wicked Witch of the West is portrayed sympathetically in Wicked (and given the name Elphaba), she still gets her trademark cackle when Glinda slaps her.
  • Alberich in Richard Wagner's Ring cycle lets loose with an Evil Laugh occasionally, particularly in Siegfried, when Mime gets killed. Gustav Neidlinger pulled off a memorable one at the end of scene one of Das Rheingold on the classic Decca recording with Sir Georg Solti.
  • Iago traditionally lets out an evil laugh at the end of his Villain Song "Credo in un dio crudel" in Giuseppe Verdi's Otello, even though the laugh isn't written in the score or script.
  • 'Dog Eat Dog' from Les Misérables is sometimes punctuated by evil laughter
  • There are certain opportunities for Graf von Krolock to let out evil laughter in Tanz Der Vampire, such as the end of Act 1.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni does this even in the middle of his songs! Jessie and James also get a few, such as partway through "It Will All Be Mine."

     Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • M in Shikkoku No Sharnoth only ever emotes when he has destroyed one of the Metacreatures. When he does, he launches into a full blown evil laugh. Mary is quite disturbed.
  • Dr. Shuu in Hatoful Boyfriend has a distinctive "Ho ho ho ho ho..." chuckle. Which is actually pretty decent onomatopoeia for the real call of a Chukar Partridge.
  • Many, many protagonists gone Ax-Crazy in Higurashi: When They Cry, including the one pictured above. Yes, it's creepy. Shion hands down, though, seems to erupt into evil laughter a lot, specifically the 5-8 episode arc. In fact, someone even made a ten-minute long loop of her laughing in the anime when Rika dies in a later arc. Have fun sleeping tonight, by the way.
    • Rena is prominent for crazy laughing, too.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
  • Monokuma and his trademark "Upupu..." giggle, which was changed to "Puhuhu..." in the English dub. (Special points for when he slowly drags it out. "Puu...hoo...hoo.") Either way it can devolve into a full-blown Evil Laugh if he feels like it. Likewise his controller, Junko Enoshima.
    • Nagito creeped the hell out of everyone in the cast and a lot of the players with his unhinged laugh when the veneer of sanity first broke in the sequel.
  • In Jimmy Neutron vs. Jimmy Negatron, Jimmy Negatron has one. Jimmy Neutron imitates it early on to trick Negatron's henchman.

    Web Animation 
  • In the "Mental Floss" web animation Be Amazing!, around 3:12 — "Maniacally, I said! MANIACALLY!"
  • In the Halo 3 machinima, Deus Ex Machina, a villain starts laughing because he's supposed to be a robotic time-gasbomb; when it turns out to be a dud, he plays a looping laugh sound. Yes, it is creepy.
    • Another earlier villain chuckles to himself in a completely normal manner. Since he is laughing about the hero's imminent doom, it still feels very evil.
  • Although he's gone a long way since his villain status, Strong Bad from Homestar Runner has a pretty neat — if seldom used — laugh (seen in "dragon" and "Most In The Graveyard").
  • In Red vs. Blue, the main antagonist, O'Mally, often laughs in an extremely over the top way, once with a bit of lampshading when he's trying to stay undercover by possesing a Blue.
    O'Mally: Everyone has played right into our hands! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!!!1
    Everyone Else: [Stares]
    O'Mally: Okay maybe that was a little loud.
  • Your competitor in Coffee Rush 2 has an evil laugh in practically every introduction scene he appears in.
  • The gopher in Fairway Solitaire 2 has an interestingly Chip-and-Dale version of an evil laugh.
  • Happy Tree Friends:
  • In If The Emperor Had A Text To Speech Device, Karamazov lets out a long, evil laugh when he finally manages to reach Eternity Gate.
  • This is pretty much a given for The Unicorn in Pinkie Pie's Exciting Adventure, as he is the main antagonist. Though he's only done a voice acted one once, as the others were via use of an Invoker voice clip from Dota 2.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Hadriex has been known to indulge in these. His friend in the black lab coat even more so.
  • Gordon does an amusing one, actually.
  • Dr. Horrible opens Act I with his unbelievably artificial maniacal laughter. Hey, he's working on it (with a voice coach).
    • For his views on the evil laugh, see the quote page.
    • He gets it extremely right in Act III.
    • And then there's Bad Horse, the leader of The Evil League of Evil, with his "terrible death whinny".
  • From Gaia Online. Johnny. K. Gambino. Lampshaded in a later story update where Johnny, stuck in a rut, says he just doesn't have the passion for the Bwahaha stuff anymore. Another lampshade happens when the Sentinel uses the same laugh, and Johnny complains that she's stealing his routine.
    • Among the site's staff, Qixter, the main dev for zOMG!, makes himself out as an Evil Overlord, complete with Evil Laughter. His trademark quote is "Can I get a Bwuhahaha?" This quote makes it into the description of the item at the end of the game.
  • Parodied by Adam in Maddison Atkins episode 9, and also demonstrated by Maddison in episode 38.
  • Mysteriously, this article on That Other Wiki.
  • The best use of YouTube yet is broadcasting an Evil Laugh competition.
  • Jermaine of Awkward. has one that's equal parts evil and douchey, in part because he copped it from Ganondorf, but mostly because, well, he's a douchebag.
  • Used for parodic purposes in the French MP3 series Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk by the dark wizard Zangdar. It does not help that he is incompetent and brutal towards his minions and servants.
  • After the Critic is defeated in Kickassia, The Nostalgia Chick and The Cinema Snob.
    Nostalgia Critic: Hey, look, I found a credit card. (Beat) MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
    • Mara Wilson pulls off an epic one in the review of A Simple Wish while antagonising the critic with embarssing home videos of himself after he criticised her acting. Heck she even gets red ,demonic eye glow
  • Atop the Fourth Wall's Linkara pulls one at the end of his Ultimates 3 review. Magnificent, Mr. Lovhaug.
  • Dr. Insano of The Spoony Experiment has a classic Mad Scientist laugh, and he also lampshades the trope in Spoony's review of The Clones Of Bruce Lee, in which villain Dr. Nye (no, not THAT Nye) is a little too laugh-happy.
    Dr. Insano: You can't just start laughing maniacally at the end of every sentence! You have to earn it! You have to say something dramatic, like "soon we will conquer Thailand, and tomorrow THE WORLD!"
    Dr. Nye: (in movie) Today we conquer Thailand, and tomorrow THE ENTIRE WORLD! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
    (Insano, Spoony, and the Spoony Bum start laughing maniacally)
    Dr. Insano: SHUT UP!!!
  • Played straight and lampshaded in the Whateley Universe story "Test Tube Babies" when the woman playing the bad guy in the holographic simulation turns out to be a real retired supervillainess who terrorized three continents during the Cold War.
    "But of course, Herr Bardue. In the last sim, I didn't even haff time to give zem my evil laugh.” She clenched her fists and looked at the ceiling. “BWA-HA-HA-HAH!"
  • Played for laughs by Chester Cheetah here.
  • Members of the league of evil villains opposed to The League of S.T.E.A.M. engage in one at the end of "Dead End".
  • Simon starts doing an over-the-top evil laugh when he becomes a Dastardly Whiplash cartoon villain toward the end of The Cartoon Man.
  • WatchMojo's Top 10 Evil Movie Laughs (repeating several examples on this page).
  • Turpster is very fond of this in sessions of Garry's Mod. He actually uses this for psych-out warfare, which sometimes works in his favour. One good example comes from here, though it gives him away.
    Ross: Something's really tickling him. Something's really tickled you, hasn't it buddy?
  • While she isn't evil herself, Titli of Titli's Busy Kitchen has broken out into hilariously frightening evil laughs before, perhaps her finest when unleashing the fire of her caramelizing torch upon several bowls of Creme Catalina.

    Real Life 
  • Tom Cruise, in his infinite wisdom, suddenly went bonkers in an interview with him that veered into a discussion of his place in the Church of Scientology. Amongst "pew-pew"esque noises directed at "SP's", the man began laughing crazily. Naturally, the Church tried to get the video taken down, however...
  • Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals unleashes a textbook example of this trope in a CCM Hockey skates commercial. See for yourself.
  • Jim Jones, infamous leader of the Peoples' Temple cult, was known to have a seriously disturbing laugh that sounded like something in between cackling and hyperventilating.
  • Tamara Chambers of The Nostalgia Critic has a laugh that sounds naturally diabolical. In fact, the evil laugh she made in the review of The Wicker Man was just an outtake...
  • There are other real people who laugh like this. And people who usually have "normal" laughs may sound like this while hysterical.
  • Steve Carrel unleashes a good one Played for Laughs after someone asked the Daily Show panel he's on whether the interviewees know they are going to be laughed at later: Ha Ha Ha! THEY HAVE NO IDEA! WE JUST SCREW WITH THEM! HA HA HA HA HA!
    • And they watch it later and CRYYYYY!
  • Zhawq, a psychopathic blogger, suggests the stereotype of an evil laugh may have come from psychopaths like him, who love to laugh and may laugh at things that horrify most people.
  • Vincent Price was the master of the evil laugh, as demonstrated in any number of horror movies.
  • Voice actor Anonymous 13 B is quite good at this, seeing as he's usually voicing villains.
  • Idi Amin, the former Ugandan dictator.
  • In his last ever video log, the Isla Vista shooter Elliot Rodger chuckled more than once as he detailed his plan to enter a sorority house and massacre all of the girls inside.


"Muahaha..."
"Oh, come on, put some oomph into it! 'MUAAAAAAHHHH—HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!'"


Alternative Title(s):

Evil Laughter, Crazy Laugh