aristocratic Japanese or pseudo-Japanese families, usually written "ホホホ" or "ほほほ" (ho ho ho), or sometimes "お~~ほほほ" (o~hohoho) representing a high-pitched, somewhat artificial form of refined feminine laughter (rather than the belly-laugh "ho ho ho" represents in English). Typically associated with The Ojou character type, or haughty, stuck-up women. These characters are most likely to exhibit this laugh in moments of arrogance or when contemplating how they'll humiliate their enemies. They frequently will pose holding a straightened palm vertically to the side of or below their mouth, or holding a fan over their mouths. This comes from the custom that refined Japanese women don't expose their mouths while laughing. No matter what, the Noblewoman's Laugh is almost always the mark of a bitch. Male villains may also laugh this way, particularly if they're similarly prim or aristocratic or if they're effeminate (so expect to hear it from the Wicked Cultured man or the Sissy Villain). Compare Evil Laugh, Laughing Mad, and Annoying Laugh.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Kodachi in Ranma ˝ is the trope codifier. Even when singing.
- Although the laugh has existed in other mediums, Kodachi's voice actress was the first to display this laugh in anime.
- In severe bouts of deliberate haughtiness, female Ranma is also capable of this laugh. Complete with a bent-wrist-to-cover-the mouth pose.
- Yuri from Angel Beats! does it at leasttwice in the anime. Complete with hand near mouth. The other person talking to her over the walkie even asks if she's the villain for doing such a laugh.
- Happens on occasion in Lone Wolf and Cub. Owing to the nature of the subject matter, many of the laughing noblewomen in question are scheming, heartless women whose ultimate fate is often preceded by "ASSASSIN, Lone Wolf and Cub! I TAKE YOUR LIFE!"
- Lady Snowblood from the same author has Oyuki laugh this way once. Just once.
- Ayeka in Tenchi Muyo!.
- The Red Queen in Miyuki-chan in Wonderland.
- In the OVA, the Door, of all characters, does it too.
- Princess Vina in Dragon Half.
- Nanami from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- Renge from Ouran High School Host Club (Here's the Japanese version, and the English version.)
- Naga from Slayers OVAs and movies is likely the most powerful example of this, perhaps because of the sheer volume of it; her Noblewoman's Laugh has been known to scare small animals and old ladies. When she was cloned, the simultaneous laughter of a dozen Nagas was all it took to destroy the villain of the piece.
- Naga's laugh is apparently so destructive that it's used as her ultimate attack in the Magical Battle Arena doujin game. That's right, it's on the same level as Dragon Slave and Starlight Breaker.
- Brown Note power to the max!
- Not only that, when all characters are charging their stamina in the game (a bar of energy that is used whenever a character dashes or double dashes), the character is seen focusing on their inner strength for the bar to fill up. Naga laughs. Yep, not only is a Brown Note, but it is also able to recover her enegy!
- In one of the final episodes of Slayers Try (the Japanese version), Lina does her Noblewoman's Laugh, to which Amelia says, "Miss Lina, I don't like that kind of laugh!" This is one of the hints which suggests that Amelia and Naga are sisters.
- This is also used as one of the clues as to Nama's (unrevealed) identity in Evolution-R.
- Naga's laugh is apparently so destructive that it's used as her ultimate attack in the Magical Battle Arena doujin game. That's right, it's on the same level as Dragon Slave and Starlight Breaker.
- Suiseiseki, The Ojou in Rozen Maiden, does a "hee hee hee" version of this while playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White, and after the apple is bitten, breaks into the full "OH-ho-ho-ho!"
- Grandis in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water.
- Sumire in Sakura Wars.
- Carerra Marker in Karin.
- Koyori Kokubunji in Nurse Witch Komugi.
- Done by Ritsu in K-On! when she flaunts her high grades in an exam that Yui failed spectacularly. She only stops when Mio says that she passed because she begged for her help in the exam's eve.
- Konata periodically uses the Noblewoman's Laugh in Episode 7 of Lucky Star, as part of a set of Shout Outs to Maria-sama ga Miteru.
- Yui also does it when asked to demonstrate her shooting skills.
- Ayaka Yukihiro from Mahou Sensei Negima!.
- Lampshade Hanging of it in Magic Knight Rayearth. Lady Aska says it's therapeutic, and she encourages Sanyun and Chang And to join in, although the latter just makes it sound weird.
- Katherine McDowell of Kaze no Stigma does this, along with just about every other noblewoman cliche.
- Eva from Monster does this, to the point where strong men of all moral and character alignments flinch at the sound.
- The Triplets of Touka Gettan do this, especially when exiting. There's nothing quite like hearing three noblewomen's laughs at the same time.
- Green Esmeraude (shown above) from Sailor Moon does this a lot. Lampshaded on one occasion in which her evil "co-worker" Saphir tells her she's being too loud. Lampshading it is practically a Running Gag!
- Reika Tamaki from Ojamajo Doremi.
- Her cousin Erika does it as well. Considering she looks exactly like Reika, this is no surprise.
- Lucca has a similar laugh, though whether this is from attempted womanliness or her mad scientist ways is uncertain.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
- Lutecia when she first appeared in ViVid. Yes, that Lutecia. Amazing what a few years away from a Mad Scientist while being properly raised by her mother can do to a Tyke Bomb Dark Magical Girl.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Battle of Aces gives us Hayate's Evil Twin Material-D who does this a few times, most obviously when she connects with a Counter Attack.
- Yamabuki Saaya in Shugo Chara!. She has a Crowning Moment of Awesome when she COPIES AMU'S TRANSFORMATIONS. Especially being as she's a bit Those Two Guysish, only appearing occasionally.
- Hikaru from Himechan No Ribon does this after she tells Hime-chan that Daichi likes her romantically.
- Sumi from Moetan.
- Jessie of the Pokémon anime, usually when getting away with a theft. Oddly enough, however, James is the wealthy one, not Jessie.
- Yes, his wealth is the reason why it's strange that James doesn't laugh like this.
- A one-shot opponent of Ash's in the Pokémon League tournament - Jeanette Fisher, a girl rich enough to have an entire cheer section also had this laugh while thrashing Ash with a Bellsprout.
- Blue exhibits one whenever Green makes his "noisy woman" comment.
- Bizarrely enough, Mamori Anezaki of Eyeshield 21 does this during the field day mini-arc—although, she was deliberately acting as deviant as possible in order to facilitate one of Hiruma's notorious plots.
- Yukimitsu also dreads the day his mother lets one of these loose.
- Mayune from Pretear, occasionally.
- Miya from Koi Koi 7, in one of the more annoying versions of this trope.
- Mega in Transformers Super God Masterforce laughs like this.
- Cardcaptor Sakura had Meilin Li, Shaoran/Xiaolang/Syaoran's clingy, jealous childhood friend. Whenever she'd talk to Sakura...especially early on in her appearances...she would almost always end with a kid-sized version of this laugh. And when cast as the villainess in the Show Within a Show, one asks "Did somebody order a Large Ham?!"
- Although she is a very nice, polite girl, Tomoyo is prone to this. Although she uses this almost for pure comedic effect.
- Jura in Vandread when plotting on how to lure Hibiki into, er, merging the Van-type with her Dread fighter (No innuendo, honest).
- Iono from Iono the Fanatics has a laugh that ends with a little heart.
- Even as a kid, Luna of Seto no Hanayome was working a particularly deranged version.
- Elle in Aoi House.
- Akiko in All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku.
- Yuuko from Xxx HO Li C is a renowned practitioner of this trope. She sometimes even goes as far as to whip up a fan out of nowhere for extra dramatic effect.
- Megumi from Rurouni Kenshin does this with such passion, she even sprouts fox ears and a tail.
- Fang-tan. She is from a prominent family even if they are not royalty, so it technically counts. Subverted in that she's a Nice Girl; she'll just laugh at anything.
- Rinne: Misora Utagawa, a ghost Rinne is trying to help pass on, does this when she admits that she was very popular when alive.
- Himeko/Princess does this in Powerpuff Girls Z. So does her sister, Miko/Duchess.
- Ichinensei Ni Nacchattara: Miho, the Rich Bitch elementary schooler.
- B-Ko of Project A-Ko has both the Noblewoman's Laugh and the Mad Scientist's Laugh when introducing and designing her Giant Mecha.
- Megumi from Muteki Kanban Musume does this whenever she thinks she has the upper hand over Miki.
- Parodied in the first Yes! Pretty Cure 5 movie, where Urara, Komachi and Karen tried to make up their 'Princess' impression. Rin then butts in and say it sounds weird on Karen, because she thinks Karen looks more like a queen than a princess, much to Karen's annoyance.
- In an early episode of Eureka Seven, after she overhears Renton self-narrating an embarrassing admission of his feelings for Eureka, Talho walks around the Gekko-go doing a Noblewoman's Laugh as he follows her pleading with her not to tell anyone. Unbeknownst to Renton, everyone's already aware of his crush on Eureka, so Talho's just screwing with him, making this a particularly effective example.
- Karna from Niea7 indulges in this from time to time.
- Koshiro Miya of Yumeiro Pâtissičre.
- Dorothy and Yakko from Akazukin Chacha.
- Frieza from Dragon Ball Z has a laugh that fits (in both the original Japanese and the English dub) which, when combined with his general politeness and his tendency to use feminine pronouns in Japanese, is meant to make "him" sound disturbingly like an actual noblewoman.
- Azumanga Daioh: Tomo (yes, that Tomo) occasionally does this, as does Yomi.
- Takane Hiroin from Futaba-kun Change! has a particularly maniacal laugh, especially in her alternate identity as the Queen of Darkness.
- Tesla Gauss of Rockman.EXE Stream.
- This is performed with surprising skill by Tatsukichi of MM!!, despite the fact that Tatsukichi is a crossdresser.
- In Orphen Revenge, in the dancing contest episode, there's a whats-her-name female character prone to Noblewoman's Laughing.
- Saki◊ in To Love-Ru
- Pinako from Fullmetal Alchemist apparently used to do this as a young woman.
- Greta from A Little Snow Fairy Sugar.
- Chitose from Goldfish Warning.
- Madame Monterlant in Ashita no Nadja.
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai. Ryuuka Jihiyou does this on a regular basis.
- Bleach. The unnamed female arrancar that controls Aizen's hollow fortress in anime episodes 213 and 214 has such a laugh. She displays it at the end of episode 213.
- In Mayoi Neko Overrun, Chise does this from time to time. In one hilarious instance, she does it at school after she reveals that she helped Nozomi get into the school, only to have Ieyasu shut the door in her face while she does the laugh.
- Heartcatch Precure: The drama club is doing a play where an extra is playing The Ojou and tries this laugh but gets yelled at that its not grand enough.
- Ryoko Mendou from Urusei Yatsura does this, albeit a less annoying version of it.
- Mizuha Miyama from Mahou Tsukai Tai!.
- Mitsuko Kongou from A Certain Magical Index and its Spinoff Manga A Certain Scientific Railgun has one of these. Her variant however is not nearly as annoying as most examples of this trope.
- Wicked City. After the female spider Dark World radical wraps up Taki and Makie in her webbing, she used this laugh as she's cutting them with her claws.
- Vampire Hunter D. In the 1985 film Countess Lamika Lee has one that she uses to express her disdain toward D and Rei Ginsei.
- Customer Service from the original Japanese version of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! laughs like this.
- The Iron Queen from Sonic The Hedgehog. Even though it's in print, her laugh is still grating.
- Rare wholesome example: In The Wizard of Oz, Glinda, the Witch of the North, has this line when confronting the Wicked Witch of the West: "Ohoho, rubbish! You have no power here. Begone! Before someone drops a house on you too!"
- Katherine Ellis of Goodbye, Mr. Chips has one of these before Character Development sets in.
- Boss' laugh from the live-action adaptation of Detroit Metal City. But she ain't no lady.
- Most female Disney villains.
- A rare example in print: Aurora, the Summer Princess, in "Summer Knight", book four of The Dresden Files. During the climactic battle scene, she utilizes what can only be a Noblewoman's Laugh to literally drive her enemies to their knees.
- In Robert E. Howard's The Scarlet Citadel, Conan the Barbarian finds an Eldritch Abomination that can imitiate human sounds. One is this.
It was exactly such laughter as he had heard bubble obscenely from the fat lips of the salacious women of Shadizar, City of Wickedness, when captive girls were stripped naked on the public auction block.
- Ella has her own, milder but still pretty cocky version. And that laugh may mean everything, depending on the context; thank her limited vocabulary.
- Bellatrix from Harry Potter does this sometimes, though most of the time, she doesn't bother with dapperness and just goes straight into Laughing Mad. She actually is wizarding aristocracy, though.
- A running gag in Jeeves and Wooster is Honoria Glossop's scarily loud laugh, which gets described in various creative ways every time it's mentioned ("a squadron of cavalry charging across a tin bridge", "waves breaking on a stern and rock-bound coast", etc.).
Live Action TV
- In Kamen Rider Kiva, Shizuka briefly goes through a Yandere period, marked by pseudo-Imagine Spots where she has devil horns, a pitchfork, and does the laugh as she attempts to break up Wataru and Mio.
- Roz on Frasier.
- mothy's "Daughter of Evil" starts out with Rin delivering one of these. Warning: Do not play while wearing headphones!
Master of the Graveyard: Oh ho ho ho! Welcome to the Evils Forest!
- Interestingly averted in Len's version, where it's changed to a more gender-neutral "Ahahahaha." Still liable to give you a heart attack if you're wearing headphones, though.
- Also by mothy is "Master of the Graveyard", where the titular villainous glutton (played by MEIKO) delivers one somewhere at the 1:25 mark.
- Not by mothy but another Vocaloid example; Part two of the "Synchronicity" series features Miku pulling a really creepy one at the 3:44 mark. She does it again in part three, at the 2:21 mark.
- One of the only voice clips used in SaGa Frontier, which appears after what can only be accurately termed the "Evil Lesbian Vampire Queen" ending of Asellus's quest, is a rather chilling Noblewoman's Laugh. In her final boss battle, Orlouge's princesses laugh similarly.
- The Great Fairies in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask.
- Scarlet from Final Fantasy VII does this right down to the hand over the mouth.
- Shantotto from Final Fantasy XI; so much so that Dissidia: Final Fantasy has her doing it in both her character art and at the end of her Limit Break it is also one of the many voice clips she does if you win with her.
- On a side note Bio one of her normal brave attacks and some hp attacks has her in the stance in in her brave attacks she is laughing. So besides a few times she is trying to laugh at you all the time.
- She also ties it into her Rhymes on a Dime speech pattern by incorporating into one of said rhymes.
- She even writes it!
- Venus from SaGa 2 (AKA Final Fantasy Legend 2), after welcoming you to her world and saying you won't find any MAGI here, laughs "ho ho ho..." The lie and the laugh both give her away as a villain.
- Sofia from Battle Arena Toshinden.
- In Chrono Trigger:
- Flea, the crossdressing henchman (henchwoman?) laughs like this. The player doesn't get a sound clip of it, though.
- Lucca gets a few of these as well. She always pulls one of these whenever the Hypnowave Single Tech is cast, at the very end of the casting-animation.
- Queen Zeal revels in them, especially as she stands on top of a world-eating horror. She laughs even as, upon being defeated, she fades from existence.
- Jam Kuradoberi from Guilty Gear, during her throw more specifically.
- Kokonoe from BlazBlue does this when performing her Mecha Tager Distortion Drive (as well as its Overdrive version, Golden Tager) and her Astral. Given the sort of person that she is, though, it's to be expected.
- Akane Miyahara, the resident Rich Bitch of Rumble! @ The Campus.
- Well, so does her sister Minako.
- Kagura in Tenchu before bitchslapping her opponent.
- Various Evil Aristocrats in Skies of Arcadia, especially Empress Teodora.
- Pretty much every hostile character (except the final bosses) from the Galaxy Fraulein Yuna games.
- Kasumi Todoh from Art of Fighting and The King of Fighters (in her victory pose).
- Also from KOF, Whip.
- Etoile Rosenqueen from Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, and Marjoly.
- Capcom naturally has at least three of these: Karin, Tron Bonne and Devilot.
- In Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure Rose Rock the evil spoiled air pirate will do this on the bridge of her ship while firing at you with cannons.
- Valentina from Super Mario RPG. Her theme song even includes the laughter!
- Flurrie from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has this as her victory animation and in some of her Stylish combos.
- (Lady) Bow in Paper Mario, being a noblewoman (or whatever a high-class female Boo is called), uses her fan to cover her face when she laughs.
- Melody from Luigi's Mansion.
- Kitty Lily from Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon. It's her only spoken line of dialogue.
- In the Japanese version, the cutscenes were fully voice-acted. The English version cut the rest and kept the laugh, for whatever reason.
- Female blood elves in World of Warcraft. Actually, blood elves in general.
- Fantina in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl and Platinum.
- Echidna the She-Viper from Devil May Cry 4.
- The mermaid boss of the second stage of Gokujou Parodius has this as an attack. The laugh even produces onomatopoeic hiragana that kill the player on contact and can be shot down.
- Ivy, being a noblewoman, from Soul Calibur.
- Adell's mom, Mom, in Disgaea 2. She claims that her lack of a conscience is due to Zenon's curse.
- Suzuka from Endless Frontier. She lets out an especially epic one sometimes while performing her Limit Break.
- Yelma from Knights in the Nightmare has one of these.
- Janne, also being a noblewoman, from World Heroes.
- Alouette in Recettear does this in every one of her scripted scenes.
- Basanda in Shining Force III. Her laugh was butchered in the English version, like all the other voices.
- Iris from RosenkreuzStilette likes doing these when she's carrying out her organization-manipulating plans for entertainment. Once again, she does one really nicely for a little kid.
- In Pop'n Magic, the boss Fräulein Viper uses the hiragana representation of this as one of her attacks.
- One of Tron Bonne's taunts from Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Cheria does this as one of her end battle quotes in Tales of Graces.
- In Terranigma, royal couturier Mme. Papilo does this laugh (in written text) after her boast, "You will never have the occasion to wear our creations!"
- Satoko from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has a rather impressive noblewoman's laugh for a 9-12 year-old. Full with Keigo speech.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni
- In the Japanese version of Princess Debut, when introduced to Kid (Vince in the English version), this is the "proper" response choice when asked if you're the princess.
- MSF High, being that is embraces Anime Tropes, has a character, Althea, who not only has this as a laugh, but has bequeathed said laugh to her 'daughter' Ilushia/Queen Ichigo. Furthermore, Althea's weapon of choice is a whip.
- In Spinnerette, Evil Spinnerette tends to introduce herself with this. (Since she seems to be basically Slayers's Naga with a spider motif, it's not surprising.)
- Belle of Catena's character does this. Nonstop.
- In one issue of Flying Suit Reiko, after Mentos Freshmaker's psychotic ex-girlfriend lets out one of these, Genre Savvy Occidental Otaku Bob decides to leave before things get out of hand.
- While it didn't really show up in the comic (and probably never will) Her Imperial Condescension from Homestuck has one at the end of her and Meenah's shared theme song "Hate You".
- Midler laughs at the Joestar team during the High Priestess arc in Vaguely Recalling JoJo. Jotaro immediately compares it to Kefka's laugh.
- Azula of Avatar: The Last Airbender did a very half-assed version when dealing with her one weakness - social ineptitude.
- She laughs just fine when she's mocking Zuko however.
- Eska from Sequel Series The Legend of Korra does this with her brother Desna when she tells a bad joke and explains how she thinks it's funny. And when they laugh, they sound like vultures...and Eska makes Bolin laugh with them, which he does only halfheartedly.
- Darla Dimple in the German-language version of Cats Don't Dance has one of these; she then swears, as if we couldn't tell how evil she was already.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: in "Sonic Rainboom", Rarity does one after realizing just how much the pegasus ponies adore her temporary butterfly wings.
Anime and Manga
- As voiced by Mr. Ryusei Nakao in the original dub of Dragon Ball Z, merciless despot Freeza exhibits a formidable Noblewoman's Laugh.
- General Blue in the Japanese dub for Dragonball also exhibits this. Bonus points if anyone can guess his sexual preference.
- The titular character of Kaiba has a rather high-pitched voice to begin with. In the eighth episode, :the evil clone of Kaiba demonstrates a classic Noble Woman's Laugh.
- Another Shugo Chara! example is Tadase whenever he chara-changes into his "tyrannical ruler" character, although it's a slightly more crazed version of it.
- Gyro Zeppelli of Steel Ball Run has a variant version: "Nyo-ho-ho".
- Axis Powers Hetalia: France. "Oh-hon-honhonhonho"
- Eggman in the English dub of Sonic X does this on occasion.
Live Action TV
- The Joker laughed something like this in the 1966-1968 Batman TV series, as well as the 1966 tie-in movie. (Interestingly enough, that laugh was natural. Cesar Romero actually laughed in a rather effeminate manner whenever he found something amusing, and he was encouraged to incorporate that laugh into his Joker characterization.)
- In the Japanese incarnations of the Sonic the Hedgehog shows and games (especially the more recent of each), the Mad Scientist Big Bad Dr. Eggman gained a laugh rather like a Noblewoman's Laugh consisting of a long "OH" followed by a varying number of "HO"'s to increase comedic value. It is one of Eggman's most memorable traits in Japan but almost never heard in American dubbing.
- He finally says it in English if you play Sonic Rush. Get hit during a boss fight, and Robotnik will whoop it out. It's also occasionally heard during gameplay in Sonic Adventure 2.
- He also does this in the English version of Sonic Unleashed.
- Eggman Nega has a more disturbing laugh.
- Zexion, of all the Organization XIII members, lets out a impressive Noblewoman's Laugh during the battles against Riku in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories and Sora in Final Mix+. It can be heard here..
- Also, Vexen seemed to have a really annoying one in the English version of the Chain of Memories GBA game.
- Also, Vanitas does it in both the English and Japanese versions of Birth by Sleep.
- Sister Bismaru, who despite the name is actually a Villainous Crossdresser, from Ganbare Goemon possesses a really startling Noblewoman's Laugh.
- Alfred Ashford, not just when dressed as Alexia, in Resident Evil: Code: Veronica. This is parodied by Legendary Frog in his animated short "I Am Resident Evil."
- Heike Kagero in Super Punch-Out!! has a Noblewoman's Laugh when he wins a match, which is probably linked to his feminine appearance.
- Kefka Palazzo's rather infamous laugh (which is where the Trope Laughing Mad came from) sounds like this in the SNES versions of the games.
- Dusknoir from Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky. "Oooh hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo!!!"
- A non-villainous, non-haughty example: at the end of The Wand Of Gamelon, King Harkinian pulls one of these, sans the hand over his mouth.