Laughter, of course, is one of the best known and most treasured ways that human beings express happiness. In addition to laughing when they find something funny, people laugh when they find something joyous, or heartwarming, or even stimulating. In general, a person enjoys hearing another person laugh. Unless, of course, that other person has a laugh that, rather than sounding joyous, sounds painful or cringe-inducingly awful.
The Annoying Laugh usually comes in several specific flavors (the Asthma Attack bellow, the high Hyena-like cackle, the Snort-Snort-Snort, the Machine Gun Chuckle, and the Donkey-like Bray being the most common). In some cases, the Annoying Laugh is used in place of actually fleshing out a character, since the type of annoying laugh can lead the audience to assuming the character basically is just as annoying as his or her laugh happens to be. In some cases, a character will have an Annoying Laugh because the script calls for it, but sometimes its because the actor playing the role laughs like that for real.
The supertrope of the Noblewoman's Laugh. Almost always Played for Laughs. Compare Un Evil Laugh. Sometimes part of an Overly Long Gag. The Annoying Laugh is very common in animation and sitcoms. Subtrope of Signature Laugh.
Please don't use this trope to complain about laughs you don't like.
In-Universe or Word of God-backed Intended Audience Reaction examples only:
- In Code Geass: Tales of an Alternate Shogunate, Matthew Perry has a laugh that Lelouch compares to the buzzing of a mosquito.
- In My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Yukino and Yui find Hikigaya's laugh unpleasant.
- The Italian dub of One Piece is basically one big Lampshade Hanging of how the unusual different kinds of laughter (case in point: Hogback), while somewhat acceptable in a manga, actually end up working awfully when animated. On the other hand, there are exceptions such as Brook's Italian VA, who did a perfect job at that.
- Naga the Serpent from Slayers, whose epic Noblewoman's Laugh can be classified as a deadly weapon in 37 states. It also sends old women scrambling to the nearest shrine, begging whichever deity that happens to be nearby to "please make it stop".
- Kodachi in Ranma ½. Her shrill, maniacal cackle that is one of her trademarks. It's not a coincidence that Kodachi shares Naga's voice actress. Mocked often in Ranma ½: The Abridged Chronicles.
- Esmeraude from Sailor Moon. It is so painful, the characters actually cover their ears on hearing it.
- In Sgt. Frog, the other characters find Kululu's "Ku-ku-ku!" laugh annoying. Every time he laughs, the others know he's causing mischief.
- Umineko: When They Cry:
- In Origin Story, Alex Harris's laugh is described as a combination of a howl and a honk. One character described her laugh as sounding "for all the world like a seal being tortured."
- In The Fifth House before Amelia fell in love with Sirius, she believed that his laugh sounded like a cross between a hyena and a constipated bear.
- Sailor Moon Abridged: Raye. "Where did you fly off to Darien? The moon? HA. HA. GET IT? I MADE A FUNNY KIDS."
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa has Melman saying that one of the things he loves about Gloria is that she has a beautiful laugh. When she does laugh later on... it's mainly high giggling and snorting, but Melman still loves the laugh. Alex and Marty don't comment on it much other than Marty declaring "Love has no boundaries!"
- Princess Ting-Ting in Mulan II has a snorting laugh which she hates, so she does her level best to avoid laughing for most of the film. However when she finally does crack up and laugh, Ling (her love interest) finds it cute.
- Dwight Frye's Renfield's laugh in the original English film version of Dracula, which was copied by Arte Johnson when he played the role in the spoof Love at First Bite. Peter Mac Nicol likewise imitates the laugh when he plays Renfield in Dracula: Dead and Loving It.
- In Fight Club, Tyler tells the Narrator when they first meet: "You have a sick desperation in your laugh."
- One of the murder victims in Hot Fuzz had one. In a subversion of convoluted murder mystery plots, it turns out that this mundane annoyance was actually the reason that she was killed.
- '30s and '40s movie comedian Hugh Herbert had a constant "Hoo-hoo!" laugh as part of his onscreen schtick. This was later borrowed by Daffy Duck.
- Mary Poppins has a whole song about annoying laughs. With some bad jokes thrown in for good measure!
- A date gets interrupted in Muriel's Wedding by two men who seem to think Muriel is hurt and choking.
- Star Wars: Salacious B. Crumb, the Kowakian monkey-lizard from Return of the Jedi, has one of the most obnoxious laughs of all time. Nobody complained about him dying in the explosion of the sail barge. It gets Lampshaded in the canon comics series, when Darth Vader meets with Jabba the Hutt.
- Vader: If you value that creature's life, you should tell it to never again do that in my presence.
- Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels have a few:
- Carcer from Night Watch. Used as one of quite a few indicators that the man is a complete psychopath.
- Mr. Clete from Soul Music. Hat. Hat. Hat.
- A minor variant (and only mentioned perhaps twice) is Strappi's laugh from Monstrous Regiment, which is described as "a harsh gargling at the back of the throat."
- Harry Potter :
- Dolores Umbridge has a high tittering laugh...which hides her sadistic nature.
- Honor Harrington is convinced she has one of these, and goes out of her way to avoid showing any sign of having a sense of humour in response. She apparently inherited it from her mother, who has a similar opinion of her own.
- Mariel of Redwall introduces the Honourable Rosemary, whose laugh is loud and long enough to deafen everyone in hearing range. It's also said to be able to curdle cream from thirty paces away.
- ALF. Alf is Playing Cyrano, but finds the boy isn't interested in the girl after finding she has an annoying laugh.
Alf: So you're not going to take her out to the movies any more?
Boy: I will... just not to anything funny.
- Blackadder's niece in Blackadder's Christmas Carol has a piercing, rapid, loud hyena-like giggle. Once Blackadder gets word that his niece's arrival is imminent, he immediately puts on a pair of earmuffs to protect himself from the cacophony.
- Sylvia from Dear John; her ex-husband even informed her of this.
- Doctor Who: In "Robot of Sherwood", Robin Hood's boisterous laughter really gets on the Doctor's nerves.
- Robin Hood: Robin Hood laughs in the face of all! Ha-ha-ha!
The Doctor: And do people ever punch you in the face when you do that?
Robin Hood: Not as yet, no.
The Doctor: Lucky I'm here, then, isn't it?
- Drake & Josh: One episode had Drake break up with a girl because of her laugh. This caused problems for him when it turned out she was the daughter of his nemesis teacher.
- One of the guests on Malcolm McDowell's Fantasy Island had a fantasy about hooking up with his childhood crush, who he remembers as having a wonderful laugh. Maybe it was selective memory, but when his fantasy comes true it turns out she has a kind of glass-breaking rattle.
- Arthur Atkinson of The Fast Show' has an annoying voice and "personality" at the best of times, but his laugh could kill small animals.
- Fawlty Towers: Sibyl Fawlty. A combination of the Machine-Gun Chuckle with a Donkey Bray finish. According to her husband, it sounds like "somebody machine-gunning a seal".
- One of Janice's annoying quirks is her laugh.
- Chandler's work laugh is very annoying and he explains it was invented for survival reasons. He warns Monica she will need to invent one as well to survive his work colleagues. She does.
- In Full House episode "The Producer", Danny quits Wake Up San Francisco out of jealousy towards Becky's promotion to Producer, and the replacement she hires, Phil Blankman, has an extremely irritating laugh, for which the entire family agrees, even Becky herself.
- The Good Place: All of the demons have annoying laughs. They also find annoying things funny, find the act of annoying people funny, and of course will brutally torture anyone they get their hands on. They combine Evil Is Petty with dead-serious eternal damnation.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys has the character Strife and, later, his twin brother Deimos, who are both infamous among the other characters for their hyena-like laugh:
Hercules: Deimos... I'd know that laugh anywhere!
Hercules: That was not a compliment!
- On an episode of House when Cuddy is trying to get pregnant, House brings one of the sperm donors she's considering in for an interview. The man had a very annoying laugh which came out when he was nervous. This was one of House's arguments for why he shouldn't be considered as the father.
- Live Forever As You Are Now with Alan Resnick: Teddy, being a digital character, has a robotic, stilted, "HA. HA. HA." laugh that makes even Alan seem uncomfortable.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: Phantom of Krankor from the experiment Prince of Space. While his drawn-out "Heeeeeeeh heeeeeeeeeh heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh" never draws any comment from characters in the original movie, it earns him much derision from the SOL crew. Bill Corbett (who portrayed Krankor in host segments on that episode and a couple others) resurrected the laugh to use for the Ice Cream Bunny (and anything even remotely resembling the Ice Cream Bunny)on various Rifftrax releases.
- Melanie Pearson from Neighbours, whose laugh has been compared to "a seal having a hernia", not helped by her tendency to overreact to Henry's lame quips.
- Boycie from Only Fools and Horses has the machine gun rattle down to a fine art.
- Our Miss Brooks:
- Mrs. Davis' sister Angela has a high pitched laugh, like a schoolgirl. The annoyance comes from the fact that she's a short, middle-aged woman. It's especially notable in the episode "Angela's Wedding".
- Walter Denton has a high, discordant laugh to go along with his squeaky teenage voice. In "Mr. Leblanc Needs $50" his girlfriend Harriet Conklin walks up to him while he's laughing:
Harriet: How long have you been standing there, cackling to yourself?
- Seinfeld: One episode has Jerry dating a woman with an annoying laugh, and he can't bear to tell her. It's compared to "Elmer Fudd sitting on a juicer."
- Chrissy on Three's Company was a snorter.
Janet: Well, at least I know how to laugh. Ahahahahaha! What do you do? SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT! SNORT!...
- Travelers had a notorious example in Robin Kipp. It actually proved useful at a haunted house site, when she dressed up as a phantom.
- A Wings episode has Helen dating a man with a laugh like a braying hyena. It becomes so annoying that Helen eventually decides to break up with him because of it, but before she can do so, he dumps her because he cannot stand her Southern accent.
- Les Guignols de l'Info: The puppet for Dominique Farrugia, humorist and former president of Canal+. His laugh sounds like a sea lion barking (and once attracted said animals).
- During his tenure on The Howard Stern Show, the various laughs of Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling, were a fairly big part of the show — ranging from a low dirty giggle to a big expressive "Whoop!"
- Sherlock Holmes, in the BBC Radio adaptations starring Clive Merrison. Watson complains about it a few times.
- In Oklahoma!, the protagonist Curly dates a girl named Gertie to make heroine Laurey jealous. Gertie must be played by an actress who can affect an obnoxious laugh. An example of a particularly ear-splitting performance can be seen here. That's Gertie cuddling Curly and laughing uproariously at the beginning of the video, while Laurey looks on from the porch in disgust and irritation.
- A Very Potter Musical: This page needs to start doing things... THE UMBRIDGE WAY! A DERDERDERDERDERDER. The extended version when s/he tries to keep Harry from going to Hogsmeade is even more annoying.
- Heidegger from Final Fantasy VII has a "gya-ha-ha" laugh that irritates the other heads of Shinra to no end. Rufus Shira calls it a "stupid horse laugh" and snaps at Heidegger to stop it whenever he starts.
- Final Fantasy X has a Signature Scene where Tidus and Yuna start messing around by doing deliberately horrible fake laughing off a balcony.
- Moe the clown from case 3 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All. "Aha! Aha! Aha! Aha!" You actually get penalized if you set off his laughter during the cross-examination, because the Judge is that annoyed by it.
- In Katawa Shoujo, Misha's trademark "Wa ha ha~!" laugh grates on Hisao's nerves after a while.
- Team Fortress 2:
- In killer7, your enemies are the dreaded Heaven Smiles who blow up on contact and laugh constantly. Each different Smile has a different laugh, a good number of which are extremely annoying. (Especially the Bombhead Smiles)
- Laharl's attempt at an Evil Laugh in the Disgaea series can be this, especially to Etna.
- A knight's laugh in The Last Story is used to show how pompous and corrupt he is, especially during the attack on Gurak civilians.
- Benedict the rocket wielding hawk man from Battleborn has a really annoying laugh. When laughing too hard, it'll sometimes go over into clucking. Amusingly enough, it seems to annoy himself the most.
- Polar Knight of Shovel Knight is described as having a laugh like "water torture" in the Shovel Knight art book. However, he is never seen laughing in-game.
- Professor Calamitous' daughter Beautiful Gorgeous in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. To go along with it, she also makes faces that go very against her namesake whenever she does.
Sheen: That laugh could get annoying.
- Lemongrab of Adventure Time. An utterly unnatural, unhappy shout of "HA HA HA!" The mentally disturbed failed science experiment's voice is high-pitched, loud, and nasally ANYWAY, but when he laughs, he sounds absolutely deranged. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH- OH! HAHAHAHHAHAHAOHHAOAHAOAHAOH..."
- Scratch from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Being a robotic rooster, his laugh was intentionally made to sound like a rooster crow.
"We've got you now, hedgehog! Ba-HA ha-HAAA!!"
- Naturally, Beavis And Butthead's famous "Huh huh huh huh", uttered whenever something could be taken as a dirty joke, whenever they're aroused, or most commonly to end statements with. Would they really be Beavis and Butthead without it?
- Looney Tunes:
- Di Lung from Courage the Cowardly Dog, whose laugh has a much more exaggerated Chinese accent than his speaking accent.
- In the Brazilian dub of Cow and Chicken, Cow gains one that Charlie Adler said is meant to resemble a skidding car.
- Family Guy.
- An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes revealed that Heloise had cursed a man to never laugh because she thought his laugh was annoying.
- Popeye has the machine gun chuckle. You're hearing it in your head right now as you listen to this, aren't you?
- This is a plot point in the Sanjay and Craig episode "Laugh Quake". Each of the title characters thinks the other has an annoying laugh, so they try to remedy it by going to a comedy club, where they are eventually kicked out. Later, both get crapped on by a bird, trying (and ultimately failing) to hold in their laughter, which eventually starts a chain reaction.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- SpongeBob has a combination High Nasal Twitter and Hyena-like Cackle. This annoys Squidward in at least one episode.
- The Simpsons:
- Nelson's "HAAA-HA!" is deliberately annoying on his part, as it's always used mockingly.
- Krusty the Clown's goofy "A-Hoo-He-He-He-He!"
- Mandy from Totally Spies!. Mandy has a really annoying laugh. It sounds like a goat's bleating. In the episode "Futureshock", where she's becoming the world's number one celebrity twenty years in the future, all of her admirers adopt the same laugh. In "Super Nerd Much", Clover gets the "snorting pig" laugh after being nerdified as part of her nerdy-ness.
- Jack Spicer from Xiaolin Showdown. He's a Card-Carrying Villain constantly trying to perfect his Evil Laugh, but in this instance tries too hard.
- Woody Woodpecker:
- Woody's distinct laugh, which is meant to sound like a woodpecker tapping on wood.
- Parodied in Tex Avery's Screwy Squirrel cartoons, which contain a woodpecker with a laugh reminiscent of a woodpecker screaming through a duck lure.
- Screwy himself sometimes had a high pitched "ah-yuk-yuk-yuk" laugh.
- ''Captain Planet and the Planeteers": As part of his pig motif, Hoggish Greedly has the stereotypical "pig snort" laugh. His son Junior also has it.
- Mozart's laughter, according to historical accounts from his friends, did indeed sound like "the braying of a jackass" mixed with breaking windows and "grating a cobblestone down a piano's string."
- Every character Fran Drescher has ever played has a donkey-like nasal bray of a laugh... because the actress herself really laughs like that. When she made an appearance on Celebrity Deathmatch, it was compared to the Loch Ness Monster's mating call.
Roger Ebert: Fran Drescher is a taste I have not acquired, but I concede that one could acquire it. It would help if she made a silent film.
- Jimmy Carr compares his laugh to "a seal being molested".
Rob Brydon: Ditch it, and ditch it now.
- The French channel Canal+ caricatured its then-president Dominique Farrugia's laugh as sounding like a sea-lion.
- Craig Ferguson, when he first started hosting The Late Late Show, was told by his producer that his laugh made him "sound like a psychopath", a fault he openly acknowledged.
- Comedienne Sarah Silverman has a variety of these. Andy Samberg calls her out on it, then everyone tries to follow her with their own annoying laughs.
- According to her husband (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Sarah Michelle Gellar laughs "like a hyena suffering through an epileptic fit." According to him, he finds it endearing that she has the one "unforgiveable flaw".
- Jim Carrey once joked during an appearance on Letterman that success had introduced him to the way that wealthy people laugh.