They all told me I was mad! Mad! For suggesting there should be a TV Tropes entry for our character archetype, but I'll show them! I'll show them all! MWUAHAHAHAHAHA!
"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..."
Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z. In some versions (including the original manga), Juzo Kabuto is a mix of this and The Professor. And he has a handsome and Hot Blooded grandson named Koji Kabuto, the main character.
Professor Souichi Tomoe from Sailor Moon. To be fair, in the anime version he was possessed by a demonic being that lived in his eye; in the manga, he was just plain evil.
Dr. Franken von Vogler from the Giant Robo OVA was introduced as a classic ranting Mad Scientist. The series subverts this trope, as successive flashbacks reveal more about his real motivations.
Icchan from Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer is often mistaken for a Mad Scientist; he seems to encourage it, making over-the-top dramatic entrances, speaking cryptically about his creations whenever he can, and wearing his lab coat all the time.
However, his invention makes sense, is based on diligent research, operates on the notion that the principles discovered in previous discoveries can lead to new ones, is dependent on capitalism to provide funds and is profitable for mankind in general. Mad Scientists everywhere are very, very disappointed in him.
Mayuri Kurotsuchi is an extreme example, a combination of a Mad Scientist, A Mad Doctor and Ax Crazy to boot, openly boasting of the thousands of souls he's experimented on in his studies. Yet he leads one of the Soul Society's 13 squads (his contains lots of quirkyassistants) and is a valued member. You begin to see the problem that the rest of Soul Society has with the administration.
His Arrancar equivalent is Szayel Aporro Grantz, who shares his twisted science, represented the aspect of death known as "madness" and whose own Quirky Miniboss Squad existed solely to provide him with food whenever he needed to heal injuries. In the battle between Szayel and Mayuri, the fight ended up boiling down to which scientist was the most insane and the most capable of using that insanity in disturbingly creative ways. The winner, by a large margin, was Mayuri.
Aizen is one as well. His madness is quieter than Mayuri, harder to see until he's unmasked as the villain early in the story. As the story develops, his madness becomes more and more noticable as the stakes get higher and higher. His shinigami/hollow/human/quincy experiments, however, have never been the experiments of someone with a sound mind, what with the constant killing For Science! and his "I will become God!" obsession.
Fullmetal Alchemist, instead of dealing with the Mad Scientist, revives its predecessor-trope, the almost forgotten Mad Alchemist (see below).
There's Shou Tucker, who, under the pretense of having to produce good results in order to keep his license as a State Alchemist (although he later admits it was mostly "just to see if I could do it", combines his own young daughter, Nina, and her pet dog into a chimaera, condemning them to a Fate Worse Than Death from which Scar is forced to release them via Mercy Kill. He doesn't fit the traditional profile of this trope (he appears quite calm and kind for most of the time we see him), but there is no doubt that he crossed the Moral Event Horizon on that one.
The Movie of the 2003 anime introduces a scientist who is severely ticked at the world's alchemists for making his work worthless. The "mad" part of this shows up when he reveals that he discovered Uranium and threatens the Elrics with a hand-held nuke. Clearly he never tested the thing.
Weiss Kreuz is almost as fond of these as it is of Mad Artists - see particularly Takatori Masafumi, and Tsuji Mayumi in Weiss Kreuz: Glühen.
Hajimete No Aku. The protagonist Jiro is a self-proclaimed Mad Scientist, Although in fact he seems to be incapable of doing anything evil.
The eponymous Dr. Kishiwada of Dr. Kishiwada's Scientific Affection. Clinically insane and more than a little sociopathic.
Ginias Sakhalin from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, the head of the Apsalus Project, which could be best described as a miniature Death Star that kills cities instead of planets. He starts out relatively sane if overly dedicated, but he deteriorates as time goes on.
Granted his looks are a bit more... delicate and effeminate than this trope usually entails. As in, he looks more like a stereotypical hairdresser than mad scientist.
The Elder in Chrono Crusade is a mild example of this trope. He's not completely insane, but his inventions tend to be quirky at best and downright dangerous at worst. Some of the things he's responsible for in the series include purposefully allowing Rosette to steal an experimental bullet with a demon trapped inside so he wouldn't have to test it himself, and apparently fusing a friend with demonic legion in order to make him a better fighter. Oh, and he's a Dirty Old Man to top it all off.
Nina Einstein from Code Geass, a Teenage Mad Scientist Girl. She is particularly known for being a Psycho Lesbian and inventing weapons of mass destruction.
Earl Lloyd Asplund is an older, slightly more comedic version of the trope. His Bunny-Ears Lawyer status has earned him the Fan Nickname "Lloyd Aspie".
Lloyd plays with the trope as while he is eccentric and disrespectful, he is fully aware that he is a mad scientist. Also, he is the only (non-royal) noble in the series to have no lust for power and not be racist, and in that respect is in some ways the Only Sane Man.
However, Lloyd plays it straighter in the Alternate Universe manga Suzaku of the Counterattack, where he willingly goes along with Prince Schneizel's plan to gain C.C.'s powers in order to (you guessed it) Take Over the World, even though it could potentially destroy the Earth (and almost does, if not for the intervention of the heroes).
Professor Franken Stein of Soul Eater, whose love of dissection is played for laughs early on. The "mad" aspect becomes important later on, as madness is somewhat more concrete in this world.Medusa definitely counts as well. Eibon could count as this as well, in both the anime and manga because not only does he eradicate the madness of knowledge but he teamed up with arachniphobia(an evil witch) to invent his magic tools and demon weapons although it seems as if he has truely benine intentions at heart.
Stein's likening for cutting people up is played for laughs, but it's also what he seriously would have done to Medusa given the chance (and Spirit, and Maka, and Kid, and anyone he saw as interesting..). In the witch's case he settles for dismembering her and shoving a scythe blade into her skull for good measure.
Getter Robo has a few. Saotome is the most famous example, though he's very low-key (except in the Armageddon OVA) about it and fairly normal on the surface. Professor Shikashima on the other hand has several screws loose (and indeed, actually has one lodged in his skull) but his craziness is mostly played for laughs. In Getter Robo ?? Hayato replaces Saotome as the leading scientist, with his trademark Ax Crazy streak.
While Shiho Miyano of Detective Conan may not qualify as a Mad Scientist, since she was forced into doing her research, her father certainly does. The series specifically mentions that her father was considered a mad scientist even by the standards of the Black Organization. That's pretty mad.
One story in The Kindaichi Case Files features the story of a mad scientist who, during WWII, chopped up soldiers and tried to sew the pieces into the ultimate human. It turns out that the real "mad scientist" was a pharmaceutical company that tested experimental drugs on six patients, all of whom died.
The Pokémon anime loves this trope, especially for villains:
Dr. Fuji, the Reluctant Mad Scientist who created Mewtwo for Giovanni in hopes he'd be able to revive his dead daughter
Dr. Zager, another Team Rocket scientist, who assists Jessie and James in Unova and sports a monocle.
Dr. Yung, from Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, who is revealed to be the titular "mastermind", attempting to take over the world with super-powerful Pokemon holograms
Butler, in the sixth movie, laughed out of Team Magma for a failed attempt to re-create Groudon, who now travels as a circus magician, but tries his experiment again using Jirachi as a power sourceand ends up having it work a little too well.
Zero, the yandere villain of the eleventh movie, an assistant for an aborted project. After being abandoned by his mentor, obsession drives him to take reviving it a bit too far. And by "take it a bit too far" we mean "threatening anyone who stands in his way with poisonous gas or a giant robot".
Inverted with Irie, from Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni. While he did do vivisections on people, and does act a bit "odd" toward Satoko, he's an honestly nice, smart father figure.
But played terribly straight with his boss, Miyo Takano, who was perfectly willing to kill the reported host of a Hate Plague to make a village suffer the said plaguejust to prove that her grandfather wasn't mad.
Hayate the Combat Butler: Makimura Shiori seems to think that nursing robots need lots of missiles and rocket boosters. Unfortunately, most of her inventions either blow up or go berserk. In one episode, her boss asks her why all of her projects are complete failures. Her answer? "Um, not enough firepower?"
Love Hina: Kaolla Suu is Crazy Awesome in that she's always gotta build bigger and better mechas based on the flying turtle, Tama-chan. These also explode on a regular basis. She even lampshades it in one episode by saying that having your creations explode spectacularly just seems like something a Mad Scientist would do.
Kaolla Suu's name follows the "Western" order; that is, her surname (or family name) is Suu, and her given name is Kaolla.
Hollow Fields is a manga about a school for mad scientists' children. The children get a classic education in things like making Steampunk killer robots, making hideous animal hybrids, poisonmaking, and many, many other subjects.
Dr. Schroeder from Darker than Black is a nice old man, but, as a review put it, "just when you start thinking he's fairly normal, he goes on a slightly psycho, childish rampage".. He only wants to rid the Earth of the Alien Sky that shut all space programs down. The side effect he expects would be killing as many people as there are stars in the sky. A problem not explored in series is that there's no way to test his project and ensure that in process the whole Earth will not suffer the same fate as all those vanished rockets, turn into one big Gate, etc. He is quite sure his theory will work out exactly as he expects, so What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
Dr. Etou from Shikkoku no Hana manga, on the other hand, is a grinning, stuttering and almost drooling specimen — when his superior snaps him out of rants by punching this doesn't even look like needless cruelty.
Yoshizumi-sensei of Zombie Loan. He started off as a reasonably sane college scientist, but when Caramelo of the ARRC turned him into a zombie, he snapped. He ends up merging with his "masterwork", the Phalanx, only to be killed by Sawatari.
Hanaukyo Maid Tai. Head maid of the Technology Department Ikuyo Suzuki sometimes becomes one of these. When she does so, her spectacles become Scary Shiny Glasses. In La Verité, her face usually gets distorted as well.
Okabe Rintaro (or HOUOIN KYOUMA! as he sometimes prefers to be called) of Steins;Gate is a self-proclaimed example, often prone to peals of Evil Laughter, bouts of paranoia, and referring to his inner circle of friends as lab members. Yet despite all of this, he can be surprisingly grounded at times, and realizes that he and his friends' dabbling in time travel and poking about a Government Conspiracy could land them in very hot water.
Rinichiro Hagire, from Deadman Wonderland. He found a way to overwrite people's memories with his own, so that his conscious could continue to live through another's body, completely under his control. He also started a macabre carnaval in his search for the strongest Deadman for his next "generation." Death was expected by the loser. At the time of the the Wretched Egg's birth, he was testing human immunity, searching for a way to improve it, and eventually created the Deadman, he is now trying to turn of the MGS so that Shiro can be at FULL POWER which caused a huge earthquake when she first awoke, submerging the entire city of Tokyo.
Doc from Texhnolyze, who doubles as a Hot Scientist. Putting aside her prosthetic limb fetish and her tendency to have sex with her patients, she also puts wheels on a rat for no reason other than her own apparent amusement.
Dr. Hogback from One Piece, who builds zombies for his master Gekko Moriah, and has no respect for life despite being a doctor.
From the Punk Hazard arc, we have Caesar Clown, who's an even bigger asshole, and even more nuts (Watch out, loads of spoilers ahead). He kidnapped and experienced on children, and used a very dangerous drug on them to keep them from escaping, he has absolutely zero respect for anyone, his forte is weapons of mass destruction, he acts like a nice guy to his underlings only to perform more experiments on them later, he caused an incident that made Punk Hazard into a wasteland, then collected the leftover poisonous gas from that incident to make a Blob Monster, which he later changed back into an even deadlier gas that petrifies its victims... What makes it even worse is that a mole in the Marines covers up all of his actions, allowing him to do as he pleases.
Ivan Alexandr in Marginal. He is obsessed with the womb and runs away to Earth so that he can freely experiment with creating hermaphrodites.
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 he got 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.
The Mandarin is a Mad Scientist enemy of Iron Man. He spends his time inventing mind-controlling super-cancers that run around like a cross between the Blob and the Borg. Or inventing orbiting Hate Rays to destroy the world with madness.
Yes, some of his inventions were adaptations of said aliens' technology. Depending on the writers, the Mandarin has varying levels of superhuman martial arts, too, so he really is some kind of every-villain.
The Mandarin is Dr. Frankenstein and Remo Williams in one man.
Doctor Sivana and his family are similarly the archenemies of Captain Marvel and friends. He's a five-foot-tall gnome of a man with a chrome dome, huge Scary Shiny Glasses, and more often than not a white lab coat. His stated goals (in no particular order): To become Rightful Ruler of the Universe in fact as well as in name; to spread evil, cruelty, and nastiness throughout the cosmos; and to humiliate, discredit, and ultimately KILL CAPTAIN MARVEL! Heh heh heh heh!!! What, exactly, his incredibly attractive and affectionate late wife saw in him is a total enigma.
The original version of the character was actually a benevolent man who was ruined by being rejected by the scientific community for his ideas. When his wife died, he blamed the world and turned into the crackpot we love to hate. This was the Pre Crisis origin, the current version seems to always have been mean.
A heroic Mad Scientist in The DCU is Doctor Magnus, creator of the Metal Men.
In the Marvel Universe, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) are a terrorist organization of Mad Scientists, who wish to overthrow the world's governments and institute a technocracy.
The Enclave is a similar group. Their most successful (or unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it) experiment created the being who would eventually become Adam Warlock (who eventually turned against them).
The DCU comic 52 had a secret conspiracy who was kidnapping Mad Scientists, good and evil, for a nefarious goal.
The Ultra-Humanite (arguably comics' first supervillain) who actually transferred his brain from the standard baldie-in-a-labcoat mad scientist's body into that of a beautiful woman. He was only another Mad Scientist in the Golden Age comics, but in the series The Golden Age, he becomes the arch villain, but poses as a hero and gets the medal of honor. He saved Hitler's brain, too. And put it in an invincible super-body.
D.A. Sinclair of Invincible is easily one of the most sadistic mad scientists in fiction. He started making zombielike techno-organic minions, Re-Animen, from dead bodies, which is bad enough. But he eventually moved on to live subjects, kidnapping his roommate and tearing out his vocal cords so that he couldn't scream while he operated on him (D. A. is a college student, after all, and can't afford anesthetic). And he tore his arm off and overrode his free will. Then he started duplicating the process on homeless people. Naturally, the US Government saw to it that he served no jail time when he was caught, and gave him a cushy job making Re-Animen for military use.
Dr Mindbender from G.I. Joe is particularly mad. Cloner, Genetic Engineer, Robot designer and master of mind control and inventor of many of Cobra's bizarre superweapons. That he's bald, usually shirtless and has pecs like melons only enhances his image of insanity. He even installed mind control chips in several prominent Cobra members, and prepared for his own death by creating a clone backup. Oh, and before he became a mad scientist, he was a... benevolent orthodontist. Until his freak orthodontics accident (seriously).
Simon von Simon from Little Gloomy. He's got it all, from his powerful machinery, futuristic inventions (such as the television and the microwave. Before you say anything, he invented them before anyone else did), hunchbacked Halfhearted Henchman, to his seething rage for everybody but himself. The fact that his plans for world domination were motivated by Gloomy dumping him, and the fact that the series calls him on not marketing his fantastic creations to get on top in a less freaky way undermines his menace somewhat; This, in turn, is offset by his army of ravenous zombies.
Dr Scyk from the Danish comic-strip "Dr Merling".
Several villains in the Blake and Mortimer comics fall under this trope. The most notable being:
Wade/Jonathan Septimusin "The Yellow M"
Miloch Georgevich in "Sos Météores" and "Le Piege Diabolique"
Voronov in "La Machination Voronov". Who also ends up being something of a Karma Houdini.
In Y: The Last Man geneticist Dr Allison Mann claims she was illegally cloning a nephew who needed a bone transplant. She later admits this story was fictional to gain Agent 355's sympathy rather than be thought of as a 'mad scientist'; her actual motive was to spite her father who was nearing success in cloning the first human. After several red herrings we encounter the REAL mad scientist is in fact Allison's father, who was seeking to clone his daughter so he could be a better parent the next time round, yet who also sabotaged Allison's cloning experiment out of sheer spite and may have accidentally caused the plague that all but wiped out all males.
In addition to Dr. Robotnik/Eggman, the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic has Dr. Finitevus and Dimitri, both of whom work for the Dark Legion, a group who believe in self-augmentation with technology.
Hank Pym (a.k.a. Ant-Man a.k.a. Giant-Man a.k.a. Goliath a.k.a. Yellowjacket a.k.a. The Wasp). Just take for example his origin story:
Panel of Scientists: You should stick to practical projects. Hank Pym: No! I'll work only on things that appeal to my imagination... like my latest invention. Panel of Scientists: Oh... what's that? Hank Pym: I won't tell you yet! You would only laugh at me as you've done before! But when I've finished it, I'll show you! Then you shall know I'm a greater scientist than any of you!
Marvel's High Evolutionary. The man built his own planet!
Mr. Freeze used to be one of these, with no real backstory, just the whole freezing schtick. Then came Batman The Animated Series which gave him chillingly tragic backstory and motivation, turning him more into a villainous Woobie. This new version of the character was Retconned into the main DCU.
Barry Ween, the 10-year-old with a 4-digit IQ in the eponymous series The Adventures Of Barry Ween. A representative quote: "Hey — put that down! That's the controls to my weather satellite! You just flooded Norway!" [short pause] "Well... it's only Norway..."
Batman rogue, Scarecrow is an expert psychologist who creates fear gas that preys on the target's most deeply seeded phobias.
Krona (of JLA-Avengers fame) is a mad scientist from a species of humanoids who had discovered immortality and realized the potential of the mind's raw power well before Earth's solar system had formed. He was determined to unlock the secret of existence: How had the universe come into being? To this end, he created a "time window" that would allow him to peer at the moment of creation. Unfortunately, apparently the act of looking caused the creation to go awry, and instead of a single universe, a multiverse was formed. Unfortunately, this included one evil antimatter universe... and the seeds for the Crisis on Infinite Earths were sown. Krona was banished, but eventually was employed by Nekron (the Lord of the Unliving) and turned into the embodiment of entropy. As such, he gradually grew in power, until he reached a point where he vivisected entire universes in his restless quest for answers. He forcibly interrogated Galactus to find out what he knew. All in the name of science.
It can be hard to tell — Blackhawk seems to feature gadgetry unbelievably ludicrous enough to fall under mad science in every issue, and frequently right on the cover.
Dr Rot from the Insane in the Brain storyline of the Wolverine comic, a lunatic running an asylum, whose particular flavour of insane science is psychic machines made out of human brains. Adequately summed up by the following quote, while he flees Wolvie with a fresh brain in one hand and a handful of cables in the other:
Even better, he pulls it off. By the time Wolvie catches up with him, he's turned the brain into a psychic grenade that drives everyone else insane for thirty seconds so he can escape. He uses a slightly-different set of improvised components, sadly.
The Awesome Slapstick had Dr. Denton, Destroyer of Worlds, a five-year-old genius who built a giant robotic teddy bear.
There is a double subversion in Universal War One. The scientist who invented the wormhole is the only one to care about a possible Time Paradox, so he kills the fools who want to 'go home' even if it endanger the universe. However, when Kalish explains him there is no way to create a time paradox, the scientist becomes mad.
Samantha Argus of Safe Havens is a personable, enthusiastic grad student who has unlocked the genetic code. She has the power to transform practically any living creature.
German comic Nick Knatterton once had professor bartap, who invents a shaving foam which is also a very effective explosive. Unintentionally. (Comedic version, definitely.)
Hugo Strange from Batman is an archetypal mad scientist. He's an expert in everything from chemistry and genetics to psychology, and uses it for evil.
The Military Doctor in Sturmtruppen: He believes to have discovered the Invisibility Elixir without getting insane, while his attendants point out that's actually the other way around. He also thought that a case of anemia was actually caused by a Vampire.
Warren Ellis's Doktor Sleepless intentionally invokes this: nobody listens to "real people," so he becomes the cartoony mad scientist character of Doktor Sleepless to draw attention.
Runaways: Chase's parents, Victor and Janet Stein are a pair of these.
Baccano! has Szilard Quates, Huey Laforet, and Renée Brinvillier. All three are immortal alchemists, and also happen to have the requisite beautiful daughter (with Renée being the implied mother of Huey's).
The Generation 1 comic Transformers All Hail Megatron: makes Brainstorm into one. He seemingly has no qualms about putting suggestion ideas inside Kup's mind at Prowl's request to exert more control over the army. Transformers Last Stand Of The Wreckers Brainstorm works at the Kimia Facility, an R & D lab full of mad scientists. And Brainstorm in particular is considered especially insane even by their standards. He makes a hobby of creating weapons so horrible, their classified as unmentionable by the Ethics Committee. Transformers More Than Meets The Eye he builds all sorts of weapons and a holding cell for the crew and to hold Overlord.
Also from Wreckers is Ironfist, who's weapons have been responsible for the death of millions of cons, but he himself is quite naive and doesn't know of their effects as well as the war's toll outside of statistics. He builds a gun which targets the brain, and that was band by the ethics committee.
Skyfall is a less comedic and naive example he isn't as smart or successful as the others, but he's quite mad, and sold Ironfist's most deadly invention to the Decepticons, and rigged one of those brain bullets to lodge inside Ironfist's skull and kill him.
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 Megaman 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.
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 skit 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.
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 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.
Pauline from the independent film Excision.
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.
In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, the Alchemists' Guild are also Magitek mad scientists. Inverted with the character of Jeremy Clockson, who has the detachment from reality and dangerous obsession of the typical Mad Scientist because (most of the time, and in a very specialised way) he's saner than normal people.
The Igors of the Discworld series. Though typically the assistants of a Mad Scientist, they're known to conduct their own experiments, such as growing noses with feet, and their own special version of "self improvement". Though to be fair, the Igors in general are remarkably Genre Savvy — they know their place in the chain, and how to react when that chain is shaken. In fact, the clan foists off the most "modern" variant of their clan upon the Night Watch in an attempt to cease the corruption: that is to say, Mr. "Noses with Feet". Similarly, in Carpe Jugulum, an Igor working for vampires revolts at their innovations and revives the old master — not so much reviving the Good Old Ways as the Moderately Less Odious Old Ways.
Bergholt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson may qualify, aside from his architectural and landscaping mishaps he made a mail-sorter with a wheel that has pi as exactly 3, it started churning out mail from the future and alternate universes until the post master smashed it.
Leonard of Quirm isn't so much mad as unable to foresee the consequences of his inventions.
While the Mad Scientist might seem quintessentially modern, he's probably Older Than Steam. The inspiration for both Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein and the adaptations which distorted Frankenstein into a Mad Scientist came from a much older literary and popular tradition about Mad Alchemists, and their blasphemous, yet entertaining, obsessions with the creation of homunculi and the secrets of eternal life. The most well-known remnant of the old "Mad Alchemist" trope today is the Faust myth, and its literary adaptations in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and Goethe's Faust.
An interesting fact is that the 1910 silent film Frankenstein features a scene of monster's creation that is highly relevant to an alchemical procedure of palingenesis (re-formation of a once-living organism from its ashes or from its severed parts by heating). No other film adaptation involves this trace.
Victor Frankenstein, as originally conceived in Mary Shelley's novel, was not quite a Mad Scientist. Although he sees himself as a descendant of Mad Alchemists, Shelley makes his character more rounded and his mental instability more subtly portrayed. However, within decades wildly popular nineteenth-century melodrama theatre adaptations recast him as a cackling Mad Alchemist.
While he's not a Mad Scientist throughout the novel, he certainly is one when he's actually working on bringing his creature to life:
My cheek had grown pale with study, and my person had become emaciated with confinement. Sometimes, on the very brink of certainty, I failed; yet still I clung to the hope which the next day or the next hour might realize. One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I had dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labors, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places. Who shall conceive the horrors of my secret toil as I sabbled among the unhallowed damps of the grave or tortured the living animal to animate the lifeless clay? My limbs now tremble, and my eyes swim with the remembrance; but then a resistless, and almost frantic impulse, urged me forward; I seemed to have lost all soul or sensation but for this one pursuit. It was indeed but a passing trance, that only made me feel with renewed acuteness so soon as, the unnatural stimulus ceasing to operate, I had returned to my old habits. I collected bones from charnel-houses and disturbed, with profane fingers, the tremendous secrets of the human frame. In a solitary chamber, or rather cell, at the top of the house, and separated from all the other apartments by a gallery and staircase, I kept my workshop of filthy creation: my eyeballs were starting from their sockets in attending to the details of my employment. The dissecting room and the slaughter-house furnished many of my materials; and often did my human nature turn with loathing from my occupation, whilst, still urged on by an eagerness which perpetually increased, I brought my work near to a conclusion.
The stories From Beyond, like At the Mountains of Madness, The Dreams in the Witch House and The Shadow Out of Time. While all of the above feature scientists, only the one in From Beyond is a genuine Mad Scientist. Though some of the others Go Mad from the Revelation, they never adapt Mad Scientist mannerisms, instead getting more realistic nervous breakdowns.
Herbert West, mentioned above in the Film of the Book (albeit updated to later in the 20th Century.)
Arthur Machen's The Inmost Light written in 1894 contains a rather horrific version of this trope.
There's one in The Great God Pan. While the novel seems desperate to make him slightly sympathetic, at least to a modern reader he comes off as a monster. Yeah, practice some experimental brain surgery with a teenaged girl completely infatuated with you, and clearly incapable of truly informed consent. What could go wrong?
The villain of Hilari Bell's The Last Knight is a rare example of a mad scientist in a fantasy setting, performing dubiously ethical experiments in order to give magical powers to humans (as, in the story's universe, only plants and animals have magic).
The Star Wars Expanded Universe introduce Qwi Xux, an incredibly brilliant scientist who designed the laser for the Death Star, the World Destroyers, the Sun Crusher and a number of other dangerous creations. Unlike many others in this trope her extremely guarded upbringing (she was raised by Imperials in an oppressive cram school where the price for failure was your hometown being obliterated) has caused her to develop a very naive and innocent view of her creations, having been led to believe they were intended for industrial applications (the Death Star would blow up a massive asteroid which the World Destroyers would then be able to harvest for materials, etc.).
Subverted to some extent in the George R.R. Martin-edited Wild Cards books. There are Mad Scientists a plenty, on both hero and villain sides. Or at least folks who have been infected with the wild card virus who are now determined to build androids, giant mecha suits and all manner of mad-sciencey devices. The kicker is that the inventions they create really are just piles of unworkable junk, and the particular power they have developed is the ability to make their crazy inventions work. Any attempt to analyze and reproduce the devices prove to be fruitless and show that there is no way they should function in the first place.
Professor Drummond from the Nick Carter short story "Nick Carter and the Professor" from 1902. This story appeared in the reprint anthology Nick Carter, Detective published in 1963 by the MacMillan Company, with an introduction by Robert Clurman. Drummond worked out of Malden, MA and had his underlings steal a body from Mount Auburn in Cambridge. Carter also faced Dr. Jack Quartz.
In A Fighting Man of Mars, Phor Tak. Originally sane while making his inventions, but losing it after being maltreated and exiled by his jeddak. At first it appears to be Revenge, but in the end, he reveals he wants to Take Over the World.
Garfield Reeves-Stevens' novel Dark Matter features a mad scientist cum serial murderer who actually manages to endow himself with metahuman powers similar to Captain Atom, Doctor Solar, Firestorm, and Doctor Manhattan (in imitation of the latter, he even visits Mars).
Remo Williams has encountered mad scientists, for example Dr. Judith White, who mutated herself into tiger/homo sapien hybrid.
His original goal was to remove/eliminate outright his "evil" side (the id). Unfortunately, one of the ingredients—a "special salt"—wasn't pure enough, and the resulting cocktail only worked halfway.
He gets a little mwahaha as Hyde:
Edward Hyde, about to drink the potion: And now, you who have so long been bound to the most narrow and material views, you who have denied the virtue of transcendental medicine, you who have derided your superiors—behold!
In the Soviet science-fiction story Amphibian Man, the title character's adoptive father, Dr. Salvator gives him shark gills, extensive knowledge about Oceanology and other sciences... and none whatsoever about such pesky details like days of week. Salvator also gives a rather passionate speech toward the end of the book critizising Science Is Bad.
Saruman can also be viewed as this character type, what with his obsession with industry at the expense of the natural world. He is also something of a would-be Emperor Scientist; he would have become one had his whole Take Over the World plan gotten off the ground.
The Corsay Books have a wide variety, from Frankenstein-style reanimationists, to those dabbling in Alien Geometries, to specialists in disciplines that seem closer to magic. They are the main antagonists of the work, but generally portrayed as misguided and dangerous rather than evil.
And he had to hide his genius or use it to play tricks with, when, with an ordinary face, he would have been one of the most distinguished of mankind!
The main character of The Chronicles Of Professor Jack Baling is one of these. He doesn't start off as one, but by the end of the first episode, he resides firmly in this territory. There seem to be some other characters who are also Mad Scientists, but we haven't seen them in any great detail yet.
From Storm Front, the main antagonist has a whole factory producing a magically-laced drug. It's catalyzed by a ritual, fueled by sex.
Dr. Sacreya of Sacreyas Legacy is certainly mad, creating a zombie virus and all, but his intentions are good.
The Rings of Saturn has an old, very much insane scientist, living in the abandoned part of a space pirate base (without their knowledge) who is obsessed with researching other dimensions (and doesn't hesitate to send his lab assistant, or random strangers into them. Without giving them a way back.)
Qybourn of  is definately this. He lost his title of Maester for experimenting on living people, and from the chapters in King's Landing, we get a good idea what these experiments involved..Let's just say that his creation of a Frankenstein-like creature mostly made up of Gregor Clegane is just the very tip of the nightmare-inducing iceberg.
The aeshes of A.L. Phillips's The Quest Of The Unaligned have this reputation, and in fact in magickless Tonzimmiel, "aesh" means "certified engineer." Word Of God reveals that their secondary power is Haesh's Trace, a burst of insight that grants them true understanding of something they've been considering. An example of this is seen in Laeshana's sudden insight into the nature of magic while she is finishing her studies at the College of Magic.
John Lumic from the Doctor Who two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel". In addition to being an Evilutionary Biologist, he explicitly considers himself above law.
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 creator of the Daleks, who easily conveyed just how twisted he was even without an Evil Laugh.
And the Rani!
A few other notable old series examples: Taren Capel, Professor Zaroff, Mehendri Solon, and arguably Light.
Earlier incarnations of The Doctor could fall into this trope. Ace bordered on it, especially with explosives and practical chemistry. Adric may possibly have landed here too had he lived.
Earlier nothing. The Tenth Doctor's brand of mad science would easily 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wierd Science theme song by Oingo Boingo is about making a woman. With pot and pans apparently.
They carry this to their live acts too, often dressing up to evoke a medical fetish.
Project Pitchfork - "Splice"
Helloween's "Dr. Stein" is about a mad scientist who creates monsters.
The Music video to "She Blinded Me with Science" involves several men dressed as scientist wandering around a mental institution called "The Home for Deranged Scientists".
Myths & Religion
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.
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 gameline had the "Sons of Ether", a "Tradition" of technomantic mad scientists who see their magick as the ultimate form of True Science. 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 40000. 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, 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 raise:
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. 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-tinkergnomes 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, 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. 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 — not only never knocked over anything by accident, but didn't even let a kettle he didn't see to 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.
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.
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.
Advance Wars had Lash, a girl genius version of the mad scientist. The reboot Days of Ruin has Caulder/Stolos, probably the most extreme mad scientist ever. Among his creations are the games equivalent to nukes, a giant bomber, cloned humans intended to be used as Super Commanders, and most of all, a virus that kills its host by growing flowers all over its body. He also loves to manipulate people into fighting each other just so he can observe them and views humans as little more than test subjects... Including himself.
He doesn't think that the flower virus is deadly enough, so he UPGRADES it to kill EVERYONE (rather than just adults, which is what the first version did). Also, 'Giant Bomber' means a plane so large that two armies can fight on one wing, and each bomb can destroy thirteen buildings in one explosion. Guy is a genius. Completely insane nutcase, but still a genius.
Klungo from the Banjo-Kazooie games. He's responsible for Gruntilda's Beauty-Stealing Machine and in Grunty's Revenge is hinted that he also created Grunty's monster army. Unique in the fact he also happens to be the The Igor.
Dr. Suchong from BioShock is the sinister and detached version, the warped genius behind much ADAM research, including several plasmids, the Little Sisters, and the Big Daddies. He was the linchpin behind virtually everything that went wrong in Rapture, including the protagonist himself — but, at least, he died an ironic death...
Busuzima from Bloody Roar went so far as to freakishly mutate his co-worker Stun to steal his research. Starting as a child who wanted to create a creature that would never die, he's fallen to become a Jerkass who would sacrifice anybody for money and power. He can also turn into a chameleon and fight quite well, but (unusually for his occupation) that's a natural part of him.
City of Heroes and City of Villains have several of these, not including player character concepts: Dr. Aeon is the foremost example, tapping the energy of a slumbering demon in order to power his city. There's also Vernon von Grun, a Mad Scientist-In-Training Lab Assistant.
The Clockwork King thinks that he's a Mad Scientist, but he's actually an extremely powerful psychic whose creations work because he believes they do.
Brutally expanded on in a high level story arc, where an alternate universe version of the Clockwork King has realised his own sanity, and focused enough to conquer the entire planet and kill everyone on it.
The Council, of which all of The Center's generals are mad scientists (SIX of them!). The lower ranks of the Council are filled with their creations.
It's mentioned at least once that Arachnos (the Big Bad Organization ruling the isles in which the game takes place), intentionally trains and recruits mad scientists, in order to stay ahead of the mad science game, ensuring their dominance above lesser criminal organizations.
Every single villain in the Crash Bandicoot franchise is either a mad scientist (usually with a first name starting with the letter N, which lends itself to Punny Names such as Neo Cortex (the usual megalomaniac Big Bad), N.Gin (the Yes Man and more recently, The Igor), Nitrus Brio (a chuckling Frankenstein-like midget), N.Tropy, N.Oxide and N.Trance) or a hideously mutated anthropomorphic animal created by said mad scientists.
Mao in Disgaea 3. Despite being the main character, Mao is quite possibly the archetypal mad scientist. Thoughts of experimentation on interesting subjects send him into an excited fit, even if the subject turns out to be himself. The main story ends with Mao capturing and continually experimenting on the Big Bad, instead of killing him.
The first one, Terrance Kyne, while he's gone a bit batty after being thrust into the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, and has a habit of talking to his late wife (although that's not a sign of mental illness, it's a manifestation of the Marker), he's an OK sort who just wants to help Issac.
Nolan Stross from Dead Space 2 was also a scientist. In the prequel movie Aftermathhe is exposed to a shard of the Marker and incidentally causes most of the crew of his ship, the O'Bannon, to get killed by Necromorphs. He also murders his wife and infant son in a fit of hallucinations. He's institutionalized on the Sprawl, and links up with Isaac and Ellie; at first he's somewhat lucid and wants to destroy the marker, but as the game goes on, his hallucinations worsen, and becomes violent, gouging Ellie's eye out. He later tries to murder Isaac, who kills him in self-defense.
Bob Page from Deus Ex certainly fits this trope. The man has built multi-national conglomerates dedicated to such "grey area" pursuits as transgenics, bioweapons, espionage, nanotechnology, and cybernetics; all an Evil Plan to rule the world.
Bob Page also employs plenty of other scientists, some of whom are completely ignorant about what they're doing, some of whom were captured and forced to work and some of whom are just completely without morals.
Dr. Neurosis in Brain Dead 13, who plays out every Mad Scientist trope in the book.
At least three Devil May Cry villains have been scientists researching, experimenting on and trying to create demons — Arius in Devil May Cry 2, Agnus in Devil May Cry 4 and Chen from the second novel. It's debatable as to how "scientific" this line of work is, though, so we could call them Mad Pseudoscientists or something.
Professor Monkey-for-a-Head from the Earthworm Jim games. "Don't make the monkey mad, son!"
The Master from Fallout, who beneath a calm, arrogant exterior topped by the reasoning of a Well-Intentioned Extremist exhibited a multiple personality disorder and overall emotional frailty.
The Fallout 3 DLC Point Lookout gives us Professor Calvert, a Brain in a Jar with a robot filled underground base whose goal is to turn all of Point Lookout's inhabitants into his mind controlled slaves.
The Fallout New Vegas DLC Old World Blues has the Think Tanks, Pre-War scientists who chose to make themselves floating Brains In Jars whose stated goal is For Science!. It also doesn't help that they do a lot of drugs on their own free time.
Played straight and then subverted by Dr. Morbius, who plays the stereotypical mad scientist bent on domination and revenge with science but it then turns out *he* is the responsible one (sort of) who's role is to keep the other scientists who are actually far worse than him in check.
Final Fantasy IV gives us Dr. Lugae, one of Rubicante's servants. He gleefully turned Edge's parents into hideous monsters, and when the party confronts him attacks them with a giant robot named Barnabas before turning into a mechanical skeleton to continue the fray. When the heroes finally reach Rubicante, he actually apologizes for Lugae's actions.
Hojo from Final Fantasy VII is truly an archetypal Mad Scientist, right down to his outfit and sociopathic habit of sacrificing a great deal for the sake of scientific discovery (which, in his case, underlies his utter insanity). When you get down to it, Hojo may very well be the leading villain in the game, considering that most of the conflict in the game is indirectly his fault.
Cid, one of the trademark characters of the Final Fantasy series, is sometimes portrayed in this light. Examples are in Final Fantasy VI, where, despite working for The Empire, he is a sympathetic character, and in Final Fantasy XII, where he is a main villain and fits this trope to a T (although in that game, he could also qualify as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, seeing how the real bad guys were the pantheon he was fighting against).
Kefka Palazzo may qualify as one from Final Fantasy VI, seeing how it was heavily implied that Kefka's the one who invented Terra's Slave Crown.
Dr. Curien in the House of the Dead series. The third game has little cutscenes that chronicle his transformation from "scientist-trying-to-find-cure-for-sick-son" to "zombie-obsessed-psycho."
The first six members of Organisation XIII in Kingdom Hearts II were originally assistants to Ansem the Wise and his research on the Heartless. Vexen keeps up his research.
Arguably, Xehanort from Birth by Sleep is also one. He tries to restart a war that destroyed all worlds. FOR SCIENCE!!!!
And Braig, Dilan, Aeleus, and Ienzo either, considering what happened when they went just a liiiiiittle too far trying to make sense of Darkness in the heart...
Doctor Fred Edison from Maniac Mansion, its sequel Day Of The Tentacle, and the television program arguably based on them. Granted, his desire to take over the world and generally be evil was planted in his head by a purple meteor, but as the sequel shows, even when he's not being controlled, Fred is still a very whacked-out and amoral scientist.
The second game's problems stem from a machine built by the Doc whose only purpose is generating massive amounts of toxic waste. Why? Because the other mad scientists were making fun of him for his inventions being too environment-friendly. That must've been after he dismantled his nuclear reactor chilled by a swimming pool.
Dr. Albert Wily from the Mega Man series; arguably, the heroic Dr. Light as well.
Wily's so nuts, some of his own creations are mad scientists, too; most notably, Gravity Man, whose data card quote is taken from Galileo.
Any and every scientist working for Umbrella in the Resident Evil series is virtually guaranteed to be a Mad Scientist. The majority of the games in the franchise have also had a batshit insane researcher as the Big Bad:
Overall series? Besides Wesker, we also have Spencer, who was originally a scientist who worked on the Progenitor Virus.
Guildernstern from the Onimusha series of videogames, and his successor in the fourth installment Rosencrantz (see a pattern here?), both qualify as mad scientists. Guildenstern can't help but experiment with demon and human anatomy to come up with truly horrifying monsters for the protagonist to face. Even in the second game where he is never seen, he is mentioned in many in-game texts as the reason your character has to go through such hell with biomechanical demonic constructs plaguing him at every other turn.
In Psychonauts, the villain Dr. Loboto has all the trappings of a mad scientist, while using the style of his doubtless-failed career in dentistry.
Sasha Nein is a rare good example.
Sasha: Now, just relax. You won't feel a thing. Unless something really very bad happens.
Also, Word Of God states that he experimented on himself, infusing monster cells into his own, extending his own lifespan, however he is still mortal regardless.
Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He has a recorded IQ of 300 and an almost admirable level of persistence. He is, however, entirely sane, relatively speaking.
Also Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, brilliant scientist who designed a working orbital space colony and dabbled with artificial life forms among other things. He was driven insane after his granddaughter was killed by G.U.N.. The depths of his hatred for the world and his desire to destroy it shocked even Eggman himself.
Andross in Star Fox, who employed several bio-weapons (as in, lifeforms created as weapons) in Star Fox64 and Command. The later however somewhat redeems his actions by revealing that he had been working on a device that would terraform the aptly named planet Venom into a more inhabitable one. Which just happens to be the perfect counter to the new threat, which come from the acidic oceans of the planet. However, the same game also hints that he was the one who created the new threat in the first place in the Good Bye Fox scenario.
Also from Super Robot Wars, Aguila Setme and Egret Fehu. Both are similar to Lemon, except she at least had human decency and Alas, Poor Villain. Aguila mind fucks CHILDREN and turns them in living weapons, and figures any psychological scarring her sick experiments inflict can simply be removed with more brainwashing, or retained in some form if it make them fight even better. Egret builds Artifical Human Machinery Children, who agree with his belief Humansare Bastards (and we suck from a biological standpoint), and is willing to kill all of humanity to achieve his end goals.
Kenzo Kobayashi was one of these (still is to an extent), but performed a Heel Face Turn in Original Generation (officially, was doing so slowly anyway after he developed a conscience prior)
Dr. Bian Zoldark. Initiates research on alien technology and starts a war to get the Earth prepared for alien invasion. Where's the mad part in that? He made Valsione for his daughter.
The Medic and The Engineer of Team Fortress 2. The Medic, a GermanDeadly Doctor, is an eloquent, musically inclined follower of Nietzchean Ideals, using his tech to make him and his Team nigh-invincible... all the better for them to dole out the maximum amount of pain and suffering possible. The Engineer is a genial, gentlemanly Texan good ol boy whose normally serene nature masks a burning passion For Science, and a deep seated contempt for and willingness to betray anyone who would dare disrespect him.
Heavy: Doctor, are you sure this will work? Medic: (Evil Laugh) I have no idea!
Thief II: The Metal Age features Father Karras of the Mechanists. He's mentioned in the first game as the fellow responsible for Garrett's replacement ocular, but by the second installment, he's gone completely 'round the bend and is cheerfully intent on bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. Among his achievements are the successful invention of robots, cameras, voice recordings, and motion-sensing automatic cannons in a vaguely Medieval Steampunk setting, along with horrific cyborgs that constantly weep in agony and beg for death. He also has a preoccupation with Garrett...
Guillaume from Vampire Night. He uses humans for his experiments and even views the vampire hunters as potential test subjects, for crying out loud.
Dr. Kranken from Viewtiful Joe 2 fits the trope (like everything else in the games) to a stereotypical T.
Professor Emma from Wild Arms 1 has shades of this, most notably when she led the team to a secret underground base that none of your teammates knew anything about, although the team spellcaster is the princess of the town it's built under.
Hanpan: There you go again, with another crazy idea... Isn't this illegal? Jack: Someone stop this crazy professor... Emma: I wasn't sure what I was getting into, so I didn't bother getting a permit.
Xenogears has arguable Big Bad Krelian, for whom everyone on the planet is a test subject, and, on the heroic side, the decidedly eccentric Dr. CitanUzuki. His eccentricity is partially Obfuscating Stupidity, as he's actually a spy. A very intelligent spy.
Xenosaga goes its predecessor one better, giving us an only slightly mad Strangelove Expy in Sellers, the classic obsessive type with pretensions of chessmastery in Dimitri Yuriev, and the tragic and misunderstood type in Joachim Mizrahi. Mizrahi gets extra points for falling to his death while reciting Scripture at the top of his voice.
Tales Of Monkey Island features the foppish French (or faux-French) doctor, the Marquis De Singe. (Pronounced by some of the characters like the English word meaning "burn", but "singe" is also French for monkey.) At one point Guybrush asks him why he would build a lightning machine powered by voles and he exclaims, "Science!"
Professor Von Kriplespac (More commonly known simply as "The Professor") from Conkers Bad Fur Day qualifies. He created anti-gravity chocolate and an army of evil teddy bears, and thought that a squirrel would be a good table leg replacement.
One of the main player archetypes in Dwarf Fortress. The kind who builds a 30-storey engine of destruction just so he can have a million streams of magma pouring down onto hapless goblin invaders at once, or constructs a gargantuan bridge just to find out how far you can throw a goblin.
In Monster Lab, the player is an apprentice Mad Scientist.
In the first Borderlands DLC, Dr. Ned is a mad scientist played for laughs.
Dwarven Paragon Caradin from Dragon Age: Origins was one before his disappearance, although when you finally meet him, he is more of The Atoner than anything else. Likewise, Paragon Branka, whose attempt to recreate the lost art of creating golems by finding the Anvil of the Void led her to abandon her entire family and her lover to a Fate Worse Than Death deliberately so that she could get past the traps guarding the Anvil with an endless supply of darkspawn birthed by the Broodmothers her female relatives had become.
In the DLC add-on Warden's Keep, the mage Grey Warden Avernus conducts research into Blood Magic, demonic lore, and the Darkspawn taint, which, while ghastly, has yielded useful results: the Power of Blood talents your character can obtain in the DLC and the means to prolong one's life and halt the Darkspawn taint through Blood Magic. However, if you give him half a chance, Avernus will admit that he made serious mistakes and asks for a chance to undo the damage he caused. He will even quietly accept execution afterwards.
In the AwakeningExpansion Pack, the Architect (a sentient Darkspawn who has freed himself from the call fo the Old Gods and attempted to do the same for the rest of his race, accidentally kicking off the Fifth Blight in the first place) has several elements of this trope.
The Elder Scrolls has several, but Relmyna of Shivering Isles stands out in particular. Obsessed with the power of flesh (no, really), she enjoys creating twisted monstrosities such as Flesh Atronarchs and the Gatekeeper, and considers them her "children". She also conducts some grisly experiments on the concepts of pain and suffering. Oh, and she's on your side.
World of Warcraft has two in its latest expansion, both undead. Grand Apothecary Putress of the Forsaken performs unholy experiments to create a new Plague to destroy both the undead Scourge and all life in general. Professor Putricide of the Scourge tries to do...the same thing, but without the 'destroy the Scourge' part. He also fits the trope better for having a Laboratory of Alchemical Horrors and Fun, as well as being the implied creator of most all of the abominations and similar the players have fought since arguably original World of Warcraft.
The goblin race as a whole fits this, too. Usually their inventions involve Stuff Blowing Up.
Rik'kal the Dissector, a Mantid Paragon, often asks his fellow Paragons to serve as test subjects, and often makes parenthetical asides while giving quests to the player, such as suggesting that the Shek'zeer loyalists' experiments may be dark, but they are not as dark as his, and that only he deserves such power. The other Paragons are wary of him at best.
In Prototype, the Mad Scientist behind the outbreak of the Blacklight virus is Alex Mercer. He wanted to take the original virus and develop it into an even deadlier form. Unfortunately for New York City, he succeeds, brags about his achievement, and then goes and releases it in Penn Station. The player-controlled protagonist character is actually the sentient result, who has assumed Mercer's identity as its Shapeshifter Default Form.
Mass Effect 2s Mordin Solus may qualify, although he's more eccentric than outright mad. He's a Salarian doctor who was formerly a member of a special forces squad, then ran a clinic where he cured a population of a devastating plague while personally shooting attacking mercenaries in the head, both of which he sees as a public service. He also seems to have a taste for Gilbert & Sullivan.
He also keeps up a set of ethics and principles that he refuses to break, notably despising the idea of Playing With Syringes and experiments that lead to more suffering than necessary. In the end, he believes in saving lives, even through questionablemeans.
A better example is Daro'Xen; a Quarian who believes the Geth should be put back under the control of the Quarians, regardless of how much Heel Face Brainwashing it takes. In fact... especially if it involves those. She casually mentions that she performed surgery on her toys as a kid, and the Geth are no different. Tali calls her insane to her face right after.
Halfway between them both may fall Tali's father; A Well-Intentioned Extremist with poor judgment and a bit too little foresight, he performs experiments on the geth solely because he believes it will help his people (his daughter in particular). It backfires and he dies because of it.
Henry Lawson! Ohh boy, Henry Lawson. First he creates Designer Babies to continue he legacy and disposes of them whenever they don't meet his standards. And then there's Sanctuary which he advertised as a safe haven during the Reaper War and lured thousands of war refugees and families. Once they got there, they were experimented on and turned into husks and indoctrinated soldiers for Cerberus.
Daniel Dankovski, Bachelor of Medicine from Pathologic is an In-Universe subversion of this trope. He is thanatologist, pursuing the purpose of defeating death by researching pocesses of dying and necrosis. He is infamous for revolutionary ideas and experiments that seem insane and immoral. So he was called in press, his labaratory is closed and he is persecuted by society and government. In fact, though he is a bit eccentric, he is a decent guy, completely sane, just pretty sarcastic.
The Portal series gives us Aperture Laboratories, a company full of mad scientists. Driven by their grandiosely insane founder and CEO, Cave Johnson, they got started in The Fifties by recruiting the best of the best of humankind and employing them as human lab rats in a vast array of Mad Science experiments. Said experiments involved such things as Body Horror transmutations, irradiation, DNA injections, and their signature teleportation experiments, one result of which was the Handheld Portal Device that forms a core part of the gameplay. Their crowning achievement was Artificial Intelligence, but even here they only succeeded in creating an AI as madly deranged as they were. GLaDOS proceeded to take over the research program... by murdering all the scientists with a deadly neurotoxin. It is then up to the protagonist to enter this maze of insanity and find a way to escape. The closing song to the first game (sung by GLaDOS) makes all this starkly clear.
"Aperture Science: We do what we must because we can. For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead. But there's no sense crying over every mistake; You just keep on trying till you run out of cake. And the Science gets done, and you make a neat gun, For the people who are still alive."
Portal 2 ups the ante, primarily by sending the player on an exploration of Old Aperture — the test facilities from The Fifties, where prerecorded messages from Cave Johnson lay out the founding principles of the company and its decline into bankruptcy and despair, culminating with the aforementioned push for AI.
Cave Johnson: "For this next test, we're going to have a superconductor turned up to full power and aimed directly at you. No idea what it'll do. I'll be honest, we're just throwing science at the wall here to see what sticks. Best case, you get some superpowers. Worst case, some tumors, which we'll cut out."
More than likely, Cave's overzealous drive to experiment and try anything, even going so far as to fire anyone who questioned the safety of these activities, weeded out any sane scientists and encouraged the eccentric thinking of remaining staff. In the end, Aperture Science was operating off the grid, paranoid of any government oversight, in effect walling themselves in to one giant, death-trap lab.
Daryl, from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Among other things, he wanders onto your ranch while creepily muttering things, tries to capture a Yeti-like creature in the nearby woods, has a lab that is prone to explosions, spies on your child through the window to observe how children act, tries to steal one of your cows for experiments, and considers taking your DNA to clone you after you die at the end of the game.
Doctor Cranium from Quest For Glory IV is out to reanimate dead tissue and all, but he really doesn't think he's a Mad Scientist. A bit perturbed about the world situation and how he get so little respect, sure, but not mad.
Professor Elvin Gadd of Luigis Mansion fame also qualifies, albeit he's a benevolent nutcase who seems to channel his eccentricities into his inventions (a machine that turns ghosts into paintings, among other things). It's later learned that he's inadvertantly responsible for all the woes caused in Super Mario Sunshine.
Surely Bowser can count. He's mad all the time. Not crazy mad, angry mad, but still... And who do you think designs and builds all his mechanical toys?
Doesn't stop him from coming back for a rematch, though.
Dr. Odine from Final Fantasy VIII is undeniably brilliant and perhaps the expert on the power of witches in the world. He's the one who actually explains Time Compression to the party. He's also completely amoral - part of why Laguna continues in the position he has is due to needing to keep Odine's research directed towards productive means that won't cause the destruction of humanity.
Lezard Valeth from Valkyrie Profile and it's sequels show Lezard as a mad wizard/alchemist with mad scientist traits. (Though that may be an understatment considering how important to the plot his mad scientist skills seem to be.) He also has one of the creepiest laughs ever to appear in a video game.
In The Sims 2, Mad Scientist is actually the top career rank for the Science career. Also, Loki Beaker from Strangetown is obviously supposed to be one, according to his bio. He also has 0 nice points, which makes him an Evil Genius as well. He and his wife Circe have Nervous Subject in their house and according to the family bio, they are torturing him.
Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey has Affably Evil demon lord Mitra. He cordially invites you to share in the bounty of the Schwarzwelt and offers to make you and your comrades citizens of his kingdom-to-come. He also has a tower full of human experiments and is developing insanity-inducing mutagens (which he eventually tests on one of your crew). And his science is... wrong. Very, very wrong. The experiment reports clearly state the demons have really no idea what makes humans tick, so they're cutting as many as they can so they can get a better idea. With all that implies.
Aaaaand we come to Evil Brit Captain Jack. His crew has been fusing demons. So what. The problem is, they're not using the series' traditional Demon Fusion machines - they're using their own. Which mostly involve ripping apart two demons and weave them together.
Gears of War gives us Dr. Adam Fenix. He developed the Hammer of Dawn system, devised the plan to flood the Locust Hollow that required sinking Jacinto, and created the anti-Lambent weapon that appears at the end of Gears 3. He spent more time creating weapons of mass destruction than he did with his family, and he claims that he knew about the impending E-Day but couldn't stop it before it was too late. He tested his anti-Lambent weapon on himself. Unlike many mad scientists, he realized the folly of his work and did everything he could to make up for his failures.
Dr. Ort-Meyer from the Hitman series, responsible for the protagonist's creation. With a reputation as a disgruntled, megalomaniacal geneticist (even pulling an extensive They Called Me Mad! speech in the first game's finale), he was capable of creating a mindlessly loyal and equally lethal version of 47 over the course of the game, which nonetheless ended up being destroyed by 47 (although there survived a more primitive version which went on to serve as a minor antagonist in Silent Assassin). The backstory of Blood Money deals with the impact of his creation's legacy and the prospect of it falling into the wrong hands.
Dr. Paul and Dr. Miranda from Escape From St Marys disguise their time machine as a coffin so that it's "inconspicuous." Their invention threatens to destroy the universe; they seem mostly unmoved by this.
Seath the Scaleless from Dark Souls is a dragon that combines this with Evil Sorceror. He is described as the grandfather of sorcery and the creator of various magical creatures like the Moonlight Butterfly. He went insane trying to decipher the one mystery that eluded him his whole life: why he was the only dragon born without the scales of immortality that every other dragon had.
Dr. Mundo performed sadistic experiments on anyone he could catch until he was run out of town. Lacking subjects, he experimented on himself, transforming into a drooling brute with immense strength, regenerative powers, and Hulk Speak.
Warwick was a "mercenary alchemist" until he was transformed into a werewolf as an attempted punishment. He really likes being a werewolf, but hasn't made a lot of scientific contributions since, presumably because he's too busy tearing people apart.
Singed was Warwick's student, but when he created his greatest invention he decided to name it after his patron. Hence the Insanity Potion. In addition to the chemicals he throws around, his personal enhancements have made him immensely strong and durable.
Viktor turned himself into a cyborg, and wants everyone else to undergo a similar transformation. Fortunately thus far his method has been to prove how superior his enhancements make him instead of doing unwilling conversions.
Ziggs is obsessed with explosives and extremely reckless with them. After saving the Yordle Academy that expelled him for his dangerous methods they admitted him in gratitude and recognition of his skill, then directed him to the League. An honor, certainly, but one that ensures he spends a lot of time away from them.
Heimerdinger wants to create a weapon powerful enough to prevent war. As a result of an experiment his head has expanded to make room for more brain. Unlike most of those listed he's highly respected as an inventor and his creations are used by others.
The Pokemon games usually have a few scientists willingly working for the main villains.
Dr. Malcolm Betruger from Doom 3. In the expansion pack Resurrection of Evil, he becomes the Maledict.
Reality On The Norm: The recurring character Dr. Die Vie Ess, who fills every evil scientist cliche, complete with a mansion and a basement with a big vat of acid, as well as having his eyes go crazy when he talks.
Mana Khemia gives us Jess, a Rose-HairedGenki Girl who loves to experiment with alchemical bombs and medicines. And by "medicines", we mean "potions that magnify cavity pain and/or turn people green." The fact that her experiments tend to blow up in her face might actually be a good thing.
Dr. Elliot Sinclair, Big Bad of The Journeyman Project, and inventor of the Pegasus time machine, which jumpstarted the foundation of the Temporal Security Agency.
Dr. F of My Sims Kingdom, who enthused after a successful experiment that "History will replace the word 'science' with the name 'F'!"
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.
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 alsoMad 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, howeve stable her sanity may or may not be otherwise.
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.
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 Nightmare Fuel 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.
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 Boldy 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.
Professor Frink of The Simpsons is a rather more amicable Mad Scientist, always apologetic when things go wrong with his inventions, and a passion for inventing crazy things like self-aware robots that only scrub floors, auto-diallers with retractable wheels, automatic tap-dancing shoes, buildings that can sprout legs and run away from danger, and hamburger earmuffs.
Frink:(as a radio controlled baby-plane with his son in it crashes) Oh dear. My wife is going to kill me.
An interesting subversion occurs in Adventure Time. Princess Bubblegum is the sweet, benevolent ruler of the Candy Kingdom, but is also a highly intelligent scientist. However, her son Lemongrab (the first of her experiments gone wrong) turned out to be the mentally unstable one, due to a mistake she made when creating him.
Princess Bubblegum has her crazy moments. Although normally level-headed and innocently sweet, she has created two zombie plagues, created a giant immortal candy sphinx who almost destroyed the kingdom, created a screaming nutcase who threatened her with his own sword, has skeletons chained to her walls, created a potion that can permanently paralyze someone, killed a jellyfish to make a sandwich, tried to have the Duke of Nuts killed, and tortured the Ice King. Her "For SCIENCE!" attitude, and her devotion to the law, cause... interesting things to happen.
Megavolt from Darkwing Duck. Likewise Bushroot, who's usually ignored in this capacity, because his "mad science" is botany.
Dr. Sevarius from Gargoyles isn't quite mad so much as he is amoral, but he displays a touch of the theatricality that is the hallmark of the best nutty professors.
Then again, he is being portrayed by Tim Curry. Go figure.
Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth of Clone High certainly qualifies, even though his day job is as a high school principal.
The Dark Knight always seemed to be neck-deep in mad scientists on Batman The Animated Series. Within the first five episodes of the show, he runs afoul of Man-Bat, the Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, scientists-turned-supercriminals all. Scarecrow actually goes the whole hog with the trope, as his initial appearance features a plot to ruin the university he was fired from and murder all those who called his sanity into question.
Yes, killing them all will show that you are PERFECTLY sane...
Hey, it's not like they'll be saying otherwise.
Indeed, it should settle the question of his sanity quite comprehensively.
Johnny Test's older sisters Susan and Mary are both Mad Scientist teenagers. Also their friendly enemy, a.k.a. "Bling Bling Boy".
The character Vendetta on the show Making Fiends is a mad scientist, as she creates tons of fiends, which also can be considered as forms of life.
The title character of Invader Zim is a mad scientist himself. In fact, in a script for an incomplete Start of Darkness episode about him, Zim was actually a military scientist for his race whose creation, an "Infinite Absorbing Blob" was responsible for killing two of his previous leaders.
Dib and Professor Membrane would arguably qualify as Mad Scientists. Dib perhaps more so since his inventions revolve around his all-consuming obsession to destroy ZIM, whereas his father's inventions are more geared toward helping humanity. Even the Super Toast.
Wheeljack of Transformers Generation 1 is one. Part of his appeal was him convincing the other Autobots that his crackpot inventions were worth something.
His Shattered Glass counterpart is also a mad scientist, but less the cheery genial type normal Wheeljack is, and much, much more pure distilled ranting They Called Me Mad! type of mad scientist.
Dr. Arkeville from the G1 cartoon. Though his madness was one upped by Starscream himself in Countdown to Extinction.
Tarantulus of Transformers: Beast Wars is, if not a mad inventor, certainly crazy enough and scientific enough and treacherous enough to qualify for Mad Scientist.
This is actually a case of Character Development; in the first season, while he was the Predacon Science Officer, he was characterized more as "that creepy bot who'll eat anything he can catch". This was Adaptation Displacement—in the original toylines, he was a (still cannibalistic) ninja warrior.
Transformers Animated has Prometheus Black. He started out messing around with biochemical enhancements to try and beat out Professor Sumdac's robotics industry, but after a lab accident changed him into the supervillain Meltdown he went into full vengeful mad science mode. The chemical warfare specialist Oil Slick might also count, although outside the fact that he's a ninja who developed the Transformer equivalent of ebola not much is known about him.
Animated! Blackarachnia also has elements of this. The Allspark Almanac reveals she invented triple-changing, and her attempts to better understand her techno-organic mutation lead her to try and create another hybrid...resulting in Waspinator.
Dr. Thadeus "Rusty" Venture on The Venture Brothers, although his lack of ambitions and laziness mean that he comes up with far fewer superweapons and far more get-rich-quick schemes than most of his ilk. Other M.S.'s in the Ventureverse include Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy, Jonas Venture Jr., Otaku Senzuri from the lost pilot, Professor Impossible, Mike Sorayama, Dr. Septapus, Baron Ünderbheit (implied), and Phantom Limb (implied confirmed, as part of his backstory)
The Tick has several: Brain Child, Professor Chromedome, mostly non-evil Julius Pendecker, and, a more benevolent (though unnerving) version, Dr. Mung-Mung, whose best-known creation is a super-strong giant made entirely of tongue.
Heloise from Jimmy Two Shoes is this. Despite being a small, petite girl, she is very intelligent and sadistic as she makes inventions for Misery Inc. that would spread misery to her town and also likes to destroy things for fun. She does have a soft side though as she has feelings for Jimmy buts treats everyone else with disrespect, even her own boss.
You might even count Professor Utonium, although he's far more benign than most. Every time he creates something useful (including the Girls themselves), it's by accident. But when he tries to do something intentionally, it leads to a disaster.
Franz Hopper from Code Lyoko is less "mad" than he is "slightly unhinged". Still, though, he manages to create a computer program that can venture into the world, take people hostage, create poisonous gas, create blizzards, and many many other things, so he definitely counts.
The first Superman short, "The Mad Scientist," has one as the villain, threatening to enact vengeance on all those who laughed at him with his electrothanasia-ray.
Wallace from Wallace & Gromit is an eccentric, absent-minded inventor, although he usually uses his inventions for mundane things such as window-washing and humanely rounding up bunnies so they don't get in the way of the town's upcoming vegetable-growing competition. This has resulting in one case of mind-switching, Wallace turning into a Were-Rabbit, a penguin attempting to use his inventions for a jewel heist, and Wallace nearly getting killed several times. Luckily, his dog Gromit is loyal to a fault, an acepilot, and smart enough to be able to fix things whenever they go wrong (and they do, frequently).
Professor Crazyhair from Yakkity Yak is a fairly benign and friendly example, but is still mad.
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 "just to see what would happen". 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 death camp prisoners, 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 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.
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 also 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. At one point an angered L. Ron is said to have summoned a hurricane against Parsons. 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 of 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.
Jack Kevorkian. Regardless of whether or not you agree with euthanasia, the fact that he actually taped one of his killings shows he may not have been all there.