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Laugh with Me
Guitierrez: Mm-hmm-hmm, ha ha ha ha ha! Laugh with me, Jocko... Laugh with me!
Jocko: EEEEEEEEEE! EEEEEEEEEEEE!

The Big Bad has the princess locked in his tower, the hero is in a death trap, and he is moments away from taking over the world. He is surrounded by his minions so it's the perfect time for a little Evil Gloating followed by a nice, hearty Evil Laugh. He belts one out but stops once he realizes he is the only one laughing. Where's his Contagious Laughter? He will immediately let his Mooks know, probably through verbal means, that they need to join in. Getting the message, the henchmen start laughing and continue to do so until it's okay to stop.

Then, the villain might tell them to shut up after a few moments.

Sometimes the villain might even persuade the captured hero to join in the fun, to get everybody in the room laughing like idiots for no real reason. See also Actually Pretty Funny for when there actually is a reason to laugh.

This trope is typically Played for Laughs and is a parody of the Evil Laugh trope. Contrast the Everybody Laughs Ending, which may still seem contrived but isn't forced.

Compare Tension-Cutting Laughter, often used in a similar way; in that case, the other people are laughing out of genuine relief that the boss is amused, as it looked like he might go another way.


Examples

Anime
  • Lady Aska in Magic Knight Rayearth (and a Noblewoman's Laugh to boot).
  • Naga in Slayers teaches a couple of villain of the week in the OVA to laugh an evil and noble laugh like her. By the end of the episode, the three laugh together in a twilight.

Comics

Fan Works

Film
  • In the first Austin Powers movie, Dr. Evil starts an Evil Laugh alone. He doesn't say anything but instead, he turns to his henchpeople and beckons that they join in. They soon start laughing together in a very awkward manner. The problem is, they're not quite sure when to stop, and no one wants to be the first to stop laughing... great awkwardness ensues.
  • A non-villain example in The Great Race when The Great Leslie and Hezekiah meet Crown Prince Hoepnick. The prince makes several jokes, each time gesturing for the crowd to laugh, which they dutifully do. At one point Hezekiah keeps laughing after every one else stops, until The Great Leslie elbows him in the ribs. Watch it here, starting at 0:20.
  • In Labyrinth, Jareth the Goblin King laughs just before the "Dance Magic" sequence. He quickly notices that his goblins are not joining in and asks, "... Well?" The goblins start laughing, only for him to quiet them down for his song.
  • In UHF, when R.J. Fletcher starts laughing, the two managers under him realize, after a short pause, that they'd better start forcing themselves to laugh along with him.
  • Evil Dead 2: After a while of torturing Ash, the entire house comes to life and starts laughing at him. Ash quickly gets swept up in it, and not long after starts sobbing in pain.
  • In The Muppets, the antagonist was unable to laugh but that did not stop him from leaning over to his henchmen and simply saying "maniacal laugh" whenever he wanted them to crack up.
  • In Shrek, Farquaad and Fiona's wedding comes with placards telling the congregation how to react. When it's revealed Shrek has feelings for Fiona, the guards turn them over to say "Laugh".

Live-Action TV
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Raj goes to work for Sheldon. Sheldon plays one of his awkward pranks on Raz and after informing him of the fact that he was joking, mentions, "I'm your boss now. You may want to laugh at that."
  • Doctor Who
    • In the episode "A Christmas Carol", Kazran does this and follows it up with a "That was funny!"
    • Earlier than that in the episode "Dalek", Van Statten's "in-tru-da window" joke is met with dead silence, to which he clarifies "In-tru-da window, that's funny!" at which point his goons get the message and join in.
  • In the DVD Commentary, Ian Hislop suggests that part of the reason for Piers Morgan's notoriously awful appearance on Have I Got News for You was that as Editor of the Mirror he'd been able to enforce this trope, and consequently believed himself to be very funny. Notably, he actually tries to bully the audience into this, but since they're not his Mooks it obviously doesn't work.
  • In Scrubs, after finding out his interns don't really find his jokes funny, he tells them to only laugh when they are. When they stop laughing at his jokes, he orders them to start laughing with him again when he makes jokes.
  • Subverted in Angel when Darla teases Lindsey and she and Drusilla start laughing at him. Lilah isn't told to, but starts laughing with them. She promptly gets a "Shut up" from Darla and a "Shh.." from Drusilla.

Video Games
  • Metal Gear
  • This trope is actually Played for Drama in Higurashi: When They Cry's PS2-only Tsukiotoshi-hen. After Keiichi, Rena, and Shion all kill Satoko's uncle, Satoko finds out and basically yells "What the Hell, Hero??!" at everyone involved. This upsets Keiichi, and so after they all get back to his house, both Rena and Shion try comforting him by telling him to laugh and looking progressively more insane and threatening. He finally goes along with it, indicating his tenuous grip on sanity at this point.

    Its sequel, Umineko: When They Cry, also plays this for drama, though a bit differently. In Alliance, when Kasumi Sumadera has trapped Ange and is tearing through Maria's grimoire, laughing at her spells, she comes upon the image of Sakutaro, cracks up, rips it in half, and demands that all of her henchmen also laugh at it. This time it's used more to underline her pathetic, bullying behavior.
  • In City of Villains, up-and-coming Mad Scientist Vernon von Grun frequently invites the player character to do this.

Webcomics
  • Inverted in The Order of the Stick. Xykon proclaims that his goals will be achieved soon, Red Cloak and Mit-D laugh. Redcloak asks why Xykon doesn't laugh.
    Xykon: Actually, ever since I became a lich, I haven't been able to get the same volume in my evil laughter since I technically don't have lungs.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender :
    Guard at the Boiling Rock: Well, isn't that cute. (Beat) I said, isn't that cute?
    Zuko: Um, yes! Very cute, sir.
    Sokka: Super cute.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, there is a boss man who wants to capture LIVE Rainbow Monkeys and do some horrible thing with/to them that is never mentioned:
    Boss: And then, we'll take those Rainbow Monkeys, and... *whispers to henchman Simon, they both laugh*
    Boss: Shut up Simon!
    Simon: Yes, sir...
  • The Trope Namer comes from Freakazoid!. The eponymous hero's eventual Evil Counterpart, Guitierrez, would often laugh while surrounded by his cohorts. He would then gleefully tell them, "Laugh with me." Keep in mind, Guitierrez was voiced by Ricardo Montalban in full-on Khan-mode.
  • Inspector Gadget has an inversion: Dr. Claw frequently punishes his cat for laughing with him.
  • In Kick Buttowski, Gordon Gibble snaps his fingers every time he want his henchmen to laugh at something he just said. Ronaldo demands the same thing from his pit crew the episode "Mellowbrook Drift". At one point he says: "Laugh harder!" On another occasion, he stops them, stating "It wasn't that funny!"
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 subverts this in that the Big Bad asks The Hero to laugh with him. He does so and then questions why he's laughing.
  • In one episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot Smitus monologues about his evil plan and then lets out an evil laugh, while his minions just stare. He gives them an icy glare and says, "You laugh too." The minions all start laughing themselves silly, so much so that they accidentally let the episode's Applied Phlebotinum out of their ship's airlock.
  • Non-villainous example in The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma", Homer is forced to borrow money from Patty and Selma. They agree to help him out on the condition that he become their slave until he repays the debt. They then begin smirking and laughing, and Homer chuckles a little with them at first. Eventually he starts to genuinely laugh more so than those two, who then get a little annoyed at him.
  • Non-laugh variation: the "Shanghaied" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants has the Flying Dutchman take Spongebob and Patrick onboard as his crew. When he demands that they "howl with me, that we might set the seven seas, ABLAZE with fear!", they comply with various ridiculous noises, until he finally gives up on making them scary.
  • "You're not laughing, Stiletto. Why aren't you laughing?"
  • In B.O.B.'s Big Break, from Monsters Versus Aliens, Dr. Cockroach laughs evilly after B.O.B. ends up getting the power to read minds and then tells Link and B.O.B., "Come on, laugh with me!" Dr. Cockroach and B.O.B., reading Dr. Cockroach's mind, laugh evilly while Link just rolls his eyes.

Real Life
  • Legend has it that Emperor Faustin of Haiti got his imperial chamberlain to say "His Majesty is now laughing; my lords, you are invited to laugh as well" every time he cracked a joke.

Laugh TrackLaughter TropesMirthless Laughter
Last Chance to QuitSpeeches and MonologuesLet Me Tell You a Story
Laughably EvilEvil TropesLawful Evil
Kneel Before ZodEvil GloatingMotive Rant
Laugh TrackComedy TropesThe Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay

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