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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:

    open/close all folders 

    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.

    Film 
  • Peter Lorre belongs at the top of this list. Even his characters that were not villains were creepy, due in no small part to his distinctive voice and laugh.
  • Next is Richard Widmark's Psycho for Hire Tommy Udo from Kiss of Death, who likes sending old women in wheelchairs on short but exciting trips down the stairs. So much so that he inspired Frank Gorshin's portrayal of the Riddler in Batman.
  • From Kill Bill, we have Gogo Yubari, normally a blankfaced psychopath in schoolgirl attire. Upon being asked to walk away from battle with the Bride, she gives a giggle that would be cute, if we hadn't already seen her utter insanity...and commences trying to beat the Bride up with a meteor hammer.
  • Dr. Giggles...as should be apparent.
  • Nazi Agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The moment he says "We...h-huh...we are...heh-heh...not thirsty..." you know nothing's beneath him. He lets more giggles rip when Indy and Marion are sealed in a tomb.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Lao Che. "To the poison you just drank!" Cue chortles.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has Pavi Largo. His giggle is so cute and effeminate, it's hard to believe he's actually something of a monster.
  • The aptly-named "Giggler" from the Charles Bronson film Death Wish 3.
  • Asami from Audition giggles like a schoolgirl as she's cutting off her lover's feet with Razor Floss.
  • Renfield in Dracula (1931) has one of the goofiest laughs ever, and man is it ever creepy.
  • 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.
  • In Live and Let Die, this is, unsurprisingly, the case with Kananga's henchman Tee Hee.
  • In King Of New York, Laurence Fishburne plays The Dragon as a giggling villain. It seems to be something between a nervous tic and an occasional psychotic break.
  • In the 2010 Clash of the Titans, Medusa laughs frequently as she battles Perseus' squad.
  • Robert Englund's mercenary character in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane giggles maniacally every time he makes an appearance.
  • The Toon Patrol in Who Framed Roger Rabbit fit this trope, particularly Psycho, who has a very distinct giggle compared to the other weasels.
  • Esteban Rojo from A Fistful of Dollars whenever someone is being tortured.
  • Romero from Escape from New York, added with a heavy dollop of Ambiguously Gay.
  • Calder from Prince of Darkness. A Scary Black Man with a Badass Baritone who makes high pitched giggles after being Touched by Vorlons makes for serious creepiness.
  • Nigel from Rio.
  • Whats Up Tiger Lily features a giggling black thug in the Japanese film's first fight scene. His creepy laughter is carried over into Woody Allen's Gag Dub.

    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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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".
  • 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 

    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.
  • 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?

    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.
  • While Jafar from Aladdin has a full Evil Laugh once he becomes a sorcerer, his laughter shortly after discovering Aladdin has the lamp qualifies.
  • 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.
  • Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective, big time. Vincent Price even went on record saying Ratigan was his favorite role of all time, mainly because he got to play one of these.
  • 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.


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