Giggling Villain

"I HAVE CHORTLES!"

Not all villains manage to develop an Evil Laugh. Some, for reasons known only to themselves, prefer to giggle. This can become highly disturbing, making the villain more evil or creepier than if they'd just done a straight-out "Muhahaha!" It's especially creepy when the villain is male, but a giggle from that otherwise dark and grim lady is also a very bad sign, since it's generally amusement at the prospect of hurting you. Badly. And Your Little Dog Too.

Oddly enough, it can work out for those bad guys who wouldn't be able to carry off a full-throated, maniacal laugh. Or even for those who can, as it provides some contrast between appearance and laugh. One suspects that these villains know exactly how unsettling it is... and derive much pleasure from creeping people out. See also Laughing Mad and The Hyena.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker uses giggles when it suits him. Full on maniacal laughter when it doesn't.
    • However, it's Frank Gorshin's take on the Riddler with his maniacal giggle on 1960s Batman series that is the real classic.
    • Mark Hamill states that he uses these quite often to change up his version of Mr. J to keep it from getting stale. In an interview, he even admitted to practicing his giggles while driving on the freeway.
  • Griffin in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. An already creepy characteristic is made worse by the fact that it seems to be coming from nowhere.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Featured once in Dungeon Keeper Ami and played for both humor and Fridge Horror. Marda, a rebellious troll leader had insulted and defied Mercury on multiple occasions, had to be disciplined. Mercury sent her on what ammounted to a suicide mission, teleporting her off alone with no time at all to prepare, and with no backup (there was little on the island in question that could actually pose a threat to the powerful Marda, but most of her othe minions wouldn't realize that). Mercury then scrys on her to discover that she is already plastered with mud and drenched in a torrential downpour. When Mercury comes back to herself, one of her advisors informs her that 'the giggle was a nice touch'. Except, Mercury dosen't remember giggleing, and the nature of being a keeper makes this worrisome.
    • And of course, there's always Mukrezar.

    Films — Animated 
  • From The Road to El Dorado, Tzekel-Kan, the high priest. As he is already both comically hammy and scarily eager to perform human sacrifices and see the townspeople horribly killed, his giggling walks a fine line between creepy and hilarious.
  • While Jafar from Aladdin has a full Evil Laugh once he becomes a sorcerer, his laughter shortly after discovering Aladdin has the lamp qualifies.
  • Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective. Vincent Price even went on record saying Ratigan was his favorite role of all time, mainly because he got to play one of these.
  • Alameda Slim from Disney's Home on the Range has a very annoying, yet somewhat still creepy-sounding giggle.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The title characters in Duumvirate can do the Evil Laugh, but far more often they just do some version of this.
  • This trope is at least half the reason many fans of Harry Potter hate Dolores Umbridge more than the series Big Bad. It's even worse in the movie version, thanks to Imelda Staunton's magnificent performance. There's tales of viewers with the powerful urge to somehow find a way to leap through the screen and punch her, if not worse.
  • In "Guilty Pleasures," the first novel in Laurel K. Hamilton's 'Anita Blake Vampire Hunter' book series, the character Nikolaos is both a cruel and considerably powerful one-thousand-year-old master vampire. Her character was noted several times to giggle as she tortured and tormented, not laugh.
  • Zabulon, leader of the Day Watch's Dark Others in the Night Watch series, breaks into a giggle every so often. It serves as a warning sign that you've just screwed up in trying to counter his tactics, or that events have progressed into the category of utterly weird.
  • Stephen King's Randall Flagg is fond of this, especially in his The Dark Tower incarnation. Coupled with his Slasher Smile and deathly pallor, he manages to creep the hell out of the poor bit-part villains in Wizard and Glass.
  • Discworld: Mr. Teatime, especially in the movie.
    • IIRC, in one of the Discworld books Mad Lord Snapcase is described as having a Psychopathic Manchildish snigger that was more terrifying than any booming Evil Laugh.
      • Also used in Equal Rites, where the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions indulged in evil snickering during one of Esk's nightmares.
      • Duke Felmet in Wyrd Sisters alternates between blank stares and manic giggling.
  • At the end of The Pilo Family Circus, Kurt Pilo, undergoing a Villainous Breakdown and mutating due to badly-restrained anger starts chuckling and giggling to himself: "Oh hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo... Well now, well now, isn't this something? Someone's having a laugh... oh ho ho ha ha... There's, ha ha, traitors, and I'm..."
  • Wilson Kemp from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of The Greek Interpreter". He terrifies the poor Greek interpreter far more than the threats of physical violence.
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf and his girlfriend, Esme, become an extreme and ridiculous version of this in The Grim Grotto. Working on perfecting their evil laughs, they ended up with things like "Ha ha heepa heepa ho!" "Tee hee terrycloth!" "Giggle giggle glandular problems!
  • From Robin McKinely's Sunshine: One of the vampires in Bo's gang giggles; it's how the titular character recognizes him in a later encounter.
  • The men with no pain from the Inheritance Cycle madly giggle in battle.
  • Shadowthrone from the Malazan Book of the Fallen is dramatic, partially insane (albeit Crazy Awesome) and prone to erupting into fits of the giggles at least once in most of his appearances. Though by the last book, while no one could ever really call him "good", he does prove rather less than villainous after it's revealed that he masterminded most of the plot's resolution in order to cement his place among the gods.
  • Varys from A Song of Ice and Fire, who may very well not be a villain at all.
  • In Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die, we see how Mr. Big's henchman Tee-Hee got his name, as he giggles while breaking James Bond's finger.

    Live Action TV 

    Music 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Mistress Glenda Lee, retainer of Monster Pain, and later, Los Rabiosos in the World Wrestling League. Relatively deep voice, very high pitched giggle.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Spoony's Dr. Insano character laughs like this. It'd be terrifying if it wasn't so damn funny.
  • Pretty Pink Ponytails in Angel Of Death, which feeds into her Creepy Child persona.
  • This parody of Dr. Seuss DEFINITELY qualifies.
  • Invoked in one Evil FTW.
  • Dr. Horrible in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog actively practices his "evil laugh" (with a vocal coach, no less) to avert this and develop something manly-sounding that people will take seriously.
    Dr. Horrible: You think Bad Horse didn't work on his whinny? His terrible death whinny?
  • Roman Torchwick of RWBY lets out a number of maniacal cackles during his battle with Blake and Sun in Episode 16.

    Western Animation 
  • Professor Princess from Transformers Animated. All the time.
  • From Beast Wars, Tarantulas is rarely heard without his creepy little chuckle.
    • Waspinator qualifies as well, just not nearly as often.
  • Marceline from Adventure Time.
  • The Clown in the animated adaptation of Spawn
  • While the Changeling Queen In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic can certainly pull off a full blown Evil Laugh, she does giggle creepily when she is amused.
  • Chef Hatchet from Total Drama is normally a chuckling villain; however, he has pulled off impressive evil laughs from time to time.
  • The Troublesome Trucks from Thomas the Tank Engine would always giggle and laugh like chipmunks whenever they've caused an engine pulling them to fall into an accident and teasing them for their misfortunes. The engines would more than often tell the trucks to be quiet.
  • The Witch in Bubble Guppies' fairy tale episode.
  • In Wakfu, after Qilby the Traitor reveals himself as the Big Bad of season two he becomes very prone to fits of giggling, Slasher Smiles, and mad laughter.
  • The villain Smilzo from Buzzatto's "West and Soda" giggles a lot.
  • Robin in Young Justice plays with this trope. He's a hero, but he unnerves the villains by giggling from the shadows.