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Creepy High-Pitched Voice

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"Later," said a second voice. This too belonged to a man, but it was strangely high-pitched, and cold as a sudden blast of icy wind. Something about that voice made the sparse hairs on the back of Frank's neck stand up.

The inverse of Evil Sounds Deep. Just as characters with unnaturally deep voices can sound scary, so can characters with unnaturally high voices. May be combined with Evil Sounds Raspy for a very shrill, unpleasant-sounding voice.

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As noted on Evil Sounds Deep, deep voices are usually seen as attractive, which can lend itself well to villainous characters. This has the opposite effect, by making villains sound sickly and grotesque. This works especially well when the heroes are Badass Baritones with more "manly" voices.

It should be noted that, unlike Evil Sounds Deep, which is usually just plain intimidating, this trope can be used to make villains sound creepy or comical... or both.

Also note that for the most part, this trope does not generally include evil women or children because they usually do have higher voices. However, a villainess or Creepy Child could count if their voice is exceptionally high, especially considering that villainesses sometimes have a Contralto of Danger voice. The Wicked Witch is a specific female villain that can count for this trope, because actresses who play evil witches typically raise their voices above their normal pitch to sound elderly and haggardly.

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Types of villains who may have high-pitched voices include:

Related to Helium Speech, Effeminate Voice and Nerdy Nasalness. May overlap with Vocal Dissonance, Giggling Villain, and Soft-Spoken Sadist.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Death Note: Unlike his nemesis and Nominal Hero L, Light speaks in a very youthful tenor voice that doesn't particularly do much to dull his levels of moral absolutist murderous insanity.
  • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black is a sadistic, sociopathic mass-murderer and the Evil Twin to Goku, who shares his voice actress and the same high-pitched voice as his good counterpart, albeit in a lower register.
  • Karakuri Circus: Most of the lesser automata have almost-annoying high-pitched voices even before they reveal their monstrous true forms.
  • Yami Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh! is voiced by a woman in the Japanese version despite looking like a teenage boy, which creates an impish, Creepy Child effect and an odd juxtaposition with his rude speech patterns. He also giggles.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Emperor's New Groove: Yzma's voice is already quite energetic and high-pitched compared to previous female Disney villains such as Maleficent and Ursula. However, this trope is exaggerated and Played for Laughs late in the movie when Yzma is transformed into a kitten. She gets a chipmunk-like voice, but still attempts to kill Kuzco.
    Yzma: Is that my voice? Is that... my voice? Oh well.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas:
    • Jack Skellington, who is regarded as the Pumpkin King and the scariest of all the monsters, has a tenor voice. Although he sometimes lowers his voice when he's trying to be intimidating, he is also prone to high-pitched Evil Laughs, cementing him as a Horrifying Hero.
    • As you would expect from a creepy clown, the Clown with the Tear-Away Face has a very screechy voice, at least until he tears away his face.
    • The Creature Under the Bed. What we hear of its voice is surprisingly high-pitched, but it's still a creepy creature. The creature's gender is unknown, but it's voiced by a woman, Carmen Twilie.
    • The Creature Under the Stairs has a Basso Profundo voice in the English version (and a similarly deep voice in most dubs), but the Russian dub inverts the pitches of it and the Creature Under the Bed's voices: The CUTB has a deep, growly voice, while the CUTS has a high-pitched voice.
  • The Prince and the Pauper: The weasel Mooks, especially the ones voiced by Charlie Adler, have high-pitched voices that fit their thin, gangly appearances. This contrasts with their boss, Pete, who has a deep, booming voice. However, there is also at least one weasel voiced by Bill Farmer who has a deeper Simpleton Voice.
  • In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Evil Queen starts out with a Contralto of Danger voice. But when she concocts a spell to disguise herself as the Witch, one of the ingredients is "an old hag's cackle" to age her voice, making it much more high-pitched. She laments the change in her voice during her transformation into the Witch.
  • King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph has a goofy high-pitched voice complete with a lisp, which helps his image as a Sissy Villain and a comical Expy of Ed Wynn's performance as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. He keeps this voice even as we start to learn that he's not as friendly as seems. His true form as the psychopathic Green-Eyed Monster Turbo has an almost identical voice, minus the lisp, which serves as an early hint that Candy is Turbo when we first hear Turbo's voice in a flashback sequence. And his voice gets even more terrifying in the climax when he starts glitching between his forms as King Candy and Turbo, heavily distorting his voice.
  • The Chief Blue Meanie from Yellow Submarine speaks in a very high pitched effeminate voice, it becomes deeper and more menacing when he gets angry.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter:
  • The Hellbound Heart: One of the sadomasochistic Cenobites has a voice that's "light and breathy — the voice of an excited girl", in stark contrast with the dozens of pins driven into its head, face, and tongue. This and its sexual ambiguity are scrapped in the film adaptations, which make Pinhead deep-voiced and male.
  • The orc Grishnakh from The Lord of the Rings is described as having a voice that is high yet still menacing and evil. This is in contrast to fellow orc Ugluk who is more Evil Sounds Deep. This trait is also in the films where Grishnakh's voice is high and raspy, which highlights that he is a nasty piece of work even for an orc.
  • In Ruslan and Ludmila, Naina the witch is mentioned to have a "squeaky" voice.
  • Toothguard in Tailchaser's Song all talk in a high-pitched whisper accentuated by slithering their words. It makes them look all the more like deformed newborn kittens.
  • Scourge from Warrior Cats, in addition to being The Napoleon, had a very high-pitched and brittle voice. This made him even creepier as a villain, as he gave off the appearance and sound of a kit, but with the mind of a sociopathic and murderous dictator.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Batman (1966): Cesar Romero's flamboyant, silly portrayal of The Joker was helped greatly by the clownish voice he used for the role.
  • Doctor Who: The average Dalek screams every single word with a shrill monotone. This tips viewers off to the Daleks' inhuman natures immediately, if that wasn't given away by the salt shaker-shaped tanks they live in or by their delightful catchphrase, "Exterminate".
    • Dalek leaders such as the Dalek Supreme or the Emperor fall firmly under Evil Sounds Deep. The Dalek Prime Minister on the other hand is definitely this trope. Combined with his oddly conversational manner, instead of the usual No Indoor Voice Robo Speak, and the effect is bizarrely creepy. And let's not even get started on Dalek Caan...
  • Played with in Farscape: series Big Bad Scorpius normally speaks several octaves higher than most of the cast; combined with his soft-spoken delivery and urbane manners, it serves to contrast his monstrous, leather-clad appearance. However, it turns out that this is a deliberate affectation on his part, and when Scorpius gets angry, his voice drops to a demonic snarl.
  • Mr. Blobby speaks in a distorted, high-pitched voice that fits his very disturbing design. This is fitting because he was intended as a parody of children's show characters.
  • Capt. Simcoe, the seething psychopath villain of Turn, has a high-pitched piping voice, to go along with being very tall and having a cold stare. The overall effect is unsettling.

    Music 
  • Many Black Metal vocalists use high-pitched, raspy shrieking and screaming in order to sound evil and inhuman.
  • Eminem pitched his naturally high-pitched and nasal voice up even higher to portray his Heroic Comedic Sociopath persona Slim Shady on The Slim Shady LP - particularly on "My Name Is". He mostly dropped it after this album, to make it easier to blend his personas.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Paul Bearer, in his role as an evil mortician, used a very high-pitched voice, most evident when he said his Catchphrase, "Oh, yes!"

    Puppet Shows 
  • The slimy, power-hungry Skeksis Chamberlain in The Dark Crystal speaks in a sinister whine, peppered from time to time with a grating Verbal Tic ("Hmmmmmmmmm!").

    Theatre 
  • Der Freischutz: This is the most common way to play Samiel, possibly to contrast him with the Hermit, who is a basso.
  • In Jasper In Deadland, Little Lu's voice is noticeably higher and/or squeakier than the voices of the slaves trapped in his factory.

    Video Games 
  • Downplayed with Lance from Balan Wonderworld. His tenor voice isn't as high-pitched as most other examples of this trope, but it's still noticeably higher-pitched than the voice of his Good Counterpart, Balan. He's still the Big Bad, though.
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Gruntilda is a Wicked Witch who speaks in high-pitched grunts and does some creepy cackles as well. This is especially notable because she was voiced by a man (Chris Seavor.)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum's version of The Scarecrow has a really high pitched voice courtesy of Dino Andrade that doesn't make him any less unsettling, completely inverted the next time we see him though due to being Darrin'd by John Noble.
  • Bioshock Infinite: Songbird, the giant mechanical bird that hunts and potentially kills Booker, has a high pitched scream.
  • CarnEvil:
    • Umlaut, the magical Villainous Harlequin head who taunts you throughout the game, has a very shrill voice. It goes especially high when he does his Signature Laugh.
    • Dr. Klot, the Mad Doctor clown enemy found in the Big Top level, speaks with a high pitched voice. Funnily enough, there's also a midget clown enemy called Smeek who has a deep, gravelly voice!
  • Ickybod Clay from ClayFighter series has a high-pitched voice, specially notorious in CF63 1/3. Also his stage in this game (a haunted house) has high-pitched ghostly laughs.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day:
    • Downplayed with Conker himself. He has a gentle, high-pitched voice that fits his appearance as a seemingly kid-friendly cartoon animal. However, while he may not be the cruelest character in the game, he is still a sociopathic Anti-Hero. He has no problem with brutally murdering his enemies (along with at least one other creature that isn't an enemy: that poor baby dino.)
    • Played straight with Professor Von Kriplespac. His wispy, high-pitched voice is not only fitting for a Mad Scientist weasel, but it also helps paint him as a pathetic, scheming traitor.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Cicero is a psychotic jester with a very high-pitched voice for a man.
  • Far Cry 3: The secondary antagonist Vaas Montenegro, as voiced and performance-captured by Michael Mando, has a rather high-pitched and at times raspy voice with a vague Colombian accent. Vaas' voice tends to almost crack at times by how high-pitched he gets when he launches into his many rants; these speeches varying from poetic to psychopathic.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Mephistopheles has a screechy falsetto and No Indoor Voice. Given that he's styled himself as a Monster Clown, and sometimes drops into Takehito Koyasu's natural register, he may be doing it himself, on purpose.
  • Figment: The Plague, an evil nightmare representing the fear of disease, has a screechy, sickly high-pitched voice.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
  • Granny: Granny has a very high pitched and raspy voice that makes her sound menacing. Justified somewhat by the fact that she is an elderly woman, though it's noticeable even compared to real life elderly women.
  • Vortigaunts from the first Half-Life game have high pitched voices which sound arguably creepy. Averted in the second game where their voices are low an gravely.
  • The titular antagonist of I. M. Meen has a very high-pitched voice. Fitting, considering that he's a bit of a Psychopathic Manchild.
  • I Spy: Skelly the skeleton from Spooky Mansion speaks with a hushed, feminine voice. Skelly isn't too evil, just kind of mischievous, but the overall effect is still pretty creepy.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death: Judge Fire sounds unnaturally high-pitched.
  • Joka from Klonoa has this in all of his appearances. How exactly it sounds depends on who's voicing him - his voice may sound like a Creepy Child, or more clownish, but either way, his voice is always high-pitched - barring the scene before his boss battle in Door To Phantomile, where he suddenly gains a Voice of the Legion.
  • Metroid: Ridley’s piercing, high-pitched screech whenever he appears for a boss fight is infamous in the fanbase for how loud it can be.
  • Mask of the Betrayer has One-of-Many, whose initial voice is an electronically processed, high-pitched whisper speaking an extremely creepy variant on Simlish.
  • Nightmare Ned: The rats in the Bathroom level, who have chipmunk-like voices, throw electrical objects at you while singing a Villain Song about how they enjoy electrocuting people.
  • Overwatch: The villainous Mad Bomber Junkrat has a high-pitched voice, fitting for his Animal Motifs. His partner Roadhog, on the other hand, has a very deep voice.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
  • Hugh Bliss from Sam & Max: Freelance Police has a rather effeminate high-pitched voice, which combined with his Dissonant Serenity, as well as being albino, lend him an air of creepiness, which turns out to be fitting when he is revealed as the Big Bad of Season 1.
  • Resident Evil has featured this in varying... variants in its penchant for Psychopathic Manchild characters.
    • Alfred Ashford from Resident Evil – Code: Veronica has a high-pitched voice that emphasizes his theatrically flamboyant delivery and susceptibility to becoming dangerously flustered, takes his already high-pitched giggling and cackling over the top, and gives him a feminine feel that furthers his similarity to his sister Alexia, with whom he forms a Half-Identical Creepy Twins duo. Speaking of Alexia, it also lends plausibility in advance to The Reveal that the Alexia who the player encounters throughout the first half of the game is actually Alfred impersonating her to a T.
    • Ramon Salazar from Resident Evil 4 is a Depraved Dwarf with a voice so high that there are times that he sounds like a hyena.
    • Lucas Baker from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has a somewhat harsh voice on the higher side, and can regularly be heard singsonging, giggling, or screeching with laughter all the higher into it as he taunts victims, matching with his darkly playful and almost Keet-y personality.
  • Carnage from Activision's Spider-Man has a high pitched raspy voice.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Recurring villain Kamek is almost always given a high-pitched voice. In the Yoshi's Island games, he makes funny-sounding high-pitched noises, but in the later Mario games, he does more of a shrill screech.
    • Since Super Mario 64, the recurring ghost enemy Boo has been assigned a high-pitched laugh and voice. King Boo's voice is lower, but still pretty raspy.
    • Fellow undead enemy Dry Bones has, in some games, used some of Boo's old voice clips.
    • Shadow Mario from Super Mario Sunshine has some voice clips in a distorted version of Mario's already high-pitched voice, while others are just squeaks. His true form, Bowser Jr., has a high-pitched voice, as well, due to being a small child.
    • Cosmic Mario from Super Mario Galaxy, along with Cosmic Luigi from the same game and the Cosmic Clones from the sequel, have Mario's voice but pitched-up.
  • Super Solvers: Morty Maxwell, the self-proclaimed Master of Mischief and Big Bad of the series, has a high-pitched voice.
  • Undertale: Flowey the Flower has high-pitched sounds for his Voice Grunting, and as we quickly learn, he is cruel and sadistic. Justified in that his true form is that of a child.
  • Yakuza: Goro Majima's natural voice, which he uses when he is being serious, is a smooth, cultured, butter-rich Badass Baritone. However, when he is playing up the Ax-Crazy "Mad Dog"-part of his persona, his voice rises at least two octaves and gains a screechy quality, and he puts on a Kansai Regional Accent thick enough to cut with a knife. The effect is unsettling at best, and flat out terrifying at worst.
  • Richard Epcar gives the Joker this type of voice in the Mortal Kombat series, the Injustice series, and Infinite Crisis, befitting his status as a Monster Clown.

    Visual Novels 
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • When the Urashima Woman speaks, her voice is modulated so that it comes out in an unnaturally high, warbling tone.
    • Like the Urashima Woman, Killer Peach's voice is edited to be unnaturally high-pitched, first heard by Akira and the player when she laughs wickedly while stalking them.

    Web Animation 
  • The Commander of Blue Laser, the enemy fighting force in Cheat Commandos, speaks in an incredibly shrill, high-pitched screech. This also applies to his in-universe voice actor, around whom Crack Stuntman, another actor in the cartoon, seems to feel uncomfortable.
  • Father Tucker: Father Tucker is a Pedophile Priest, the most prolific pedophile in the history of mankind in fact with 6'273'410 counts of pedophilia including infantophilia. Fitting for such a mega uber creep, he has an extremely high pitched voice that lets you know he is bad news.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 

 
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(SPOILERS) Judge Doom's voice

Judge Doom's voice turns squeaky after inhaling helium and revealing his true nature...

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