[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/icelandicvolcananas.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Iceland's marketing campaign for magmananas practically erupted onto the scene.]]

->"''Even I laughed at me when I invented this alien cross-species genetic analyzer! But I guess I showed myself!''"
-->-- '''[[TheProfessor Professor Farnsworth]]''', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''

Scientists may be open to new ideas, but are not by any means paragons of universal open minded acceptance. This is heavily exaggerated in fiction. What do a peerage of scientists do when presented with amazing or disturbing theories that could seriously change everyone's worldview and/or revolutionize science by one of their fellows? Do they test out the theory themselves, analyze it thoroughly, or interview their fellow scientist in an effort to find any truth in his "wild" theories or disabuse him of them before he goes crackpot?

Of course not! Everyone knows that's not how you do research! The establishment will be fiercely jealous, and they'll mock him, never take a second glance at his theories, and do everything possible to discredit him, bury his ideas, and make him shunned in respectable scientific circles.

The outcomes are usually:
* He will turn into a ''bona fide'' MadScientist and wreak havoc, usually motivated by [[AmbitionIsEvil personal gain]] or [[RantInducingSlight revenge]] on the scientists who dared to mock him. Parodies and/or [[DiscreditedTrope extremely cliché]] examples may spout out lines like "They all laughed at me... THEY CALLED ME MAD! BUT I'LL SHOW THEM! ''I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!! [[EvilLaugh BWAHAHAHAAA!]]''"
* He will become a slightly more tragic version of TheWormGuy, and be involved in a situation where his theories work. If everything goes smoothly, he will usually be accepted back into the community that once shunned him and his detractors forced to eat crow or discredit themselves. If it's related to TheMenInBlack or the {{Masquerade}}, his vindication will be personal, but still uplifting.
* He will become an IgnoredExpert if the "wild theory" is a premonition of a disaster. Most (usually all) of his detractors [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality end up dead]] or recant and he is lauded a hero for preventing bigger casualties. That is, unless he's [[DeathByPragmatism pragmatic]], or [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans the world-destroying type]].
* Usually, in real life, as the evidence mounts, the general view will ''eventually'' correct itself. If the scientific establishment is particularly slow to embrace the paradigm shift, then the theory and its inventor will be [[VindicatedByHistory Vindicated By History]].

Apart from purely scientific backlash, jealousy, and spite, there may also be pressure on them from other motivations; for example, if you claim your planet is ''not'' the center of the universe or that leaded petrol is unhealthy. Compare [[IgnoredExpert Ignored Expert]].

Occasionally, they will be one screw short of becoming a MadScientist before this falling out, or have the typical personal tragedy motivating ProfessorGuineaPig. In these cases, his peers aren't so much fools as they are (rightly) concerned that his experiments have fallen down the slippery slope of [[ForScience scientific inquiry]] into grave robbing, God-defying [[MadScientist Mad Science]].

At the outset of the story, he'll usually be on hard times, and probably have become a recluse or in a dead-end job. Or... will use their SuperPrototype to branch into {{supervillain}}y.

Compare AllOfTheOtherReindeer and WhosLaughingNow With variant #1 especially, this is frequently a motive behind DisproportionateRetribution.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', [[spoiler:Professor Takano had been investigating a strange disease called Hinamizawa Syndrome, which could alter one's personality into that of a psychopathic paranoiac. Based on this, he wants to show that a person's personality can be altered or even wholly changed by parasites in the brain. However, at almost every turn, he is refused both funding and consideration for his work -- despite doing careful research, inviting his colleagues to look at his results, and otherwise acting like an actual scientist rather than [[MadScientist the alternative]]. He never got anywhere, and ultimately ended up [[DrivenToSuicide jumping off the roof of his home]], but the Scientist's Beautiful Granddaughter, Miyo, well, [[KillEmAll that's another story...]]]]
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'' subverted this. MadScientist Dr. Hell is not mad because they called him mad. They did not. They called him dumb and useless. THAT is what set him off.
* Subverted in the sixth ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' movie. The mad scientist in question, a member of Team Magma, was shunned because his method of resurrecting Groudon ''didn't work''. This leads him to become obsessed with finding a way to do it right, just so he can show them. [[spoiler:He ends up succeeding, [[EldritchAbomination sort of]], though [[NightmareFuel it's definitely not what he expected.]]]]
* In ''Anime/AngelCop,'' the friendly mad scientist who rebuilt Raiden as a cyborg (no, not ''that'' [[Franchise/MetalGear Raiden]]) gloats that those who once mocked his genius would now be destroyed by it. Raiden makes short work of all the bad guys attacking the facility.
* This is Waver Velvet's motivation for joining the Holy Grail War in ''LightNovel/FateZero''. After Lord El-Melloi tore up his "delusional" thesis[[note]]"Delusional" because it attacked the accepted belief that ability in magecraft was determined by lineage and effectively fixed at birth[[/note]], Waver stole the catalyst needed to summon his Servant and entered the war in hopes to prove that his low-birth status didn't hinder his skill in magic.

* The [[StockShtick old stage-comedy joke]], "When I used to say I was going to be a comedian, people laughed. Well, they're not laughing now."

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Jor-El, the biological father of {{Superman}}, was mocked for his claims that Krypton was doomed by the Science Council, until he was proven correct by the planet's destruction.
* Villainous example: Chronos from the Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse.
* Another villainous example: Dr. Sivana, [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]'s archenemy, in his original version, was a scientist who was mocked because of his theories; this led indirectly to the death of his wife, and he swore revenge on society at large as a result.
* In the ''ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer'' book ''The Yellow M'', this is the main motivation of the villain [[spoiler:Dr. Septimus: he had published under a pseudonym a book detailing his theories about the "Mega Wave", a brain wave that if manipulated could actually [[MoreThanMindControl control people]]. However, a group of people had discredited his theories, leading the book's publisher to sue them for libel and lose. This caused Septimus to later kidnap those people and the judge who presided over the case and commit various crimes to prove his theory (even going so far as using the technology to make the judge and the men who discredited him admit they were wrong and that they were complete fools to do so).]]
* Wheeljack in ''ComicBook/TransformersShatteredGlass'' had quite the memorable role as a mad scientist who was mocked for everything he did, and was eventually kicked out of the Autobots. He later shows back up with a couple of new friends, aka the Dinobots, though.
-->I'm not crazy! Everyone else is just blind to my genius! I'll show you I'm not crazy! I'll show every last one of them I'm not a foaming-mad megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur! As soon as I perfect my atomic super-mutant alloygators, you'll all see ''I wasn't crazy!!!''
* The Marvel UK run of ''Comicbook/TheTransformers'' had Flame, a rogue Autobot MadScientist. Needless to say, he's a complete raving loony and spent many pages claiming that the (understandably very upset and disapproving) Autobot High Council were wrong to call him mad for trying to follow some of Megatron's plans ForScience. Given that he was responsible for a ZombieApocalypse and nearly [[EarthShatteringKaboom blowing up Cybertron by accident]] among other things, the Autobot High Council was pretty much right on the money to not listen to him.
* Dr. Will Magnus explains this was his backstory in ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo,'' fitting as he spends the entire comic struggling with mental illness. Not a single scientist took his theory that personality traits could be discovered in metals save for Magnus's EvilMentor Professor Morrow. [[spoiler: Turns out this theory is what led to the creation of the Metal Men, who he's rebuilt in secret. Upon finishing his speech they appear to help him kill the madman who's been holding Magnus hostage.]]
* Necross the Hahaha Mad in ''ComicBook/{{Cerebus}}'' is an example that combines sorcery with WeirdScience and winds up with his mind transferred into a giant golem.
* While Grant and Shawn of ''ComicBook/BlackScience'' ''could'' have developed their ideas within the scientific establishment, they choose private financing instead. This allows them to work without the resistance of the hidebound community. They plan to victoriously reveal functioning pillar tech as proof of their theories to stun the world.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* On the subject of a close relative of "They called me mad", one ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' comic features a mad scientist convention, with the special guest being the man who coined the phrase "I'll show them! I'll show them all!!"
* One memorable ''ComicStrip/MotherGooseAndGrimm'' single-panel strip had an anthropomorphic cow in a labcoat standing triumphantly over his Frankenstein-cow creation and declaring "Mad? ''Mad'', they say? I'll show them just how ''mad'' I am!" The caption? "When [[{{Pun}} mad cow disease]] goes untreated."

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Dr. Cockroach in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'' says the whole MadScientist cliche practically word-for-word complete with an evil laugh (he says crazy instead of mad) while working on a way to restore Susan to her normal size. He did turn himself into a human-cockroach hybrid, but apart from that seems pretty rational.
* Milo Thatch from ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}}'': If not the TropeMaker, than this is certainly the TropeCodifier. The withdrawn and unappreciated MadScientist Henry Frankenstein feels sweet satisfaction after bringing his monster to life.
%%* Beautifully played with in Mel Brooks' classic parody ''Film/YoungFrankenstein.'' Frederick Frankenstein is arguably an inversion, but also arguably a MadScientist - a tough combo to pull off.
* Uttered by Dr. Bernardo in Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex* But Were Afraid To Ask''. He was apparently kicked out of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_and_Johnson Masters & Johnson]] for his sexual research. His work includes forcing a man to have sex with a massive loaf of rye bread and putting the brain of a lesbian into the head of a man who works for the telephone company.
-->'''Dr. Bernardo:''' It was '''''I''''' who discovered how to make a man impotent by hiding his hat!
* Dr. Abner Mellon of ''Film/ErnestRidesAgain,'' whose screwball theory that the Crown Jewels of England were stolen by a hitherto undocumented Revolutionary War unit who hid them in the barrel of Goliath, the largest cannon ever made, turns out (unsurprisingly) to be absolutely correct. [[spoiler: Except that the "barrel" doesn't mean the ''cannon'' barrel, but one of its attached gunpowder kegs.]]
* Dr. Hans Zarkov from ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|1980}}'', who becomes an IgnoredExpert at the beginning of the movie for predicting... something. Something involving a galactic tyrant playing with volcanoes on Earth.
* The documentary ''Film/{{Expelled}}'' claims that proponents of intelligent design regularly receive this treatment at the hands of the scientific community, which supports Darwinian evolution.
* ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'': The trio of parapsychologists are, at the start of the franchise, not taken seriously by anyone and soon get dismissed from Columbia University. As it happens there is an outbreak of paranormal activity to vindicate them at short notice, otherwise they'd probably still be out of a job.
* ''Film/MouseHunt'': Ernie is bemoaning the accident by which the mayor, dining at his restaurant, happened to eat a cockroach and die. Ernie says the world's turning upon him.
-->'''Ernie:''' The same thing happened to Galileo.
-->'''Lars:''' Really? That's unbelievable. With a cockroach and everything?
* ''Film/SantoEnElTesoroDeDracula'' features a rare heroic version. Wrestling/ElSanto, the famed MaskedLuchador, claims to have invented a revolutionary new time machine during his downtime from wrestling. For some reason, Mexico's leading scientists don't take his ideas seriously. Ticked off by this rejection, Santo spends the rest of the movie trying to prove the mainstream scientists wrong by using the time machine to retrieve Dracula's lost treasure.
* In ''Film/SkyHigh2005'', Sue Tenny/[[spoiler:Gwen Grayson]] originally became [[BigBad Royal Pain]] because when she was a teenager no one considered her superpower important enough, and stuck her with the sidekicks.
* ''Film/{{Stargate}}'': Daniel Jackson's lecture about how Egyptologists have got it all wrong doesn't go down well. Overlaps with [[TheWormGuy The Worm Guy]].
* ''Film/WomanInTheMoon'' (1929). Professor Mannfeldt is laughed out of the room by his fellow scientists when he gives a lecture on sending expeditions to the Moon to [[GoldFever exploit its resources]]. To be fair, we still haven't done the latter.

* Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/HerbertWestReanimator'': Herbert West, a more villainous, insane example.
* The [[NamelessNarrative nameless hero]] of ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' goes through a bit of this in the first couple chapters.
* Alfred Bester's wonderful short time-travel story ''The Men Who Murdered Mohammed'' notes that "The patient reader is too familiar with the conventional mad professor, undersized and over-browed, creating monsters in his laboratory which invariably turn on their maker and menace his [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter lovely daughter]]. This story isn't about that sort of make-believe man. It is about Henry Hassel, a genuine mad professor..." It goes on to contain one of the best lines from short SF: "In exactly seven and one-half minutes (such was his rage) he put together a time machine (such was his genius)."
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** A minor character from the history seems to have had to deal with this trope. Achmed The Mad, Necromancer and compiler of the Necrotelicomnicon, was apparently irked by his most common moniker and preferred to be known as 'Achmed the I Just Get These Headaches'.
** This is so common on the Disc that its absence is noted by TheIgor in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', who comments that he finds it easier to perform his work if his employer is indulging in an EvilLaugh and saying things like "They said I was mad, but this will show them!". In ''Discworld/MakingMoney'', an Igor asks his employer, who is about half a step away from being a MadScientist, to invoke this trope before he performs a dangerous experiment.
* Doctor Impossible of ''Literature/SoonIWillBeInvincible'' receives this treatment for his obsession with the Zeta Dimension, though he's also a {{supervillain}} because his vast intellect [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder compels him to be so]].
* In ''Literature/PresidentsVampire'' this trope is name-checked by an actual MadScientist, Johann Konrad. Interestingly, it's implied that when he was still mortal, he got this treatment not because his theory was revolutionary, but because of [[{{Squick}} nauseating]] methods he was using.
-->'''Konrad''': And to think they called me mad...
* The astronomer in ''Literature/TheLittlePrince'' who discovered Asteroid B-612 got this treatment - not for anything particularly revolutionary in his work, but because he presented it while wearing traditional Turkish costume. A subsequent presentation in western dress was better received.
* Non-SF example: In Conan Doyle's SherlockHolmes story "The Dying Detective," Culverton Smith is a skilled amateur scientist--working with diseases--but the scientific community doesn't take him seriously (seeing him not as mad, but just not a serious scientist), which embitters him.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' former Maester Qyburn is a magical version, stripped of his chain by the Citadel for his research into magic and what lies beyond death. While the Citadel does appear to disapprove of magic, the main reason was probably that his research involved ''vivisecting'' people. He seems pretty normal most of the time, but it's worth noting that he's had two known jobs since that happened: as a member of a famously vicious band of sellswords who wouldn't care if he cut open the odd screaming prisoner, and as spymaster for someone whose massive paranoia supplied him with ready access to well sound-proofed dungeon cells and people who should never be seen again.
* ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'': Miles Vorkosigan -- a non-scientist example:
--> '''Sealer Greenlaw''': "Has anyone ever told you that you are quite mad?"
--> '''Miles Vorkosigan''': "Now and then," he admitted. Despite everything, a slow smile turned his lips. "Not so much since I was appointed an [[BadassBureaucrat Imperial Auditor]], though. [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections Useful, that]]."
* Used for a AddedAlliterativeAppeal gag in ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' - Professor Pippy P. Poopypants was "giggled out of Georgetown, howled out of Harvard, yuk-yukked out of Yale, snickered out of Stanford, and chuckled out of Chatanooga State Technical Community College". Not because of his inventions (they didn't even get around to seeing them), because of his name.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Although he says it in a more rational way than usual, Qyburn describes his relationship with the Archmaesters of Oldtown in this way. He is an unethical former maester who was thrown out of the order for conducting illegal human experimentation.
* ''Franchise/StargateVerse'':
** ''Series/StargateSG1'':
*** Dr. Daniel Jackson. "Aliens having built the pyramids" are words you'd more likely hear from a homeless conspiracy nut. In the [[Film/{{Stargate}} original movie]], he proposed that the pyramids were built thousands of years before the well-accepted timeline, and that they weren't the work of the Egyptians. When he said he didn't know who did, the audience walked out. In the AlternateUniverse episode where the Stargate was never discovered, Jackson had been reduced to teaching English as a Second Language classes.
*** Daniel's grandfather, Nicholas Ballard, is a one-off example. The man found a crystal skull, said it was made by aliens and was laughed at for 40 years. ''Even by Daniel, as they laughed at each other.'' He fell into depression and had himself committed to a mental institution. And later [[StayWithTheAliens stayed with the aliens.]]
** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'': Dr. Rodney [=McKay=]. In one episode, he is invited to a symposium by an old rival, and is summarily mocked by the entire theoretical physics community for his lack of (unclassified) output -- including Series/BillNyeTheScienceGuy and Stephen Hawking -- even after he saves the world from behind the scenes. On the plus side, he gets the girl at the end of the episode. On top of all this, his sister is generally considered the smarter one, despite the fact that she retired from physics to become a stay-at-home mom. She occasionally helps out when Rodney or Atlantis is stuck.
* Mocked, of course, on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' when Dr. F finds an old experiment (the prop is literally two stuffed animal rear ends sewn together) while rummaging through a box of old inventions:
--> ''"Ah, it's my old mad science experiment from Eevilo's, the Double-Butt Graft, where I successfully grafted the butt of a dog onto the butt of a cat. Sure, they all '''laughed...'''"''
** In one "Turkey Day" bumper segment, Forrester actually tries out various responses to being called mad, like, "I'm MAD, damn you! MAD!" and "Mad? Why I've done things you've never even dreamed of!"
** Mike Nelson got a turn later on, muttering about his persecution for pranks that were considered insane while working on a baking soda and vinegar bomb...before accidentally destroying a planet with it. [[MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds His third, incidentally.]]
%%* The scent guy in ''Series/PushingDaisies.''
* ''Series/BlackBooks'' briefly parodies this as Bernard deteriorates under stress into a "MadScientist" as he and his friend/BumblingSidekick try to create a replacement for a priceless bottle of wine they have inadvertently drunk.
-->They'd all laugh at me if they knew what I was trying to do. To create a new strain of superwine in half an hour with a fraction of nature's resources and a ''fool'' for an assistant. "Bernard Black - he's mad!" they'd say, "He's insane, he's dangerous!" WELL I'LL SHOW THEM! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!
* Chandra Suresh of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' was widely thought to be losing his mind when he started talking about people with supernatural abilities, and his son Mohinder is later told "everyone thinks you're nuts" when he tries to spread his father's theories.
* In one episode of ''{{Series/Dinosaurs}}'', the Sinclairs watch a show where a MadScientist gives this speech before giving life to a giant... turnip. His Igor declares "You ''are'' mad!", at which point the scientist replies, "Well... yes. But mad-''angry'', not mad-crazy."
* Jim Carrey and Conan [=O'Brien=] had fun with this stock phrase [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weXs40Lwjwk when Carrey was on the show.]]
* Walter Bishop of ''Series/{{Fringe}}'' owns this trope. Walter spent the better part of two decades in a psychiatric hospital after having had parts of his brain ''removed'' by his oldest friend, at his own request. They called him mad because he ''was'' mad.
* In ''Series/{{SCTV}}'' - mad scientist Dr. Tongue, hammily emoting "They laughed at me in Budapest...THEY LAUGHED AT ME IN PRAGUE!!!" - hunchback assistant Bruno chimes in "They laughed at you in Buffalo too."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' examples:
** Mad Scientist Dr. Mehendri Solon in "The Brain of Morbius." He combines this with fanatical devotion to the defeated evil Time Lord Morbius--his unholy experiments are to give Morbius a new body.
** A benevolent variation exists with Peter "Pete" Tyler, Rose Tyler's father. While he died when she was just a baby, he was described as an idealistic dreamer whose schemes never worked. Cut to a visit to an alternate universe where he didn't die and lived to present day. He actually managed to go and make his plans work and he became a very wealthy man. However, both Petes are decent men and alt-timeline Pete considers Rose the daughter he never had (since he's a widower in the alt universe).
* One episode of ''Series/GetSmart'' featured a Control agent who developed a formula that turns people older by being applied to their photographs and later kills those people by having their photographs ripped. The Chief didn't believe the idea. Because of this, the agent decided to sell the formula to Kaos, where he did get a chance to show the formula does work.

* Music/DoctorSteel: "But alas, I was detained / And they labelled me 'Criminally Insane'." - ''Lament for a Toy Factory''.
* Music/TheCramps: "Mad! You call me mad?! Haha. I have the secret of eternal love! You call me mad?!!" - 'Thee Most Exhaulted Potentate Of Love'.
* The DeathMetal band Crypticus actually have an album and a song called They Called Me Mad.
* Played with in the Grottomatic song [[http://grottomatic.bandcamp.com/track/strong-bad “Strong Bad,”]] which contains a short monologue about the writer desperate to get exposed five years after the feature ended.
-->“‘Oh, Tim is crazy,’ they say, ‘always writing to that cartoon guy who hasn't answered in years.’ Well, I’ll show them. ''Boy,'' will I show them. Wait ‘til Strong Bad answers ''me!'' Then we’ll see who’s crazy!” [crazy giggle]
* [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1547 "They Said I Was Mad"]] by Consortium of Genius is about this.
* ''They All Laughed'' by Music/GeorgeGershwin ([[Music/FrankSinatra among]] [[Music/EllaFitzgerald others]]) provides a more mundane example of this trope
-->''They laughed at me wanting you, said I was reaching for the moon''
-->''But oh, you came through. Now they'll have to change their tune''
-->''They all said we never could be happy, they laughed at us and how!''
-->''But ho, ho, ho! [[WhosLaughingNow Who's got the last laugh now?]]''

* Spoofed in an ''Radio/ImSorryIllReadThatAgain'' parody of ''Series/DoctorWho'', with Graeme Garden as "Doctor Why" and Tim Brooke-Taylor as his companion, Peter:
-->'''Doctor:''' They laughed at Galilleo... They laughed at Newton... They laughed at Einstein... ''Why won't they laugh at me?''\\
'''Peter:''' It's partly the lines, but mostly the delivery...

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* This is very common in ''TabletopGame/GeniusTheTransgression''. Geniuses ''are'' [[ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder mad]] and their creations are not only scientifically impossible, but [[ItRunsOnNonsensoleum obviously so]]:
-->If only it were so simple. They laughed because you ''were'' mad. They laughed because your inventions crumbled when unveiled and your theories turned to gibberish. You wept when you saw your equations riddled with childish errors.
** One ''{{Splat}}'' in the game is ''defined'' by coming into Genius after being rejected by one's peers: Neid, the Catalyst of Banishment. They end up spending a lot of time trying to show "them."
** Mad science is a bit tricky; [[BrownNote prospective researchers could very well end up being called mad themselves.]] TheMasquerade is, sadly, rather self-sustaining.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Space 1889}}'' adventure Canal Priests of MarsOtto Strabismäs has an alternative to the ether theory. He says “they all laughed at me at Heidelberg”.
* The [[OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame Dwarfs]] of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' regularly kick out young mavericks from their engineering guild, to the point where it's practically a rite of passage. Most of them join the human engineering guild until they refine their prototype into a machine that runs with proper Dwarfish efficiency, which tends to result in TheEmpire using the more unreliable weapons on the battlefield before the conservative dwarfs cotton to them. It's working out well for the dwarfs at least, they've got [[{{BFG}} multi-shot cannons]] and ''helicopters''.
** Being packed full of mad scientist tropes, the Skaven Chief Warlock Ikit Claw tends to say this a lot (his appearances in novels, such as Thanquol's Doom, make it quite apparent). Though in all honesty he probably is stark raving mad...
* MagicTheGathering has [[http://magiccards.info/9e/en/97.html Torgle, mountaintop boatmaker]]. The joke's on you after all your land is flooded.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Dr. Nefarious in ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankUpYourArsenal'':
-->'''Dr. Nefarious:''' To think, they called me insane, Lawrence. We'll see who's insane ''when my pets have exterminated all life on this miserable planet!''
-->'''[[ServileSnarker Lawrence]]:''' [[StealthInsult That should clear things right up, sir]].
* Dr. Cranium in ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'':
-->Mad? Mad?! They ALL call me mad, but what do they know of madness? I am not mad! A bit perturbed about the world situation and how I get so little respect, perhaps. But certainly not mad!
** Igor chimes in as well.
-->Doctor nod mad. Doctor insane.
* This was the catalyst of [[MadScientist Doctor Neo Cortex's]] quest for world domination in the ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' series.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', this likely applies to the creator of [[spoiler: Genesect]]. Despite being told by [[BigBad N]] that he [[EvenEvilHasStandards should stop making a super-powered cyborg Pokemon]], the scientist refused and continued the operation in secret.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Doctor Lucrecia Crescent says that people had laughed at her theory about the final WEAPON Omega and its Harbinger, Chaos. By the end of ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus'', we learn [[spoiler:that she was [[HoistByHisOwnPetard hoisted by her own petard]] in that the stagnant Lifestream killed her mentor, Doctor Grimoire Valentine. Her guilt over this incident prevented her from responding to Vincent Valentine's advances, pushed her to marry [[MadScientist Doctor Hojo]], and go through with the JENOVA project.]]
* ''Videogame/WildStar'': Dorian Walker got a lot of flak for believing Nexus was actually real. Then he actually found it.
* ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'': If you get thrown out of the University, the game notes, "They laughed at you and so on." Publish a Scientific Article, and the game further notes, "It appears you have shown them all."
* The backstory for "Dr Junkenstein" in the ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' Halloween event.
-->'''Junkenstein:''' You will all regret the day you laughed at Doctor Jamison Junkenstein!

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{ASDFmovie}} 2'': "They said I could never teach a llama to drive!"

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://satwcomic.com/never-say-never The page image]] is courtesy of ''Webcomic/ScandinaviaAndtheWorld'', where [[NationsAsPeople Iceland,]] despite having generally cold weather and getting little sun, manages to grow bananas by ''[[LavaAddsAwesome warming them with lava]]''. Norway and the Faroe Islands already doubt the sanity of this idea, and Iceland's maniacal laughter doesn't help his case one bit.
* ''Webcomic/{{Narbonic}}'':
** It's a little off-putting when you realise that [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/users/narbonic/narbonic/httpdocs/083101.gif they actually didn't.]]
** Captain Bram in ''Webcomic/SkinHorse''. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=39682&name=skinhorse I'll teach those Yankees to laugh at me. ''Yes, they laughed!'']]
** The Institute for the Sane Study of Mad Genius (aka "[[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=45377 those fools at the Institute]]") is, apparently, usually the "they" in the Narboniverse. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/skinhorse/series.php?view=archive&chapter=44717 They have classes in it]].
** When Mr. Winter, the Narbon lawyer, laughs at a terribly distraught Helen in the backstory of ''Narbonic''... things don't end very well for him. Or anyone else in that Italian bistro, for that matter.
* Inevitably happens at least once in ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', and in fact this sort of thing is seemingly listed in that 'verse's equivalent of ''The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders'' as a diagnostic criteron for ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0345.html "He Invented the Magic System"]]:
-->'''Leeky Windstaff:''' The other druids may have kicked me out of their circle... called me mad. MAD! But NOW who is advancing the cause of environmental preservation? Bwa hahahaha!
* [[http://www.absurdnotions.org/an20000316.gif This]] ''Absurd Notions'' strip.
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' -- See the title on the right book on the second shelf in the second panel [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040204 here]]?
** It runneth over with {{Mad Scientist}}s, so this is a surprisingly restrained example [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20090109]].
** Othar's Website/{{twitter}} also shows a mild one: [[http://twitter.com/#!/Othar/status/17434649633 Part 1]] [[http://twitter.com/#!/Othar/status/17593592230 Part 2]].
* Touched upon with [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1010 Hannelore's father]] in ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent''.
* ''Bite Me!'' has Claire exclaiming this as she goes to work on inciting a riot...with "[[NoodleImplements three tomatoes, a size-nine-and-a-half shoehorn, a bit of string, and a small wooden spoon]]." Judging by [[http://www.bitemecomic.com/?p=512 her facial expression as she declares this,]] it's kind of clear why...
* Slick in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob''
--> Slick: "And for that, they called me... mad! ''Mad!!''
--> Jean: "Okaaaay... now, uh, Slicky, listen... this is important... You're not mad because of your ''theory...'' 'cause it looks like your theory is ''right...'' You're ''mad'' because you're raving like a ''loonie!!!''
* ''Webcomic/FarOutThere'' evoked this with the signs and banners in a [[http://faroutthere.smackjeeves.com/comics/1065779/page-129-welcome-to-the-party/ mad scientist convention]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' article featuring villainous flowcharts had a very simple one for origins.
-->'''Did they laugh at you?'''\\
'''No:''' Lead normal life.\\
'''Yes:''' Show them! Show them all!!
* ''WebVideo/CoyleCommand'': "They called me mad! Not entirely untrue, but inappropriate nonetheless."
* Apparently it's getting so bad you can't even doubt one's knowledge of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF0olK9idsk a video game about gardening without hearing]] "Well I'll show them. I'll SHOW THEM ALL!"
* In [[http://badgods.com/view/halloweencandy/ his ratings of Halloween candy]], Lore Sjöberg suspects this was involved in the invention of [[IGotARock Bit O' Honey]].
--> "I've combined the unsettlingly wholesome flavor of honey with the inedibility of old bus-seat gum! And they called me seriously unbalanced and in need of a competent therapist! Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
* The motivation for several antagonists in ''Literature/{{Twig}}'':
** The Puppeteer, who decides that creating a small army of [[LaserGuidedTykebomb Laser Guided Tykebombs]] and waiting several years for them to grow up before committing a series of grisly murder-suicides is an appropriate response to his proposal for a unit of child assassins being rejected by [[AcademyOfEvil the Academy]].
** Genevieve Fray, who after she's rejected for a professor position at Radham Academy, decides to ''start a civil war'' by ''sterilizing hundreds of thousands of people'' and pinning blame on the Academy, and then unites the resulting rebels under her leadership in order to show that she has departmental leadership skills.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Dr. Wily from ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' used this line as well. Fittingly, it was during one of the sillier second season episodes, "Night of the Living Monster Bots".
-->'''Dr. Wily''': The world may call me insane, Proto...\\
'''Proto Man''': Sounds right to me.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' parodies this in "Treehouse of Horror II", when Burns takes on a MadScientist role and successfully transplants Homer's brain into a robot:
--> '''Burns''': [[ShoutOut It's alive!]] Oooh, that fellow at Radio Shack said I was mad! [[HypocriticalHumour WELL WHO'S MAD]] ''[[WhosLaughingNow NOW]]''?! ''([[EvilLaugh laughs diabolically]])''
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' pokes fun at the professor this way every other episode. It doesn't help that he's senile. Fry as well, to an extent.
-->'''Farnsworth''': Some even call me mad! And why? Because I dared to dream of my own race of atomic monsters! Atomic supermen with octagonal-shaped bodies that suck blood out of you... ''*Exits room while continuing to ramble*''
** A Fry example:
-->'''Fry''': Don't listen to what other people say about you. They all called me stupid, but I proved ''them!''
-->'''Gay Hippie:''' They called me crazy for building this ark.
-->'''Other Hippie:''' You are crazy, you built it with same sex animal couples!
-->'''Gay Hippie:''' Hey! There are parts of the Bible I like and parts I don't like.
* The villain in the ''Dennis the Menace'' cartoon (UK) episode 'Mauled' used this (and was the typical mad scientist with robot shopping centre, parasol hat and funny gadgets).
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'': Johnny has been abducted by gorgeous aliens and Carl and Pops start building a machine to get him back. Bizarrely, ''Pops'' seems to be doing most of the work...
-->'''Pops''': Ah yes...they all laughed at me during my nuclear physicist days... WELL [[WhosLaughingNow WHO'S LAUGHING NOW]]???? ''([[EvilLaugh laughs maniacally]])''
* MadScientist Norton Nimnul of ''WesternAnimation/ChipNDaleRescueRangers'' often has one of these speeches before revealing to the viewing audience (or as the audience looks over) one of his weird inventions. Given the nature of these inventions, their reactions were understandable, but on the other hand... they do work, thanks to the scientific principle which states: "Anything can happen in a cartoon." Every single one of his inventions was a RubeGoldbergDevice combined with a DoomsdayDevice. The most memorable being a giant machine made up of hands that petted kitties to power a lightning ray with static electricity.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'':
** Spoofed in [[Recap/DarkwingDuckS1E40TwitchingChannels "Twitching Channels"]] when Megavolt says, "They called me crazy! They called me insane! They called me a LOONEY! ...and boy, were they right."
** And again in another episode when he goes on a similar rant.
--->'''Megavolt''': They called me mad. They called me ''insane''! They were right. ''But I'm running things now!''
* [[Creator/TimCurry Dr. Mystico]] on ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}'':
-->'''Dr. Mystico''': They called me [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking mad! Insane! WENDELL!]]
* The [[MadScientist mad scientists]] of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' happily use this trope, most notably crazed biogeneticist [=DNAmy=].
-->'''Amy:''' ...I wanted ''more.'' To go where no Cuddler had gone before - Life-sized living Cuddle Buddies!
-->'''Barkin:''' That's... quite a leap.
-->'''Amy:''' Not if you're one of the world's foremost biogeneticists! They called me D-N-Amy. They said I was ''mad'' at the Cuddle Con! [[EvilLaugh Hee hee!]] ...[[AffablyEvil Gingersnap]]?
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'':
-->'''Dilbert:''' This is ridiculous. You can't find tiny people with a stick.\\
'''Dogbert:''' That's what they said to Jonas Salk.\\
'''Dilbert:''' Jonas Salk invented the polio vaccine!\\
'''Dogbert:''' Yes, but ''after'' they told him that he couldn't find tiny people with a stick.
* The mad scientist from the original ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons'' cites this as his motivation. They laughed at his ideas! Now he will destroy Metropolis!
* Denzel Crocker from ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' has this line of dialogue after becoming supreme ruler of the world in "Abra-Catastrophe":
-->'''Denzel Crocker:''' They called me crazy! AND I AM!!! Crazy like the guy who was right about FAIRIES!!
* Non-scientist example: ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'''s "[[PredatoryBusiness Superstore Sucks]]" episode featured a guy who was only now succeeding at selling tumbleweed spouting "Y'all laughed at me!", now that nearly every other business in town has gone kaput.
* Doctor Octopus got this treatment in ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' with regards to his cold fusion reactor.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' had a one-shot Mad Scientist character (with Film/BrideOfFrankenstein [[BeehiveHairdo hair]] and a big butt) that was going to make the world fear and obey her. "In school they called me mad and insane. They also called me All-Toppy-Big-Bottom. I wonder what that meant."
* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice''
-->'''Dr. Dysfunctio Cerebri:''' They laughed at me at the academy! They laughed at me at the institute!\\
'''Sam:''' He must've been a lot funnier then.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' episode "Robodie II", Dr. Garbanzo Bean not only invoked the trope about himself but mentioned other people who used to be called 'nutty'. First were the Wright Brothers and then Thomas Edison. The last one of them was his uncle, whom Garbanzo admits to be really mad. Dr. Garbanzo Bean then said he wasn't crazy and that he invented the telephone. Sure, he only invented it in 1987 but, how was he supposed to know someone had already invented it before?
* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "The Sponge Who Could Fly".
-->'''[=SpongeBob=]:''' I'm a nutcase because I follow my dreams?! Well, they laughed at the guy who invented light bulbs too!\\
'''Random Fish:''' No, they didn't.
* ''TheCritic'' parodied this trope in "Marathon Man", with one of the runners who ran the whole New York Marathon with a live ferret in his pants ("It's not by choice").
--> '''Ferret Guy''': Hey, they laughed at ChristopherColumbus!
--> '''Shackleford''': No, they didnt.
--> '''Ferret Guy''': Well they would have if he'd had a ferret in his pants!

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Fringe theorists are fond of invoking this trope to suggest that orthodox science rejects their ideas out of hidebound stodginess (rather than because their ideas just don't pass muster when evaluated against the available evidence).
-->''But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.'' -- Creator/CarlSagan
** Wiki/RationalWiki calls this the Galileo Gambit, as these theorists often mention Galileo as an example of someone who was persecuted by the establishment but was actually right all along. They have a page on it [[http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Galileo_gambit here]].
* A certain Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis around 1850 noticed that the mortality rate in the Viennese maternity clinics dropped dramatically if the doctors washed their hands in chlorine before attending patients, especially if they had just been dissecting cadavers before. This idea, although the numbers clearly supported this, was almost universally rejected. [[VindicatedByHistory Later of course it turned out that germs were behind it, and that he had been right.]]
* Robert H. Goddard (yes, the "Goddard" of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies: NASA GISS fame), had an interesting working hypothesis about using rocket fuel propulsion to push a vehicle through the vacuum of space all the way to the moon. He wrote a paper about it, "A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes," and it was published by one of the Smithsonian’s scientific journals. Then ''The New York Times'' got involved, writing in their "Topic of the Times" editorial section:
-->"...After the rocket quits our air and really starts on its longer journey [to the moon],its flight would be neither accelerated not maintained by the [proposed by Goddard solid rocket based on] explosion of the charges ... . To claim that it would be is to deny a fundamental law of dynamics, and only Dr. Einstein and his chosen dozen, so few and fit, are licensed to do that. ... That Professor Goddard with his 'chair' in Clark College and the countenancing of the Smithsonian Institution, does not know the relation of action and reaction, and of the need to have something better than a vacuum against which to react — to say that would be absurd. Of course he only seems to lack the knowledge ladled out daily in high schools."
:: According to NASA’s biographical records on the man, "[t]he resulting ridicule created in Goddard firm convictions about the nature of the press corps, which he held for the rest of his life."
** They LAUGHED AT HIM, publicly, in the largest newspaper in the United States. This pissed the man off to such a degree that he spent the next decade or so of his life working in great secrecy, literally moving to a secret laboratory, and refusing to share the details of his research even within the scientific community, only popping up to show the results. Again, according to NASA itself:
--->"Goddard’s work largely anticipated in technical detail the later German V-2 missiles, including gyroscopic control, steering by means of vanes in the jet stream of the rocket motor, gimbal-steering, power-driven fuel pumps and other devices. His rocket flight in 1929 carried the first scientific payload, a barometer, and a camera. Goddard developed and demonstrated the basic idea of the “bazooka” two days before the Armistice in 1918 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. His launching platform was a music rack. In World War II, Goddard again offered his services and was assigned by the U.S. Navy to the development of practical jet assisted takeoff and liquid propellant rocket motors capable of variable thrust. In both areas, he was successful."
::: He showed them. HE SHOWED THEM ALL! [evidence of evil laugh not found (but certainly assumed)]