troperville

tools

toys

Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
The Hyena
Michael: What's so fucking funny?
Harold: Life. Life's a goddamn laugh riot.
The Boys in the Band

A character for whom every thing is funny, and everything is worth a laugh. They see the funny side of everything, and you can expect this character to laugh regardless of whether he just got hit with a pie or missiles are raining down from above. They'll laugh through sun, rain, sleet and snow, and they usually do it so much that it becomes a sort of Catch Phrase for them.

For villains, this often overlaps with an Evil Laugh, and, in fact, this trope is more associated with madness rather than heroes or neutral characters, and this often crosses with Comedic Sociopathy. A Giggling Villain has laughter as a defining characteristic.

A good Boisterous Bruiser does a lot of laughing, just because they LIVE LARGE!

Do not confuse with Lena Hyena. Compare The Pollyanna, who is always happy.

Incidentally, the inspiration for this trope, spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), aren't really laughing when they make their infamous vocalizations. It appears to be a form of communication used mostly when fighting for food or in social conflict.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece
    • Hamburg, the Dumb Muscle of the Foxy Pirates, laughs at literally everything that happens around him. While, admittedly, some of these things are actually funny (like how a giant crewmate of his can never hear what anyone else says because he's so tall), he does it at every turn.
    • Miss Valentine, who appears for a whole story arc as a main villain, but only has three or four lines that aren't laughter.
    • While not prone to laughter as per the trope, Bellamy has "the Hyena" as his Red Baron.
    • Not to mention Bellamy's boss, Donquixote Doflamingo. Dude never stops laughing smugly.
  • Cyclonus from Transformers Armada.
  • Kururu from Keroro Gunsou utters his famous "ku ku ku" laugh, even when everything is going to hell around him. It seems like his standard reaction to everything.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Tsuruya tends to burst into loud laughter at everything she finds even slightly humorous. Her first appearance in the show has her utterly fail to stay in character while making Haruhi's student film because she's laughing too hard. She spends the rest of the scene laughing hysterically while Kyon does snarky narration.
  • Waji in Haré+Guu, has a rather creepy hyena like laugh. Apparently he believes laughing makes your worries go away. He was even compared to a hyena once. Interestingly there are a few hints he has a troubled home life, like being found in the middle of the night in the jungle, crying to himself.
  • Elmer from Baccano! is always laughing or at least smiling, and spends his long life trying to make everyone else smile. He does this even when this would be completely inappropriate, such as just after the person has gone through a traumatic event, making it seem like there's something seriously wrong with him.
  • Sakamoto from Gintama. He wasn't always like that though.
  • Patti from Soul Eater. The Sun is also usually depicted as laughing.
  • Shakugan no Shana: Margery Daw's Lord, Marchosias. Can overlap a lot with Evil Laugh as they are a pair of Blood Knights.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kid Buu very rarely says a word, and most of the sounds he utters are either insane screeches or maniacal laughter.
  • Clair Leonelli from Heat Guy J, and his maniacal laughter... which even sounds like a hyena!
  • Kusukusu from Shugo Chara!. Her name even means "Tee-hee"
  • The One-Scene Wonder that was Ash's (temporary) Haunter in Pokémon. It thinks everything is funny.
  • Jan Valentine from Hellsing. Seriously, he sounds utterly deranged in the dub.
  • The narrator in Serial Experiments Lain: "Present day, present time. HAHAHAHAhahahaha!!!
  • Mikihisa Komaki of Library War is almost always at least smiling or chuckling. When something's actually funny he has to really hold back to not completely crack up.

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker, a quintessential Monster Clown, laughs at everything, especially death, destruction, and despair. Life is a joke to him, and all ironies are equally funny in his mind. He even known to laugh maniacally when he's the one on the receiving end. His mirth is so much that, when he stops laughing, it's a surefire sign that things are as bad as they can get. One of the few things he doesn't find funny is someone explaining the joke. In fact this is one of his Berserk Buttons.
    • In The Dark Knight, Batman threw him off a building and he laughed hysterically on the way down.
      • He also does this in the comics, in the arc "Lovers and Madmen", only rather than being thrown, he delibrately steps off, just to see if Batman will save him, despite having just gone on his very first rampage through Gotham City. This being, at the time, the official first encounter between the Joker and Batman, he survives, obviously. Not sure whether this example, or the Dark Knight, came first.
      • He also does it in the video game, Batman: Arkham Origins. Apparently, he seems to think falling out of buildings is hysterical.
  • During the Amalgam Comics crossover event for Marvel and DC, the Darkclaw, a hybrid of Batman and Wolverine, fought a cross between Sabretooh and the Joker — named the Hyena, of course. Basically, a shirtless Joker on 'roids and a healing factor, topped off by a mane of green hair.
  • One story in an American-made comic set in feudal Japan featured a samurai, the principal courier for "the Great Lord", whose ability to see the humor in just about anything had caused him to be known as Harada the Jokester. Given a message to carry that would've forced the death of the two main characters, to whom he'd taken a liking, he picked a fight with a band of assassins, so they'd kill him before he could pass on the message. As the assassins closed in on him, he was laughing loudly.

    Comic Strips 
  • This was the trademark of "Laffy" Smith, one of the villains in the Dick Tracy strip.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: Outright lampshaded by the Lemony Narrator:
    Have we ever discussed Socrates' laughter? He starts out laughing at whatever it was that amused him. Then he keeps laughing. It goes on and on, until finally he's just laughing at the fact that he's still laughing. The laughter stops whenever he passes out, or finally decides to calm down and try to catch his breath.

    Films — Animation 
  • Ed from The Lion King, who is a literal Hyena, and whose entire dialogue consists of insane laughter, which only Shenzi and Banzi are able to understand. The others laugh pretty often too. Goes straight into horror when the other hyenas ask him about his opinion of Scar calling them "friends" shortly after denouncing them to Simba, and his only reaction is a Evil Laugh and lick his lips just before they all maul and devour Scar.
  • The weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Results in their demise. Judge Doom mentions that the weasels had some "idiot hyena cousins".
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol (2009). His constant laughter quickly moves from jolly to unsettling and becomes downright scary as he continues to guffaw as his body ages into a skeleton and then crumbles to dust.
  • The crows in Dumbo.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Freaked, the Big Bads have a parody of Evil Laugh that made them examples of this; every line of dialogue they had was an evil laugh, which their henchmen could somehow understand.
  • Uncle Albert in Disney's Mary Poppins. He even sings a song about it!
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi — Salacious Crumb.
  • The Detective from the Coen Brothers film Blood Simple.
  • The Daffy mogwai/gremlin from Gremlins 2: The New Batch.
  • Johnny laughs at all kinds of unfunny things in The Room. One particular example is a scene where Mark tells a story about a girl who ended up in hospital. It's fucking weird. What he says is "What a story", implying the story might sound far-fetched to him.
  • Joe Cox, the African gang member from RoboCop (1987), has a very nasal laugh, especially when people got hurt. But Clarence Boddicker's other gang members are equally guilty of this.
  • Fidget in Cecil B. Demented laughs(and fidgets) a lot, to the point of almost seeming like he's doing an impression of Dwight Frye.
  • The Great Race: Prince Hoepnick (Jack Lemmon) is a cheerful fellow, loving the life he's living, constantly drunk, and punctuates nearly every sentence he says with a loud braying laugh. Ha HAAA Hhahaaa!
  • As in his comic book version, the Joker from The Dark Knight is this, possibly as a result of an unhealthy mix of Ax-Crazy and Too Kinky to Torture.
  • As recounted in the behind-the-scenes features for Fargo, the Coen Brothers have what Joel's wife Frances McDormand refers to as a "collective laugh" and that once you get one of them started the other is almost guaranteed to join in. She also expresses some dismay that their son seems to have picked it up.

    Literature 
  • Marco from Animorphs.
  • Discworld
    • Carcer from the novel Night Watch is the Psycho for Hire version of this.
    • Also the kind of people who traditionally hired Igors.
    In fact they would probably laugh at you if you said "sausages". They laugh at lots of things.
  • Live and Let Die has Tee Hee Johnson, who is noted for his tendency to chuckle and giggle to himself for little or no good reason.
  • Though more just a part of her general wierdness, Luna Lovegood from HarryPotter breaks into a huge shrieking fit of laughter from a small joke Ron made on their first meeting. Understandably, he thinks she is making fun of him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The '90s The Untouchables series had some petty criminal who was laughing nervously, even as Capone's men beat him up. But that was more hysteria than humor.
  • Ashton in the North American North and South series. Humiliated her rival? Laughs. Held at swordpoint by her own sister? Laughs. Surrounded by the smoldering remains of her burning lair, with her demented lover (supposedly) burning to death underneath? Laughs.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Data remarks that the Holodeck audience for his comedy routine setting is literally programmed to laugh at anything.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Warren Mears does this from time to time. He even laughs right before he shoots Buffy.
    • Also, the kids possessed by the demon Hyenas in The Pack.
  • There is a recurring Michael McDonald character from Mad TV who laughs at everything especially if he thinks he's going to die.
  • The team of Anne-Marie and Tracy from The Amazing Race Australia are having such a good time on the race that they just do not stop laughing.
  • Power Rangers: Rita Repulsa. She lets loose an Evil Laugh in almost all her lines.
  • There's one infamous video from the early days of Americas Funniest Home Videos of a man just busting a gut the entire clip and no one knows what he was laughing at!
  • The titular RuPaul of RuPaul's Drag Race, to the point that it's one of the show's eyecatches, and according to the contestants judge Michelle Visage's infamous cackle can be heard from anywhere backstage.

    Music 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Harvey Kneeslapper from Sesame Street. The character was eventually dropped because the laugh was destroying Frank Oz's voice. Averted on at least one occasion, when one of his practical jokes backfired on him; his would-be victim ended up laughing at him, and he naturally failed to see the humor.
  • Tim Curry's portrayal of Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island is a creepy hyena. At first, his laughs seem to just be the jovial nature of a simple ship's cook. As his true colors start to shine through, it starts to feel more and more menacing each time he starts.
  • Marc-Olivier Fogiel in the French satirical show Les Guignols De L Info. Everything he says is pure jerkassery, and he frequently bursts on laughter after having humiliated someone. Bonus point for having an actual hyena as a pet.
  • The Teletubbies always laugh. They laugh because of their toys. Even the sun laughs.
    • With respect to the Teletubbies, Tilly, Tom, and Tiny from Tots TV and Rosie and Jim also made by the same company also seem to laugh a lot.
  • On The Muppet Show, Rowlf, Miss Piggy, and Janice would turn into this during the Veterinarian's Hospital sketches, laughing hysterically at a Hurricane of Puns.

    Radio 
  • Bob & Ray had a recurring character known as "Charles the Poet", who would start out by reading a piece of awful poetry with dead seriousness, but within a few lines would completely lose his composure and break out into helpless laughter. This would get him yanked from the air well before he could get through to the end of the poem.
  • The Ricky Gervais Show: Ricky Gervais, usually whenever Karl Pilkington says something ridiculous.
  • Car Talk hosts Tom and Ray Magliozzi are well known and frequently self-deprecating of their laughter, and listeners have written in to describe things like their laugh being used to draw flocks of sheep.
  • As recounted on NPR's Marketplace, the laugh of Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos precedes him down the hall of the corporate headquarters and is well known to everyone who works there. It's also apparently considered a punishment to some employees.

    Real Life 
  • Dutch celebrities Gerard Joling and Gordon, especially as portrayed here.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted gives us Adorjan, the Silent Wind, a Yozi who, when she speaks, only does so through laughter. This is partially because of a Charm she has (and her chosen can learn) which allows telepathic communication while forbidding the bearer from vocalizing anything other than laughter, and partially for other reasons.

    Theater 
  • In Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, some interpretations Puck can certainly be described as such. Particularly in the 1930 version, where he was portrayed by a teenage Mickey Rooney.

    Video Games 
  • Kefka from Final Fantasy VI is an evil example.
  • Persona 4's Yukiko Amagi regularly has laughing fits that can last for several minutes. The one exception: even she doesn't laugh at Teddie's jokes. (The funny-nose glasses, though, leave her helpless). Chie actually calls her a "Crazy Hyena" at one point.
  • Laughing Octopus of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is an Axe Crazy example. Both of these traits are reactions to mind-raping trauma.
  • Another Ax-Crazy example is Aran Ryan from Punch Out Wii, who laughs even as you beat the crap out of him. The only thing he won't laugh at is a Star Punch — those actually hurt him.
  • The Jockey from Left 4 Dead 2 does literally nothing else. Out of all the Special Infected, the Jockey will probably become the one you want to kill the most, just to shut it the hell up.
  • Crash Bandicoot: Ripper Roo, after being experimented on by Neo Cortex becomes literally Laughing Mad; all of his dialogue from that point on consists of insane laughter with subtitles.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Iggy Koopa has been this ever since his return in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Most noticeable in Mario Kart 8, where practically every vocalization of his is laughter.
    • Wario and Waluigi are milder examples, being very prone to laughing when things are going their way. Perhaps best exemplified by one of the former's victory poses in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which consists of him rolling on the floor laughing his head off.
  • Father Grigori from Half-Life 2, who's on your side but nevertheless clearly has a screw loose. Escalated further in Concerned, where he laughs about once per speech bubble.
  • In the town of Wimbich in Zelda's Adventure, there's a guy in a shop who seems to think that everything up to and including "lighting a shrine" is a laugh riot (6:15 through 7:30 of this Let's Play video).
  • This is the reason one undead minion in AdventureQuest Worlds was given the name of Chuckles.
  • Xan from Dragon Fable. Half his lines are manic laughs.
  • Killer7: The Heaven Smile play this for pure Nightmare Fuel. Their creator, Big Bad Kun Lan, is certainly no slouch in this department either.
  • In Tales of Xillia, this is one of Agria's multiple indicators that she's anything but sane.
  • Hazama of BlazBlue is a complete axe-fucking-crazy version of this.
  • Reika Kirishima from Time Gal. No matter how dangerous the situation, she always finds something to laugh at. However, she does stop laughing when things get too dangerous. This only holds true for the Japanese version, however, as she's a lot less giggly in the US version.
  • Warp from Toonstruck never stops laughing, even after one of his pranks backfires and blows his head off he still laughs.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Cheese, of the Whateley Universe. What would you expect from the child of supervillains, who has decided that a really good codename is Cheese? In the story "Bad Seeds", he really lets loose.
  • Thanks to Halo Fails of the Weak, Geoff Ramsey of Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter became known for this.
  • Nutty from Happy Tree Friends due to his hyperactivity, he even laughs when he gets beat up or dying.
  • The Yogscast has many examples:
    • While Rythian is normally deadpan, there are two moments that really stand out. The first is during the Terminator minigame video- after Turpster has been mocking Duncan Jones' decision to use 'Hohoho!' as a laugh, you can hear Rythian having a laughter fit in the background. The second is in a playthrough of Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine, when the group discover Sjin is playing as a Frenchwoman; Sjin decides to get into character.
    • Strippin spends most of his Deadpool playthrough laughing his backside off, and later almost breaks down crying from laughter while playing DayZ.
    • While Sips normally has a deadpan demeanour, whenever he finds something funny enough he will stop laughing and find it difficult to stop, such as in his Skyrim playthrough, when a dragon randomly swoops down, picks his horse up on its back, flies away and drops the steed to its death.
    • Simon Lane finds it difficult to stop laughing at many points, such as in the Jaffa Factory series, when he goes mad with power and starts hitting Lewis Brindley repeatedly. Later, during Series 2 of their Trouble In Terrorist Town playthrough, he discovers the delight of jihad bombs and degenerates into helpless laughter upon successfully killing a large group of people with one.
    • In part due to Drunk on the Dark Side, Turpster does a very long and maniacal Evil Laugh whenever he is the murderer in the Yogscast Garry's Mod series.
    • When Sips and Strippin are doing a Saints Row IV playthrough, they absolutely lose it upon seeing some ridiculously designed characters appear.
  • Jayuzumi is a variation. He rarely laughs personally, since he uses a soundboard, but many people that get the joke will laugh their heads off.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
    • Dr. Hibbert laughs at everything, and anything he doesn't find funny is usually the subject of a Take That. This got lampshaded by "Bleeding Gums" Murphy in his last episode, when he refers to his brother (given up for adoption) that always laughed at inappropriate times. Cue Dr. Hibbert.
    Dr. Hibbert: That appears to be a Ford urinating on a Chevrolet.
    Mrs. Hibbert: Don't you usually laugh at everything?
    Dr. Hibbert: Yes. I usually do.
    • The sole purpose of Nelson is to laugh at others misfortunes.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: Yak Yak, one of the Ant Hill Mob, always laughs at everything, even and especially when they're all doomed.
  • Dan from Undergrads literally only ever laughs. That's all he ever does. To the point that other characters are beginning to wonder whether he's mentally deficient.
  • Cosmo from The Fairly OddParents laughs at anything, including pudding!
    "YOU SAID 'PU', AND THEN 'DDING'!"
  • As mentioned above, the Joker, but special mention has to go to his protege in Batman Beyond, Little JJ a.k.a. Robin, who kills the Joker while laughing, only to break down into tears after he realizes what he's done.
    Joker: That's not funny... that's not...
  • Little Miss Giggles from The Mr. Men Show.
  • Uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh, Beavis And Butthead like, never stop laughing, ever, uhuhuhuhuhuhuh. It's, like, a Verbal Tic or something, uhuhuhuhuh. So much that on those rare occasions when they do stop laughing, it's either because something has just ticked them off or they're confused (well, more confused than they usually are). Taken Up to Eleven when Butt-Head is given laughing gas by the orthodontist because he won't stop squirming.
  • Hyena from Gargoyles is this on occasion, possibly as a form of psychological warfare. Or she's just that mental.
  • Jokey Smurf from The Smurfs generally finds everything funny.
  • The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack takes this trope to ridiculous heights.
  • Rufus from My Gym Partner's A Monkey, who is an actual hyena.
  • SpongeBob from the later seasons of SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • The Grapple family from TaleSpin.
  • In the SWAT Kats episode "Swat Kats Unplugged" we're introduced to Chopshop, a literal laughing hyena.
  • Meadow from Lite Sprites constantly makes jokes, and fancies herself quite hilarious. Her friends, not so much:
    Brooke: That's where Meadow's sense of humor finally made itself useful.
    Meadow: What? Never!
  • Baloney the Dinosaur, in his one-off appearance on Animaniacs, chortled at everything that happened, even the barrage of anvils he was treated to.
  • In an episode of Rockos Modern Life, a satellite crashes into the kitchen, a state-licensed contractor (an actual hyena) comes in to look at the damage. When Rocko tells him how much he can afford for repairs, the contractor immediately cracks up and proves to be of no help to Rocko.
  • Tee Hee Hee from Toonimals
  • Izzy from Total Drama Island is almost always seen laughing at someone or something, usually at her own crazy antics.
  • Zig the hyena from Zig And Sharko.
  • Stripy Up to Eleven. He laughs even when he gets beaten up.
  • One of the crooks in COPS is a deadly prankster called Hyena. According to his toy's rap sheet, he used to be a stand-up comedian, but couldn't stop laughing at his own jokes (which, by all accounts, weren't even funny in the first place).
  • Bill and Fosse from South Park, the two boys who call everything "gay". They are always laughing Beavis and Butthead style, even when bad things happen to them.
  • Genie's Laughter from the Aladdin: The Series episode "The Seven Faces Of Genie" according to him everything's a riot and will go into fits of laughter for often no reason, and he spoke in a British accent for some reason.


Humor DissonanceLaughter TropesLate to the Punchline
The HunterCharacters as DeviceHyper Awareness
Hakuna MatataImageSource/Animated FilmsJust a Face and a Caption

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
70515
3