"So much has been done — more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation..."
Magic: The Gathering features Niv-Mizzet, leader of the red/blue Izzet faction in the Ravnica block. Combines the raw power, volatility, and vanity of a dragon with the intelligence and madness of a Mad Scientist.
There have been many Mad Scientists throughout the game, including Momir Vig from the same arc, Yawgmoth (before hegot worse), Gatha, and Urza, a rare example of a sympathetic Mad Scientist.
While not a legendary character, Innistrad adds Laboratory Maniac to the long line of mad scientists in Magic. He perhaps takes the "mad" part more literally than most; in terms of flavor, your library represents your magical knowledge, and running out of cards in your library causes you to lose because you've lost your mind, but the Maniac's ability makes it so that running out of library cards causes you to win instead, so you win by going insane.
Being gothic horror-themed, Innistrad is pretty much full to the brim with Frankenstein imitators. Most of them don't get their own cards, but their creations do. Consider the visionary Ludevic, for instance, or Stitcher Geralf.
Dungeon Keeper Ami: Invoked. Ami's favorite running gag is dressing up in a white lab coat, flipping a large power switch and laughing maniacly; all in good fun.
In Brutal Harry Hermione's uncle George Granger's reaction to being told that magic existed was mad laughter followed by shouting "THERE WILL BE! SO MUCH SCIENCE!"
Rise Of The Chosen: In this Mega Man ZX fanfic, the OC Lateral is the Guardians' resident scientist. 99-percent nutter and 1-percent rational, the people who can put up with her eccentric and scatterbrained personality can be counted on one hand.
Twilight Sparkle in Pages Of Harmony is very much this, having an entire multi-roomed laboratory to extract the genetic essence of the Elements of Harmony from her friends.
In Altered Histories Harry saw a goblin healer called Fangcutter who wore a bloodstained lab coat and possessed some rather dubious instruments, cut Harry's skull open to remove the scar Horcrux while he was conscious and performed unspecified "experiments" after Harry was finally rendered unconscious due to another medical procedure.
The Cadanceverse version of Carrot Top is a comedic mad scientist, always seeking new improvements in farming and food development, usually with hilarious results when things go wrong.
Eugenesis explicitly labels the Guardian droids, each of which has an annoying tendency to be ludicrously overpowered and liable to turn on its creators on a dime, as the creations of Wheeljack.
Films — Animation
The scientist from the original 1950 movie The Fly was the inspiration for Dr. Cockroach in Monsters vs. Aliens. Despite what he did to himself, and his lack of mental stability, he is a fairly amicable guy, and is actually one of the good guys.
"I'm not a quack, I'm a mad scientist!"
The title alien in Megamind tries to engage in villainy by being a mad scientist, but despite his incredible gadgetry his attempt is more style than substance.
Dr. Jumba Jookiba from Lilo & Stitch (although he prefers to be called an "Evil Genius"). Actually, his trial is what got the movie going.
Syndrome from The Incredibles. Created rocket boots before he hit puberty, as part of a youthful desire to become a crime-fighter. But when his hero told him to back off, he spent more than a decade plotting against all the heroes-in-hiding and killing them off one by one. His ultimate goal is to sell his inventions for profit to make superheroes obsolete, after he'll grow bored of being a "superhero". His hair wasn't the only thing about him that was loco.
Films — Live-Action
Most of the traditional image of the Mad Scientist probably derives from various adaptations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, especially the 1931 movie: "It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!" The original book is wildly different — see below.
The 1931 Frankenstein and other horror films of the time also drew heavily for their portrayals of mad scientists on Rotwang in Fritz Lang's classic 1927 SF film Metropolis. Rotwang, in turn, draws on the Mad Scientist depictions of Frankenstein in nineteenth-century stage melodrama.
It's worth pointing out that Rotwang from Metropolis is not only the earlier Trope Maker, but was himself largely inspired by the popularity of the wild-haired, heavily accented Einstein and other "eccentric German physicists" at the time who were upending people's notions of the limits of science in an unsettling manner. They helped inspire the image of the Reluctant Mad Scientist who is obsessed with his research and doesn't really expect it to be misused.
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!: Dr. Putrid T. Gangrene qualifies, what with his diabolical plans to conquer the world with giant killer tomatoes, tomatoes turned into people, people turned into tomatoes, etc., etc. Don't call him mad, though. HE IS NOT MAD. A little angry sometimes, but not mad!
The Back to the Future trilogy has Emmett L. Brown, who is a bit more cuddly than your average Mad Scientist. Then again, this is the man who stole weapons grade plutonium from Libyan terrorists and promised to build them a nuke (he lied).
Dr. Brown: They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn gave them a shoddy bomb-casing full of used pinball machine parts!
Day of the Dead (1985). Dr. Matthew Logan, nicknamed "Frankenstein" by the soldiers. He is so obsessed with his work he fails to consider how the soldiers will react to him cutting up their deceased comrades for his experiments.
Vincent Price in Edward Scissorhands might just be the kindliest Mad Scientist ever. His second-most-impressive creation (after Edward) is a giant cookie-making machine. And he creates Edward with the expressed desire to see if it's possible to make an artificial being with human love. And then amuses both of them with silly poetry later. Aw!
The Woody Allen comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask has a nt featuring Dr. Bernardo, a mad sex analyst whose experiments include measuring premature ejaculation on a hippopotamus and building a 400-foot diaphragm. ("Contraception for the entire nation at once!") The segment ends with Allen's character battling one of the doctor's creations — a gigantic, disembodied human breast.
Seth Brundle in the 1980's remake of The Fly, but he doesn't start out that way.
The original Gojira had Dr. Daisuke Serizawa who invented the Oxygen Destroyer that ultimately kills Godzilla. Though, he isn't evil; he is more of a Reluctant Mad Scientist.
In Igor mad scientists are like rock stars, and one of the most well known is Dr Schadenfreude.
In a subversion, Schadenfreude is actually a fraud (no pun intended). He doesn't have the brains to be an actual Mad Scientist, so he instead uses his Femme Fatale girlfriend to steal other scientists' inventions and claim them as his own. The titular character wants to be a Mad Scientist himself, but Igors are forbidden from doing anything on their own lest they be "recycled". So far, his successes include keeping a functional Brain in a Jar (who can't spell "Brain" right) and making an intelligent rodent immortal, while also giving him a death wish.
The film Terror Of Mechagodzilla has the character of Dr. Mafune who not only turns his own daughter into a cyborg, but he also invents a device that allows him to control the sea monster Titanosaurus.
The Doctor, a.k.a. Rex Lewis a.k.a. Cobra Commander takes the role of the mad scientist in GI Joe The Riseof Cobra.
The Prestige gives you two for one. Nikola Tesla (played by David Bowie) builds a matter duplicator, which one of the two main protagonists (antagonists?) uses to perform an "impossible" magic trick. The scientist is mad (see Real Life below) and so is the magician who uses his device.
Dr. Nai of The Clones Of Bruce Lee may have been influenced by Thomas Edison (see Tom's entry below in Real Life); he's a mad scientist who actually has other people do all the inventing for him, such as a vegetation-destroyer, while he wears a business suit and yells at his scientists to invent faster. For the curious, The Spoony Experiment did a review of this movie (you are unlikely to ever be able to find the original copy...).
Black Sheep's Astrid Rush. Though ostensibly trying to create genetically enhanced sheep, she's rather happy to find an instance of a man turning into a weresheep. And there was that thing about leeches.
Doctor Catheter in Gremlins 2: The New Batch, played to the hilt by Christopher Lee. Interestingly he subverts it later on when he rejects his experiments as immoral, and vows that he will not commit cruel genetic experiments on animals again.
The Mosquito Coast starring Harrison Ford is a non-Science Fiction example. Ford plays an engineer who specializes in refrigeration technology; only problem is, most people already have fridges and air conditioners. So he moves his whole family out to the jungle in the middle of nowhere and builds a giant refrigeration machine just so his talents will be better appreciated. This isn't enough to satisfy his budding megalomania, so he goes on a quest to show a block of ice to some reclusive tribals who have never seen it, presumably so everyone would ooh an ahh over it and him.
Since Forbidden Planet is Shakespeare's The TempestIN SPACE!, the wizard Prospero is replaced by the (mad) scientist Dr. Morbius. He's discovered the relics of an ancient alien civilization, one of which boost his intelligence to far greater heights than those puny mortals around him could possibly comprehend, do you hear me! Wah ha ha ha!
He started out as a philologist.
Dr. Heller from Mystery Men. Lampshaded before the heroes visit him when The Bowler asks if it's really necessary that he be mad.
Count Rugen from The Princess Bride. While he isn't technically a scientist in the modern sense, he does treat torture as a science, having built a complex machine for "sucking the life" from his victims x number of years at a time. After he sucks a year of life out of Wesley he even asks Wesley how it felt, for the sake of his "research".
Professor Maggie Walsh and Warren Mears. Warren is good at Magitek in general as well, provided someone else provides the magic. Hence the Trio's Freezeray and Invisibility gun.
There were a pair of students from Buffy's high school that made their own version of Frankenstein. Maggie wasn't the only one to get the bright idea!
Even with the Slayer army, Andrew never stops experimenting with demon summoning and DNA, even breeding a dangerous demon back into existence.
Sherlock Holmes from the BBC's Sherlock is constantly experimenting on something, including human body parts that he pilfered from the local morgue. Poor Watson even finds a human head in the refrigerator one day, and Detective Sally Donovan finds some human eyeballs in the microwave. And Mrs. Hudson finds a bag of thumbs in the fridge. That's scary and unsettling.
Doctor Who is filled with Mad Scientists, ranging from the slightly unhinged, endearing sort to the completely unrepentant, Omnicidal Maniacs.
The best example is, of course, Davros, the racist, maniacal and omnicidal creator of the Daleks, who easily conveyed just how twisted he was even without an Evil Laugh.
The Rani was exiled from Gallifrey when her pet lab mice grew gigantic and went on a rampage. They responded by letting her loose in the universe with a time machine. She took over at least one planet to experiment on the locals and drove them insane by removing their ability to sleep (which wasn't even the point). Thanks, Time Lords!
The first mad scientist on the whole show (apart from the Doctor himself) is the really rather unmemorable Smithers in the Season 2 serial "Planet of the Giants". He shot a man in order to ensure a project he knew would be an environmental disaster would go ahead. A few other notable old series examples: Professor Zaroff (from "The Underwater Menace") who wanted to blow up the world, Mehendri Solon ("The Brain of Morbius") who wanted to build a Time Lord a new body, Taren Capel ("The Robots of Death") who had a delusion that he was a robot and wanted to start a robot revolution, and arguably Light ("Ghost Light") who did unspeakable things with evolution. Lesterson from "Power of the Daleks" is so mad, he actually has a mental breakdown over the course of the story (with a bit of help from Dalek Gaslighting).
John Lumic from the two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel". In addition to being an Evilutionary Biologist, he explicitly considers himself above law.
New series Mad Scientists include: The Doctor, Professor Yana, the Master, Professor Lazarus, Davros, the Scientist of the New Paradigm Daleks and numerous alien and human antagonists. Nearly every week, there is a scientist on the show.
Most incarnations of the Doctor that don't just stick to adventuring. The Tenth Doctor's brand of mad science would easily have made him into a benevolent example of this if he weren't afflicted with too much Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! to spend time on non-world-saving projects. And the Eleventh Doctor goes so far as to gleefully rock the steampunk goggles and shirtsleeves look while fiddling with the TARDIS.
Companions fall into this at times: Ace bordered on it, especially with explosives and practical chemistry. Adric may possibly have landed here too had he lived. Adam from the revival series also wasn't quite there during his travels with the Doctor, but was intended as the kind of young man who would end up as this.
Some other benevolent mad scientists include the resistance member in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" who invented a chemical that could melt Dalek casings and sacrificed himself to test it.
Topher is more The Lab Rat with delusions of mad scientisthood.
Well, it's implied a lot of the tech both at the L.A. and possibly other Dollhouses are his invention, so he's probably earned a place here.
Bennett appears to be one of these, too, if the promo material is anything to go by.
Walter Bishop◊ of Fringe, most of whose nervous tics and general mental confusion disappeared about the same time he was released from the mental asylum (he claims that they were side effects of the drugs he was taking). He's still a "fringe scientist", which means he's focused on things like teleportation, astral projection, reanimation, and diseases-that-turn-skin-and-muscle-tissue-translucent.
Disappeared? What show were you watching?
Possibly one with an alternate-dimension version of Walter who doesn't dose caterpillars with LSD, wander around the lab with a cow, express a desire to own a two-headed goat and actually sayThey Called Me Mad!.
They met one of those, Walternate.
Actually, Walter operates under the influence of up to a half-dozen home-brewed mind-altering substances of his own design. So if he seems less twitchy at any given time, it is because he is taking much better drugs than the generic crap he received in the mental asylum.
Interestingly, Walter's madness isn't confined to the crazy ideas he comes up with in his lab. It's also clear he just can't cope with everyday life without Peter (or Astrid) to take care of him and that he suffers as a result.
Except for the insanity part, most of the scientists on the show qualify.
The Ancients were essentially a race of Mad Scientists. Exceptional mention goes to Janus and that guy who made the Ark of Truth.
Janus is known for not one but two crazy inventions: a time travel device (two of them) and a device that destabilizes hyperspace in such a way as to destroy any Wraith ship that attempts to jump to FTL. The latter (called the Attero device) has a slight side effect. That being the destruction of any Pegasus stargate that is opened with a huge explosion.
And what does he do once he realizes what the Attero device does? He shuts it down and leaves it intact in his lab.
Degra, Dr. Crell Moset, Dr. Chaotica and numerous other specimens can be spotted on every incarnation of Star Trek.
In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr. Elias Giger fits the profile of the more comic, probably harmless type. His theory is that death is caused by "cellular ennui," that cells can literally be bored to death, and so he creates his "cellular regeneration and entertainment chamber" to keep them stimulated. However, his work is supposedly hampered by non-believing "soulless minions of orthodoxy" and he seems badly paranoid that they are out to ruin him and his work.
Phil and Lem from Better Off Ted took years to notice that "everything we do here is evil". And by extension, every scientist who works at Veridian Dynamics.
Unusually for mad scientists they do stick to something close to proper scientific procedure.
For their TV show, the Japanese band Arashi spent a great deal of time coming up with such stellar experiments as "How far can you sail a boat made of hay?", "Will wasabi still taste spicy if you hold your nose while eating it?" and "What happens if we have a hurdle race whilst wearing binoculars?" Unsurprisingly these all tended to backfire on them.
Battlestar Galactica: Gaius Baltar is something of a deconstruction as his madness may or may not be messages from the gods, messages that ultimately give the key to finding Earth.
Obviously, the title character in the Farscape episode "DNA Mad Scientist".
Played with in the Dr. Death sketch on That Mitchell and Webb Look. Dr. Death is closely modelled on a German scientist immigrant (see Real Life below) who has been working in secret on technology to help America win the war. Parodied in that his first invention is a laser, a.k.a. Death Ray, that's used to... scan the barcode on a can of beans, and he's disgusted when the president wants his creation used for destruction. Later played straight when Dr. Death unveils his Death Scorpion (with a gatling gun to dispense helpful bullets) and he also tries to destroy it when it's to be used for the war effort.
Dr. Death:NOOOOO!(seizes hammer) President: Professor! Dr: Death:(shouting over hammer blows) Forgive me, Mr. President, but I created the Laser-Fitted Armored Scorpion of Death to help mankind, not to destroy!
In the Supernatural episode "Time Is on My Side", the brothers encounter Doc Benton, a Mad Scientist who has used Mad Science to make himself immortal, but often needs to kidnap people and steal their organs when his old ones wear out.
The SyFy show Eureka, where the town's population is made up almost entirely of geniuses and scientists. The plots usually involve various degrees of scientific reality, from Real World, past theoretical, over possible but impractical, all the way to you gotta be kidding me note Sometimes they stop at possible but impractical, but it's uncommon..
Some problems (of planet-destroying proportions) are caused by a student's science experiment gone out of control. Suffice it to say that you gotta be careful when you ask a student to build a working model of the Solar system, unless you want a giant fusion fireball in the sky that won't go out.
Dr. Boris Balinkoff in the Gilligan's Island episode "The Friendly Physician", who performs mind-transfer experiments on the castaways.
He also appeared in "Ring Around Gilligan", where he was testing his mind-control rings on the castaways.
A recurring theme in The Starlost. Scientists were rarely shown in a positive light, which is really weird for a science-fiction series. One scientist is conducting highly unethical social experiments on people, pitting them against each other. Another scientist, feeling nihilistic, hacks into the spaceship's computer system and activates the self-destruct system. An astronomer wants to study a comet up-close, so he steers the ship into the comet's debris field, not especially concerned that by doing so, the ship will probably be destroyed. Another scientist has been breeding giant mutant bees. None of them are interested in fixing the ship's engines to avoid their collision course with a star.
Lampshaded by Sledon's childhood hero, Professor Proton (Bob Newhart) when he meets Sheldon.
Professor Proton: Is uh, is he dangerous?
Leonard: Actually he's a genius.
Sheldon: I am.
Professor Proton: That uh, that doesn't answer my question.
The Science Channel Dark Matters is all about Real Life examples who have popped up throughout history.
Once Upon a Time had a Halloween Episode in which Princess Regina sought help in reanimating the (magically-preserved) body of her dead lover; that help came in the form of Dr. Frankenstein who conned her in order to steal a heart from her heart collection for his own creation.
Frankenstein himself is a subversion. Everyone thinks he's this trope, and a few Storybrook residents react with suspicion once they figure out who he is. This gives him quite a bit of angst. He's understandably upset that his attempts at bringing his brother back to life are seen as evil. After Drowning His Sorrows and a heart-to-heart with the Big Bad Wolf ( Red Riding Hood), he decides to become an honest medical doc to disprove his reputation.
Dr Steel is a steampunk themed industrial musician whose look consists of a shaved head, pointy beard, vintage welding goggles and a mad scientist lab coat.
The Abney Park song "The Secret Life of Dr Calgori" is about a Mad Scientist.
The Mono Puff song "Poison Flowers" is about a young would-be mad scientist lamenting the beginning of the school year as he will no longer have time to build bombs and death rays, or to write manifestos.
Jonathan Coulton has at least two: "The Future Soon", about a socially rejected nerd who dreams of becoming a mad scientist in order to get revenge and conquer the world. The other is "Skullcrusher Mountain", which is from the point of view of a mad scientist talking to a woman that his deformed assistant had kidnapped for him to woo.
I made this half pony, half monkey monster to please you, But I get the feeling that you don't like it. What's with all the screaming? You like ponies. You like monkeys. Maybe you don't like monsters so much. Maybe I used too many monkeys. Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?
Professor Elemental is a Dr. Moreau-like Mad Scientist in his song, "Animal Magic".
The myriad wonders of nature it's true Can be understood fully in my home made zoo By brain swapping with my cranial cutter I created my apeish butler and like any explorer forging new boundaries I found this astounding and took me an owl beak and wings grafted to a tortoise shell and now my Owltoise is doing quite well No my Chimpangoat's not the prettiest of creatures my Donkeypede has the silliest of features my Batraffes do fly into doors and my Lobsteroos don't like their claws — but until you've heard the Badgermingo sing or fed a tiny fish to a baby Marmoquin... My dear sir or madam you've never lived, it's an impressive gift — so treasure this...
The mythical Greek inventor Daedalus may be regarded as an unbuilt predecessor to this trope, what with his artificial wing invention that melts in the sun and kills the impulsive Icarus.
The god Hephaestus deserves a spot here thanks to his many wacky inventions, some of them fueled by his seething negative emotions, including his trap-throne, which he used to trap his mother, Hera, in revenge for throwing him out of Olympus for being an ugly baby, his trap-sofa, which he used to capture and humiliate Aphrodite and Ares in order to highlight Aphrodite's infidelity, and to further spite Ares, gave Aphrodite's daughter by Ares, Harmonia, a magic necklace cursed to bring tragedy and misfortune to its wearers, while simultaneously keeping them young and beautiful. Harmonia's necklace would have several owners, including Semele, the mother-to-be of Dionysus, and Jocasta, mother and *cough* wife of Oedipus.
Bally's Dr. Dude is one of these, as he invented the Molecular Mixmaster and his EXcellent Ray to make himself the epitome of cool.
One appears in Monster Bash, working with Igor to reassemble and reawaken Frankenstein's monster.
Parodied on one episode of Dinosaurs: a scientist on TV gives the "They called me MAD!" speech before unveiling his latest creation, a giant living squash. When his assistant calls him mad, the scientist calmly agrees, adding that what made him seek revenge is that he's angry-mad, not insane-mad.
These are your player characters in Mortasheen, and also the source of most of the bizzare stuff in the setting.
Mage: The Ascension has the Sons/Society of Ether, a Tradition of technomantic mad scientists who see their magick as the ultimate form of True Science (what's really scary is that the Etherites have a faction they call Mad Scientists because of their disregard for ethics). Virtual Adepts and Iteration X also fit this mold.
The Ordo Dracul of Vampire: The Requiem are vampire mad scientists, prone to extremely unethical experimentation to circumvent the weaknesses of their kind.
Fabius Bile of Warhammer 40,000. His lab coat is made out of human flesh. That about sums up his state of mind.
Magnus the Red, Daemon Primarch of the Thousand Sons, arguably qualifies for this trope, though he's more of a mad wizard. He's got the reckless pursuit of knowledge, megalomania, production of the odd superweapon, and lead a legion of super soldiers into daemonic corruption.
The Ork equivalent to a doctor is a Mad Dok, who preform all sort of experiments on their subjects such as replacing damaged limbs with bionics(sometimes they replace the wrong one), or a squiq brain transplant. They at least use anesthesia on them in which case they give them a concussion.
The Dark Mechanicus are even worse, doing anything in the pursuit of knowledge, only thing keeping them from being completely corrupted by the Warp in which they reside is the fact that almost all of their bodies have been converted into machines.
In the Warhammer universe, any Skaven from Clans Skyre, Moulder or Pestilens. They nicely cover all three of the main Mad Scientist archetypes: Moulder are the Frankenstein types, stitching together psychotic, uh, things to make even bigger psychotic things. Pestilens are the disease merchants, mixing together various toxic goops with the eventual goal of making the perfect plague to unleash on the Overworld. Skyre are the engineers, making Warpstone shooting gatling guns, cannons that fire green lasers, and giant armoured hamster wheels that throw off green lightning indiscriminately. These three clans then sell their services to all the myriad Warlord ("normal") clans, to aid them in their conquests. For the record, the other "technologically advanced" races have only just invented gunpowder, and most are still on bows and arrows. Although the Dwarfs do have this weird steam-powered gyrocopter. But Dwarfs tend towards sane engineering, in that they have this really conservative engineering guild keeping them from going Skaven. While you do get the occasional young maverick, most of those tend to stop being mavericks as soon as they lose their first limb to an explosion.
Actually, it's standard for aspiring Dwarf engineers to get kicked out of the guild when they try to invent something new; they usually join the human guild for a while until they refine their prototype to something more reliable and trustworthy. Dwarfs like to maintain their reputation for machines that run like a Swiss watch.
The Demon Prince Vapula from In Nomine. He... stands out a bit from the more traditional Demon Princes.
Mad Science is an arcane background, and the Mad Scientist a standard character archetype, in Deadlands. It's caused by demons whispering secrets of future technology into the ears of promising inventors, which is as good a reason as any to go insane, I guess.
Its sequel, Hell on Earth, is set in a future where Mad Science brought about the Apocalypse. As a result ( this was the ultimate goal of the demons who caused mad science in the first place, so they stopped 'helping' when it was achieved), traditional mad science stopped working, and was replaced with techno-shamanism and a more Anvilicious source of insanity: "gun spirits".
That's not entirely accurate. While the creation of new Mad Science devices is impossible, those already constructed still work as long as they are kept in good repair. This is why Dr. Hellstrom is still stomping around: He keeps his automaton body well maintained.
Most Dungeons & Dragons settings don't have much scientists of any sort, but when you find one in a highly magical world, chances for an obsessive dedication rise:
It's up to Ravenloft to take up slack for the others on this trope. Being a "Gothic horror" game-setting, it does so in spades, with golem-crafters (Victor Mordenheim, Emil Bollenbach), Mix-and-Match Critter-makers (Frantisek Markov, Vjorn Horstman), Mind-Raping psychiatrists (Daclaud Heinforth, Celeste d'Honaire-Levode), and Woobie-ish crackpots trying to reconstruct their dead loved ones (too many to list). And that's not counting all the cackling weirdos who'd more properly be classified as Mad Necromancers.
Dragonlance got tinker gnomes, and Spelljammer imported some as they spread from Krynn in their insane space sidewheelers. They're the creators of such creatures as the giant space hamster, the carnivorous giant space hamster, the fire-breathing phase doppelganger giant space hamster or the miniature giant space hamster. And Al-mi'raj ("experiment 72"), known for non-tinker gnomes as "Blink bunny". They tend to build overcomplicated contraptions prone to slapstick malfunction.
Forgotten Realms has Lantan, the land full of followers of Gond, the patron of invention. A good example is Tinkersdam of Gond, an alchemist who, after far too many accidents involving explosions, was exiled from several cities and ended up in a cave in Tethyr. He made high explosives just for fun, and directed charges at that... but sucked at making time-fuses. He also made pre-ordered weird stuff, like a mask that allowed a sleeping half-elf to pose as an elf in reverie because it did flawlessly fit over his client's face and has quite convincing open and blinking eyes (no magic). He also got some sort of hyper-awareness in his lab — he not only never knocked over anything by accident, but didn't even let a kettle he didn't see boil out. Which may be the main reason why he lived that long. Another example is Nadul DaRoni, gnomish DaVinci expy whose ads appeared in Aurora's Catalogue with a comment "Madman, perhaps; genius, perhaps; annoying, most definitely".
And then we have their Green Sun Prince counterparts, the Defilers. Mad Science is practically a divine domain of their patron, and they combine it with Psychic Powers. Their Abyssal versions, the Daybreaks, tend to fit under here if they're nice.
Given some of the requirements for creating a Liminal Exalt (someone obsessed with bringing back the dead, or creating life from death, who puts their obsession into practice), it's quite likely a Liminal's creator was one of these.
Turn up fairly regularly in Paranoia; many of them are employed by Friend Computer inventing exciting new weapons and devices for the the player-character Troubleshooters to test; Meanwhile, the Pro Tech secret society is made up of enthusiastic amateurs.
Yu-Gi-Oh! has Kozaky and Magical Scientist, two monsters fit this trope. Kozaky isn't a very useful card unless you're using a Human Wave Deck, and Magical Scientist is an illegal card (due to a notorious One-Hit Kill strategy it can use with Catapult Turtle); however, both monsters are featured on the artwork on many Spell and Trap Cards, suggesting that they were involved in the creation of many things in the game that only a Mad Scientist could think up, such as the Koa'ki Meirus.
Cyborg Doctor seems to fit the bill too, if his appearance is any suggestion, although his effect doesn't seem all-too sinister.
Main character Leonardo de Montreal practices Nightmare Science, which is like deviant science, except more biological. He also happens to be a megalomaniac who lost his innate sense of right and wrong, and made himself a moral prosthetic to replace it.
All the Makuta in BIONICLE, especially Mutran. The Great Beings also qualify.
The Doctor Dreadful line of toys features the eponymous doctor as its mascot, and encourages kids to become one too by using his lab toys to make the various gross food creations.
In Dra Koi there was once a mad scientist who created an ether destroying device in order to kill a dragon. This is considered a Fantasy way of fighting and thus an acceptable way of beating a dragon since he destroyed the machine and killed himself afterward, which stops anyone from doing it again.
Annyseed has the crazy, charming, sometimes grumpy and a little suspicious, Yet lovable, Professor Tripadiculous. He likes doing tests on Monkeys. He has the documents required or that sort of thing too. So don't question him.
Casey and Andy was created with the tagline, "Mad scientist roommates who periodically die." Both the eponymous mad scientists have, frequently, died, often at each other's hands, and often while indulging in mad science experiments. It doesn't help that one of them dates (a female) Satan, and their neighbour is an extreme Weirdness Magnetwho is also an international jewel thief.
Lionel Flammel from Monsterful, though he's not really evil at all he seems to get really excited with his ideas, often making him commit terrible mistakes such as letting a huge Chimera free. His array of mad science include making the perfect pet to making crime-fighting robot girls and who knows what else.
Books Don't Work Here has Sparky to fill this role, and while he only has a bachelor's degree he is far enough removed from lucidity to qualify.
Girl Genius is set in an alternate timeline where "Mad Scientists rule the world. Badly." Some people are born as "Sparks", with Mad Scientific ability as an inheritable trait — accompanied with a tendency to go into a berserk, ranting fury, and a strange charisma, which helps to gather minions.
Just to top off the sandwich, in towns which were historically known for being the strongholds of highly productive mad scientists, the natives are predisposed to be minions (natural choice and all that). Also, have "fifty generations of lowered expectations" — and that's for the best of them.
The protagonist is the latest in a long line of incredibly powerful Sparks, and her Sparky trademark is that she has a habit of creating "dingbots," small (the size of a cartoon pocketwatch) Clanks, to assist her. She's such a powerful Spark that they show Sparky tendencies themselves, and build dingbots of their own — which may go on to build third-generation dingbots. That's right, she's such an impressive Mad Scientist, her creations are also Mad Scientists.
Narbonic has "going Mad" as an inheritable genetic disorder. The main characters are a mad scientist, her hapless lackey, her gun-toting assistant, and a superintelligent gerbil she created.
Shaenon Garrity, the creator of Narbonic, now has Skin Horse, which is filled with the transgenetic products of said Mad Scientist types, including Sweetheart, an intelligent dog who's one of the heroes. Her creator Captain Bram is definitely a mad scientist. He plotted to take over the United States because the A.K.C. wouldn't recognize his genetically-engineered super battle dog as a registrable breed.
However, Dr Virginia Lee, the Black Ops scientist who created a nanotech zombie living weapon, transferred the brain of an antisocial gamer into a helicopter, and has a reputation as "a ruthless brain butcher" is not a Mad Scientist. At least, she doesn't suffer from Science-Related Memetic Disorder, however stable her sanity may or may not be otherwise.
The Abbess: How is this not mad science, again?
Dr Lee: Perspective!
Dr Lee: No! I´ll build my own, sensible brain vending machine!
Sergio Mendoza: Step back from that sentence and reassess.
'''There's a party in my toolbox and science is invited!"'
Nukees features Gaviscon van Darrin ("I'm not mad, just really disappointed"), Danny Hua (creator of the Giant Robot Ant), and His Royal Highness King Luca, Monarch of the Nuclear Engineering Department of U.C. Berkeley.
Umlaut House and its successor involve several mad scientists, of both good and evil varieties, and had a Mad Science Convention.
Sluggy Freelance has Dr. Schlock, time-traveling expert of Inflatable Technology, and Riff, a violently-minded tinkerer. And they're two of the good guys.
Dr. Crabtree, who created Y2k incompliant nanites that nearly killed off most of humanity, and turned herself into a nanite cyborg. And Dr. Steve Hereti, who claimed to have created Oasis and could control her via a wrist watch. And Dr. Scabmoreaureau, who created "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Gas", which forces two DNA strands to battle each other for supremacy to make genetic clean-up a fun game for the kiddies. Did I mention he's one of Santa's Elves? Yeah, Sluggy Freelance is lousy with Mad Scientists.
Sluggy also gives a pretty good explanation for why mad science is unrepeatable: Riff doesn't write down "no-brainers" in his notes, so when people try to replicate his inventions, they can't, since they're used to everything being exactly as written.
General Protection Fault has Nick Wellington and Dr. Wisebottom (his uncle), and Nick's evil Mirror Universe duplicate, Emperor Nick. There has been discussion of an "Inventor's Gene" running in the family.
Schlock Mercenary has several, most notably Kevyn Andreyasn. Also, his good friend "Gav" Bleuel (cryonically-preserved author of Nukees), who accidentally duplicated himself 750 million times, becoming one of the largest ethnic groups in the galaxy.
Alexa from Gold Coin Comics is a top scientist for the empire's military. She has alluded to dangerous experiments conducted in the past.
Jyrras Gianna in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures . Dabbles in mixing science and sorcery (though he is not a wizard himself), invents a 'cosmetic patch' that alters one's appearance, builds hypertech weaponry out of boredom, and accidentally created new life forms twice (three times, if you count his part in the creation of the Mows). Unlike most mad scientists, he had enough on the ball to make a fortune from his inventions.
His depiction in the Show Within a Show Spoof Spy Story depicts him as an actual one. He proceeds to subvert and lampshade various traditional tropes used by by Mad Scientist throughout the arc. (Such as while having a base in a volcano, it's dormant (The crater is in fact filled with orange pillows, not lava).)
Jordan Kennedy in Exploitation Now, an embittered and tragic Teen Genius who is the last survivor of a project to enhance human intelligence to super-human levels. Known for holding countries for ransom with stolen nuclear weapons and an orbital laser or two.
Morgan La Fey, in Arthur, King of Time and Space is an amoral sorceress in the baseline arc, but a Mad Scientist in the Western arc. And in the future arc, she's an amoral scientist and a Mad Sorceress.
The same webcomic also applies elements of the Mad Scientist trope to King Pelles and his daughter Elaine of Carbonek, and their quest to create the ultimate hero of Christianity (Galahad), by merging their line with Lancelot's. The newspost under the strip revealing this plan (and that Elaine is based on Helen Narbon) calls them "Mad Theologians".
Most members of the Society of Inventors in Scary Go Round are in fact somewhat benevolent mad scientists. Other characters in the series (such as Archie Stanwyck and the monkey-obsessed Dr. Petrescu) are mad scientists pure and simple. Especially Petrescu, who's idea of a mobile phone is a normal landline strapped to a monkeys head.
Molly the Peanut Butter Monster, Galatea the Other Peanut Butter Monster, and Dean Martin in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Poor Dr. Jean Poule would probably qualify as well, with her bizarre pet project which accidentally generated Molly?if not for the fact that Jean is, in many ways, the sanest person in the whole comic, a quality which in her universe is actually a bit of a handicap.
Exoth from Irritability is a professional mad scientist who spends much of his time making things that are either random or actively harmful to those around him.
Tales of the Questor has the Artifactor's Guild, the Alchemist's guild and more tellingly, the entire student body of their University.... on a grimmer note, they have the historical figure of Rosad Athair Beither, a biomancer (essentially a biologist/genetic engineer) who was obsessed with the origin of monsters, and created monstrosities and conducted horrific experiments on helpless victims as part of his "research." More horribly, his discoveries had such shocking implications that the Racconan government put a stay on his execution till he finished compiling his notes.... and there is apparently a secret society of his followers still active in the Sanctuary City underground.
The most current side-arc introduces a slightly more benevolent version, in the form of a biomancer attempting to gain sponsorship for his toxin-removing plants....
The protagonist and two of his friends (one an apprentice artifactor) managed to make an extremely powerful sword whose effects seem completely random, while drunk.
Dr. Tal A. Kinesis in Evil Plan The Webcomic, an almost textbook example. His pseudonym reflects the telekinesis he gave himself in an experiment. He has an underground lab filled with inventions, but he can't fix any of them himself. The reason? He's just the programmer, and after a fight the real inventor left to become his enemy.
Dr Nonami: Dr. Mechano is the classic variant of the mad scientist archetype, though the hero Nonami also has some minor aspects of this.
Last Res0rt: Dr. Daisy Archanis, although right now she's unable to be a proper mad scientist, since she lacks access to an appropriate lab.
Didn't stop her from building her own robotic leg while incarcerated, though.
The Mansion of E: Sylvester's ancestor Ludwig, who left behind numerous dangerously useful magical-powered machines.
The Whiteboard has Doc and Roger, though Doc focuses on paintball and military hardware.
It appears that Franken from Noblesse has been one in his old days, which isn't surprising, considering his name. He even has an eleborate lab in his apartment and is very willing to use anyone for subjects, although it's mostly for harmless and frankly silly experiments, but it horrifies people anyway. It becomes especially evident if he unlocks his seal and unleashes his Superpowered Evil Side, which is the biggest source of horror in the series.
May of Wapsi Square was most likely one of these back in the day. Her inventions and plans have resulted in a few end of the world scenarios.
Wayward Sons: Doctor Chu is a small being resembling a rat, who is a brilliant scientist. He also happens to get a lot of his results by performing torturous experiments on live subjects. And it's often not for science.
Commedia 2X00 features Professor Dottore, a cyberneticist whose experiments building Super Fighting Cyborgs got his funding cut off by the Institute Academy. Lives in an island fortress shaped like his head, occasionally yells things in Greek and Latin; labcoat, goggles, baldness.
Tales Of Gnosis College is devoted to this trope. Examples include the relatively benign Professor Joseph Corwin and the not-so-benign Dr. Emil Strangeways.
This forum story, The Mad Scientist Wars, uses this trope as its foundation stone. The players are all fans of the above-mentioned Narbonic and its new successor, Skin Horse (about a government agency that cleans up after Mad Scientists), so it was only natural.
Dr Romanoff in A Grey World fits the trope well, his frustration at bureaucracy of the scientific community leads him to perform secret experiments For Science!
Sukebe from Pokegirls. In an odd application of the trope, he does succeed in bringing about the Apocalypse... mostly. But it's not complete, and the world got better eventually. Still, he will always be remembered as having "showed them all", that's for sure.
He did more. He won. He arranged things so that in stopping him, the global societies that violently rejected his original research and works have turned into ones where everybody considers them the most commonplace part of existence, to the point where if he could show up now with no history he'd be entirely respectable anywhere. And while he hasn't done that, and in fact isn't anywhere within that world any longer, there's no hard evidence at all that he even died doing it.
He also undid all his previous Villain Decay in more recent appearances.
Since Linkara didn;t want to have to keep getting Spoony for cameos, he created the alternate universe Dr. Linksano, who is this but a little softer (he can be placated with a holodeck to play out ruling the world on, Dr. Insano cannot.)
Speaking of The Nostalgia Chick, she is constantly running into the sociopathic Dr. Tease, and her beleagured companion, Dr. Block.
A sign of genuine danger in To Boldly Flee was Tease acting like an actual scientist would in one scene. Also, niether of them have real degrees.
In the Whateley Universe, some Mad Scientist types (as well as other superpowered people) have the "madness as a disease" trope. The universe has an illness called Diedrick's Syndrome that only affects some mutants. Due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters, the person can get paranoid, megalomaniac, etc., and that makes the imbalance worse, so things escalate until finally, said character is insanely screaming about destroying the planet because, say, he originally just lost his car keys.
Whateley Mad Scientist example: Overclock, who plotted to make a fellow student accidentally kill fellow students in a holographic simulation and drive her permanently insane, all because she ate the last of his favorite breakfast cereal.
Mega-Death, who chose the name while " 'dricking out" and unfortunately can Never Live It Down.
Jobe, who, well, he's not mad, exactly, but he planned to turn his first girlfriend into a drow and bond her to him by ensuring she would only reach orgasm with the first person she has sex with.
And that's not even close to the worst thing Jobe has done, and he's only about fifteen right now. Even the good things he has done are hideous: take his new vaccine for dysentery, which will save thousands of lives every year, and which he made by testing it on unwilling people on his father's island. He regularly gets censured by the United Nations.
Carina Appelbaum from v2 of Open Blue worked in Seran's science corps. She holds a commission as a captain, allowing her to use a ship to scour the ocean for additional 'test subjects'. She carries a Hyper Space Arsenal of mysterious vials that could contain anything from explosives to poison.
Adam appears as a parody of a mad scientist in episode 9 of Maddison Atkins.
Dr. Griffin from KateModern is a former mad scientist.
ThisShousetsu Bang*Bang fic has a mad scientist as main character, along with his loyalminion, Scarface.
Sonny gets Mad Scienced deconstructs this sort of thing by showing it from the perspective of the potential victim. It addresses issues such as funding and why the henchmen would even still work with a lunatic. Turns out they have a "Death Ray clause" in their contract.
The Global Guardians PBEM Universe, like any decent superhero setting based on comic books, has dozens of mad scientists creeping around. Notable examples include Heinrich von Frankenstein, Baron Malthus, Doctor Simian, Phillipe Moreau, the Evil Genius, Doctor Blight, Doctor Sinister, Emilio Astonishing, Doctor XX, Doctor Devastation, Professor Sunday, Professor Septimus, Penelope Periwinkle, and Doctor Gavin von Leggend. And that'ss just the bad guys.
SF Debris reimagines Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager as one of these, to the point that for the episode "Scientific Method", which involves the Voyager crew being experimented on, has to have a rider that this time it isn't Janeway. Her exploits have included breeding hives of flying tarantulas with a taste for eyeballs, building an emotion bomb, creating a "rape gorilla", rigging the consoles to electrify their users for her own amusement, sending redshirts to their deaths because they serve Mexican food at the funerals, and the creation of something only known as "Kes-kotay".
"First, it's a mutant, not a monster; second, those chains are unbreakable, and third, I only made one, so if you kill it, that's technically genocide! And technically suicide."
Isaac Newton, of all people. Throughout his life he places more emphasis on Alchemy than Physics, considering his groundbreaking work to be only a minor achievement. He spent a considerable amount of time on biblical research and attempted to prove that the world would not end before 2060. He went mad at one point and accused philosopher John Locke of sending women to distract him from his divine mission. It's suspected that the vapors from his alchemical experiments may have induced a hallucinogenic effect and caused this episode.
He once slipped a leather needle between his eye and eye socket "to test his eye theory". Thankfully, there were no lasting injuries, but you have to ask...why?
How about harnessing the world's biggest waterfall to power a city, producing 150-foot lightning bolts from his ominous mountain laboratory in Colorado, and plotting to broadcast free power to the world from the Wardenclyffe Tower?
Or, alternatively, how about that he had OCD and synesthesia, had flashbacks to his brother's death whenever he was stressed, and, in his later years, would talk to pigeons and mail letters to Samuel Clemens...who'd been dead for decades? He was definitely a psychologically-troubled member of the science profession, even if he hadn't been a Mad Scientist.
Albert Einstein and the German nuclear physicists heavily influenced early Mad Scientists like Rotwang in the late 1920s. Crucial to the popularity of these "eccentric German physicists" was how they rehabilitated the image of scientists as logic driven pacifists in the wake of WWI, at a time when both war and Germans were intensely unpopular. (Einstein, with his characteristic wild hairdo, became the first scientific superstar and the first Popular Geek, helping spawn the concept of a Reluctant Mad Scientist whose inventions are inevitably misused.)
Nazi scientist Josef Mengele, AKA "the Angel of Death". It's not unheard of to think that his name was pronounced "Mangle". Given what he did to the prisoners of Auschwitz, that wouldn't have been too much of a stretch.
Very unlikely since anyone familiar with the nature of Mengele's research knows that any notes he had were virtually useless. It's debatable whether he was even a legitimate scientist, but it's very hard to believe that Shiro Ishii would have taken him seriously.
Mengele was primarily an anthropologist (he was a PhD/MD) and not an incompetent one. And compared to what the Japanese military scientists came up with, he was a piker even where basic cruelty was concerned. The Japanese had medical experiments going that would have made Mengele, if not some of his more creative colleagues, cringe.
Also the scientists in MKULTRA, who really were trading notes with Nazi scientists.
Austrian-American psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, whose work on human sexuality led him to "discover" Orgone Energy, an omnipresent cosmic lifeforce that was generated (among other things) by orgasm. He sold Orgone Accumulators and built Orgone-powered "Cloudbusters" which could supposedly make it rain, and ended up being shut down by the Food And Drug Administration for selling lunatic medical devices that didn't work.
Another version of the story has government agents smashing his laboratory and burning his books because the "effectiveness" of his work offended the country's puritanical values.
He even had minions, and his followers continue his work to this day at his house in Rangeley, Maine.
It also appears to have been awarded to the Mythbusters, at least in their early episodes.
Thomas Edison — often portrayed in popular fiction as an evil mad scientist — not because of his scientific skills, but because of his vicious business acumen. He ran a sort of 'idea farm' at Menlo Park and recruited down-on-their-luck inventors to hammer out new devices, allegedly taking the credit (and patent rights) for many of them with or without some of his own input in exchange for financial support and a place to work. Critics claim he didn't always pay what he promised, with Tesla's case being just the most famous.
Well, that, and because of his probable cocaine addiction, probable sociopathy, and certain theft of the scientific inventions of everyone around him.
Edison also paid gangs of minions with clubs to smash up early movie theaters and beat the projectionists because they weren't using Edison Brand Projectors.
DARPA, the US Government's official program to fund Mad Science. Their only mission is "radical innovation". They fund all sorts of seemingly off the wall projects. Among their successes are night-vision goggles, GPS, and a little thing called the Internet... oh, and funding a little thing called the DARPA Challenge, for self-driving cars.
There is a real life psychological diagnosis known as "Mad Scientist Syndrome", so named because it tends to be a case of actually believing (some wacky event) such as alien invasion, or collapse of the world economy, will "Show them all that I was right!"
Seanbaby's article about exploring the depths of the human mind with The Sims 3 pokes at the whole Nazi scientist thing. Why, without ethics, he says, scientific knowledge increased by leaps and bounds! But then World War II ended and the Nazis that were left were forced to treat Jews, gypsies, and assorted other non-Aryans like human beings again, and that all stopped. So isn't it wonderful now that EA Games has created a people simulator we can use for the same thing?
Heston Blumenthal specialises in using scientific study to create tastier food (or, to use the specialist term, molecular gastronomy), his restaurant is currently number two in the world. A quick look at the menu will tell you why he's earnt a place of honour on this list.
As will a quick look at him in his kitchen. Scientist-looking chef whites, Bald of Evil, frothing beakers of liquid nitrogen and dry ice... the only thing stopping him being a classic mad scientist is that he hasn't actually killed anyone yet. (Well, that, and the fact that he's actually this kind of giggly guy with a childlike love of messing with people's expectations and bringing them massive hits of nostalgia.)
One invention of his that really did take off is the geodesic dome, one of the most efficient ways of enclosing space ever devised, most famously used for EPCOT at Disney World. Also, when a weird class of carbon nanoparticles was discovered that had a geodesic shape, what did they call them? Buckyballs! Or buckminsterfullerene, if you want to be technical.
Jack Parsons- One of the men that helped refine the jet engine and allow for space flight. He was also a disciple of Aleister Crowley, and teamed up with none other than L. Ron Hubbard. Their attempt was to summon a goddess which would help the new aeon bloom into one of free love and peace rather than war — something which made even Crowley wonder what these nitwits were up to.. At one point an angered Parsons is said to have summoned a hurricane against Hubbard. Parsons saw no differentiation between science and magic and died when his lab exploded.
Edward Teller, the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, who pushed like crazy to get the U.S. government to build it and openly advocated nuking the U.S.S.R. Also advocated building a tunnel across America using nukes to do the mining. Once used a nuclear test to light his cigar (a man could get cancer doing a thing like that).
He was also the main push behind the Excalibur system — a nuclear bomb pumped gamma/x-ray laser. An advanced version could fire at hundreds of targets simultaneously. While the principle works, SDI as a whole was doomed to sink long before they dealt with inevitable technical problems, including independently aiming a hundred lasing wires.
There exists another...Troy Hurtubise, a Canadian backyard inventor, who has invented little things like fire-paste, a grey clay-like material that can withstand blow-torch-grade heat directly for up to 10 minutes. How did he test this? By placing a mask of it over his own face! (What? How else would you do it?) He also invented a viable power armour system that sprang up as an offshoot of his bear fighting armour. The kicker? He invented all of this virtually on his own time and resources.
Jane Toppan, a nursing student turned serial killer. She would dose patients with morphine and atropine to see what it would do to their nervous systems, climb in bed with them, and hold them as they died. She also claimed to get a sexual thrill from her murders.
John Haldane, the man the WWI British government turned to in order to get a gas mask designed to protect their soldiers from German gas. He had worked down the mines of Scotland, so he was used to higher-ups issuing crap kit they'd never have to use themselves. He was determined that that would not happen in this case - so he tested chlorine gas on himself. In his own house. With his daughter instructed to break down the door and rescue him if he didn't knock back. Bad. Fucking. Ass.
"Haldane was a great self-experimenter - he thought the human organism was the best animal to experiment on because it could report on what it was experiencing."