Follow TV Tropes


Laugh with Me!

Go To

Guitierrez: Mm-hmm-hmm, ha ha ha ha ha! Laugh with me, Jocko... Laugh with me!

The Big Bad has the princess locked in his tower, the hero is in a death trap, and he is moments away from taking over the world. He is surrounded by his minions so it's the perfect time for a little Evil Gloating followed by a nice, hearty Evil Laugh. He belts one out but stops once he realizes he is the only one laughing. Where's his Contagious Laughter? He will immediately let his Mooks know, probably through verbal means, that they need to join in. Getting the message, the henchmen start laughing and continue to do so until it's okay to stop.

Then, the villain might tell them to shut up after a few moments.

Sometimes the villain might even persuade the captured hero to join in the fun, to get everybody in the room laughing like idiots for no real reason. See also Actually Pretty Funny for when there actually is a reason to laugh.

This trope is typically Played for Laughs and is a parody of the Evil Laugh trope. Contrast the "Everybody Laughs" Ending, which may still seem contrived but isn't forced.

Compare Tension-Cutting Laughter, often used in a similar way; in that case, the other people are laughing out of genuine relief that the boss is amused, as it looked like he might go another way.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • A version that is definitely not played for laughs in One Piece Film: Gold. The Big Bad Gild Tesoro will tell people to laugh with him, and forbid them to laugh when he isn't. When one of his subordinates dares to laugh at something without his permission, Tesoro immediately responds by encasing the guy's head in gold and lets him suffocate. A flash-back show that it come from his Dark and Troubled Past, where he served as a slave of the World Nobles who would punish him for laughing without permission.
  • Slayers: Naga teaches a couple of villain of the week in the OVA to laugh an evil and noble laugh like her. By the end of the episode, the three laugh together in a twilight.

    Comic Books 
  • In The Cartoon History of the Universe, Caligula, in a scene based on Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars, bursts into hysterical laughter at a banquet. When a guest asks him why, the emperor says it just occurred to him that with a single word he could have the guest's throat slit. He resumes laughing, pausing briefly to say "You laugh too." The guest complies with a nervous chuckle.
  • This is one of The Joker's recurring schticks, played not for comedy (usually) but for the disturbing way he forces his victims to play along. A particularly memorable occurrence— In the story "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker", he catches one of his henchmen failing to join in the laughter. He terminates him with extreme prejudice by using a "Bang!" Flag Gun (which could have inspired a similar You Have Failed Me sequence from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker.) An identical scenario occurs in Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk, also written by Len Wein.

    Films — Animation 
  • In B.O.B.'s Big Break, from Monsters vs. Aliens, Dr. Cockroach laughs evilly after B.O.B. ends up getting the power to read minds and then tells Link and B.O.B., "Come on, laugh with me!" Dr. Cockroach and B.O.B., reading Dr. Cockroach's mind, laugh evilly while Link just rolls his eyes.
  • In Shrek, Farquaad and Fiona's wedding comes with placards telling the congregation how to react. When it's revealed Shrek has feelings for Fiona, the guards turn them over to say "Laugh".
  • Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus: Used while Zim is sitting in a toilet and laughing maniacally.
    Computer: I DON'T WANT TO!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the first Austin Powers movie, Dr. Evil starts an Evil Laugh alone. He doesn't say anything but instead, he turns to his henchpeople and beckons that they join in. They soon start laughing together in a very awkward manner. The problem is, they're not quite sure when to stop, and no one wants to be the first to stop laughing... great awkwardness ensues.
  • Evil Dead 2: After a while of torturing Ash, the entire house comes to life and starts laughing at him. Ash quickly gets swept up in it, and not long after starts sobbing in pain.
  • In Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, the Skar King forces his slaves and minions to join him in laughing at Kong's prosthetic tooth. He gets violent upon noticing that Suko, the young ape who brought Kong to the Skar King's domain, isn't laughing enthusiastically enough.
  • A non-villain example in The Great Race when The Great Leslie and Hezekiah meet Crown Prince Hoepnick. The prince makes several jokes, each time gesturing for the crowd to laugh, which they dutifully do. At one point Hezekiah keeps laughing after every one else stops, until The Great Leslie elbows him in the ribs.
  • In Labyrinth, Jareth the Goblin King laughs just before the "Dance Magic" sequence. He quickly notices that his goblins are not joining in and asks, "... Well?" The goblins start laughing, only for him to quiet them down for his song.
  • In The Muppets (2011), the antagonist was unable to laugh, but that did not stop him from leaning over to his henchmen and simply saying "maniacal laugh" whenever he wanted them to crack up.
  • In UHF, when R.J. Fletcher starts laughing, the two managers under him realize, after a short pause, that they'd better start forcing themselves to laugh along with him.
  • In What We Do in the Shadows, there's a scene during the credits in which the alpha male of the werewolves gloats that the others will always laugh at his jokes and if they don't, he makes sure they do. One of the werewolves laughs out of turn and is immediately scolded to pay attention for the proper time.

  • Journey to Chaos: Mr.15's clone soldiers will laugh without prompting whenever he does. He likely programmed them that way.
  • In the original Redwall book, there is an unspoken rule in the sparrow kingdom that lives in the Abbey's peaks: When the mad king tells a joke, it's always funny. Even subjects who are half-asleep will obediently laugh along out of fear.
  • Small Gods: Whenever Vorbis cracks a joke, everyone around him laughs along, even when the jokes aren't funny (and since it's Vorbis, they never are) because their lives depend on it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On 30 Rock, Tracy's entourage is obligated to laugh heartily at every joke Tracy tells. Kenneth runs into problems when he joins Tracy's entourage and doesn't go along with it.
  • Subverted in Angel when Darla teases Lindsey and she and Drusilla start laughing at him. Lilah isn't told to, but starts laughing with them. She promptly gets a "Shut up" from Darla and a "Shh.." from Drusilla.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Raj goes to work for Sheldon. Sheldon plays one of his awkward pranks on Raj and after informing him of the fact that he was joking, mentions, "I'm your boss now. You may want to laugh at that."
  • Doctor Who
    • "Dalek": Henry van Statten's "in-tru-da window" joke is met with dead silence, to which he clarifies "In-tru-da window, that was funny!" at which point his goons get the message and join in.
    • In "A Christmas Carol", Kazran Sardick does this and likewise follows it up with a "That was funny!"
  • In the DVD Commentary, Ian Hislop suggests that part of the reason for Piers Morgan's notoriously awful appearance on Have I Got News for You was that as Editor of the Mirror he'd been able to enforce this trope, and consequently believed himself to be very funny. Notably, he actually tries to bully the audience into this, but since they're not his Mooks it obviously doesn't work.
  • In the "She's Having My Baby" two-parter of Married... with Children, pregnant Peg and Marcy make fun of Al and the former says a subversion to him, saying "Come on, Al. Laugh with the baby!" Soon afterwards, he counters with, "Besides, I don't think you're really pregnant; I think that's a ten-gallon tub of ice cream down there!" When neither woman finds it funny, he then says, "Come on, Peg. Laugh with the ulcer!"
  • In Scrubs, after finding out his interns don't really find his jokes funny, he tells them to only laugh when they are. When they stop laughing at his jokes, he orders them to start laughing with him again when he makes jokes.
  • The Watch (2021): During an Assassin's Guild meeting, Dr. Cruces occasionally cracks jokes, then orders the other assassins to laugh. Problems ensue for one poor sod who laughs too hard.

    Video Games 
  • In City of Villains, up-and-coming Mad Scientist Vernon von Grun frequently invites the player character to do this.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Guns of the Patriots: This is Laughing Octopus' catchphrase and is absolutely NOT Played for Laughs.
      Laughing Octopus: People suffering... People hurting... People dying... It's all so fucking hysterical! Laugh. Laugh with me!
    • Snake Eater however has Ocelot mocking Snake when he first meets him and then indicates to the rest of the Ocelot unit to start laughing with him.
  • In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the Player Character, BJ Blazkowicz, is infiltrating a Nazi base disguised as a German soldier. As he has his papers checked by a guard, the base commander, Rudi Jäger, passes by and demands to have a look at BJ's papers himself. Jäger then asks if he really is from Frankfurt as his papers claims, causing BJ, whose German is very rusty, to blurt out "Ja, Ich bin ein... Hot Dog." (Yes, I am a... Hot Dog). A Beat later, Jäger busts into laugher, praising BJ's pitch perfect impersonation of a "stupid American". The guard, meanwhile, is confused for a moment, but quickly joins his commander with an obviously fearful and very nervous forced laugh of his own.
  • In Yakuza, before the fight between Kiryu Kazuma and Goro Majima, the latter gets smacked in the head by one of the baseballs spat out from the nearby baseball cages. He and his underlings laugh at it, except for one unlucky guy who promptly receives the full brunt of Majima's Ax-Crazy wrath involving a baseball bat.
    Majima: This is the part where you're SUPPOSED TO LAUGH! (WHACK!) LAUGH, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUCKER!

    Visual Novels 
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • This trope is actually Played for Drama in the PS2-only Tsukiotoshi-hen. When Keiichi, Rena, and Shion all plan out how to kill Satoko's uncle, Shion comes up with the idea of using Satoshi's bat as a way of having Satoshi get revenge on Teppei and starts cracking up. Rena follows, but Keiichi is hesitant, so they both urge him to laugh too and look progressively more insane and threatening. He finally goes along with it, indicating his tenuous grip on sanity at this point.
    • Its sequel, Umineko: When They Cry, also plays this for drama, though a bit differently. In Alliance, when Kasumi Sumadera has trapped Ange and is tearing through Maria's grimoire, laughing at her spells, she comes upon the image of Sakutaro, cracks up, rips it in half, and demands that all of her henchmen also laugh at it. This time it's used more to underline her pathetic, bullying behavior.

  • Inverted in The Order of the Stick. Xykon proclaims that his goals will be achieved soon, Red Cloak and the Monster in the Darkness laugh. Redcloak asks why Xykon doesn't laugh.
    Xykon: Actually, ever since I became a lich, I haven't been able to get the same volume in my evil laughter since I technically don't have lungs.
In an example of Early-Installment Weirdness, this is patently untrue given that he's perfectly capable of bellowing when enraged.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    Guard at the Boiling Rock: [referring to Chit Sang] He wants to know what he did. [to the disguised Zuko and Sokka] Isn't that cute? [Beat]
    Zuko: Uh, very cute, sir.
    Sokka: Super cute.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, there is a boss man who wants to capture LIVE Rainbow Monkeys and do some horrible thing with/to them that is never mentioned:
    Boss: And then, we'll take those Rainbow Monkeys, and... [whispers to henchman Simon, they both laugh]
    Boss: Shut up Simon!
    Simon: Yes, sir...
  • Danger Mouse: "You're not laughing, Stiletto. Why aren't you laughing?"
  • The Trope Namer comes from Freakazoid!. The eponymous hero's eventual Evil Counterpart, Guitierrez, would often laugh while surrounded by his cohorts. He would then gleefully tell them, "Laugh with me." Keep in mind, Guitierrez was voiced by Ricardo Montalbán in full-on Khan-mode.
  • Inspector Gadget has an inversion: Dr. Claw frequently punishes his cat for laughing with him.
  • In Kick Buttowski, Gordon Gibble snaps his fingers every time he want his henchmen to laugh at something he just said. Ronaldo demands the same thing from his pit crew the episode "Mellowbrook Drift". At one point he says: "Laugh harder!" On another occasion, he stops them, stating "It wasn't that funny!"
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot: In one episode, Smitus monologues about his evil plan and then lets out an evil laugh, while his minions just stare. He gives them an icy glare and says, "You laugh too." The minions all start laughing themselves silly, so much so that they accidentally let the episode's Applied Phlebotinum out of their ship's airlock.
  • The Simpsons has a non-villainous example in the episode "Homer vs. Patty and Selma". Homer is forced to borrow money from Patty and Selma. They agree to help him out on the condition that he become their slave until he repays the debt. They then begin smirking and laughing, and Homer chuckles a little with them at first. Eventually he starts to genuinely laugh more so than those two, who then get a little annoyed at him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • Non-laugh variation: the "Shanghaied" episode has the Flying Dutchman take SpongeBob and Patrick onboard as his crew. When he demands that they scream to scare people, they comply with various ridiculous noises, until he finally gives up on making them scary.
      Flying Dutchman: What a night be this. Crew! Howl with me, so that we might set the seven seas, ABLAZE with fear! Awoooo!
      SpongeBob: Nyeeeeeeeh!
      Patrick: Leedleleedleleedlele!
      Flying Dutchman: Awooo!
      SpongeBob: Nyeeeeeeeh!
      Patrick: Leedleleedleleedlele!
    • A non-villainous example happens in the episode "Pranks a Lot": When SpongeBob and Patrick are caught visible by being splashed in water, Mr. Krabs points out that he pulled his share of pranks when he was their age. He then says this trope before he starts laughing, and SpongeBob and Patrick follow along.
      Mr. Krabs: Uh, any particular reason you boys are naked?
  • Non...semi...YMMV-villainous example from Tom and Jerry. Every time Robin Hood introduces his Merry Men, they totally fail to get out a proper laughter. You can expect another Tom mishap ten seconds later, when they show they CAN do a roaring laugh.

    Real Life 
  • Legend has it that Emperor Faustin of Haiti got his imperial chamberlain to say "His Majesty is now laughing; my lords, you are invited to laugh as well" every time he cracked a joke.


Video Example(s):


Dr. Nefarious

Dr. Nefarious devolves into an evil laugh and Emperor Nefarious's assistant (who thinks he's her Nefarious) laughs with him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaughWithMe

Media sources: