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Loves the Sound of Screaming

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"A melody of angry growls
A counterpoint of painful howls
A symphony of death,
oh my!
That's my lullaby!"

Some people find happiness in hearing a peaceful stream, or the laughter of children, or maybe a beautiful symphony. Others... not so much. Sometimes you'll find people who very openly find joy, solace, or at least, familiarity, in the sounds of suffering and violence.

Expect this trope to crop up if there's a torture scene, particularly if someone's being Interrogated for Nothing. If the victim is The Stoic, The Spock, or Defiant to the End, they'll probably resist giving their captor the satisfaction. (On the other hand, torturing someone Too Kinky to Torture would be the biggest letdown.)

Usually a sign that the person you're dealing with is a Psycho for Hire, or at the very least a Sadist (it's not exactly a heroic quality), or even worse a Complete Monster. These types may be prone to Reminiscing About Your Victims. For characters who actually feed off of feelings of suffering, see Emotion Eater. Related to Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Snake Baron from Berserk says he prefers the sounds of humans screaming under a fiery apocalypse rather than material goods.
    • There is a much more sympathetic one present in Farnese. In her case, her sexual gratification from burning people alive is shown as a serious mental disorder that she is well aware of, and frightened by. It is traced to her Lonely Rich Kid childhood, where she discovered that the only thing that distracted her from her loneliness, depression and powerlessness over her own life was the sound of screaming and the light of fires. As an adult, she uses her powers as a Church Militant to indulge these desires and excuse herself of responsibility for it, but is shown to have a great deal of self-loathing about it, and tearfully tries to convince herself "I am not wrong". The contrast between the apostles who have chosen to fully embrace their sadistic nature, and a person who tries ultimately successfully to overcome it is done very well.
  • Black Butler: In episode 20 a guy tears Sebastian's shirt deliberately, who's shackled to a wall, and fawns over him saying "He's lovely!" He also is ordered to torture him, comments on his pretty eyes and says "Let's hear a nice scream from you, you pretty thing!" All while drooling.
  • Black Lagoon: Because of their horrific past where they were forced to rape and kill other children for their tormenter's amusement, Creepy Twins Hansel and Gretel grew to love killing in general, which includes "the sound of screaming".
  • Greg from A Cruel God Reigns thoroughly enjoys hearing Jeremy screaming in agony. Somehow he thinks that translates to "love."
  • Dragon Ball:
    • General Blue smiles as one of his soldiers is executed, outright saying that he loves the sound of gunfire killing people.
    • Frieza, befitting his incredibly sadistic nature. On Namek, he's practically ecstatic at the sound of Krillin's pained screams when he impales him on one of his horns. In Resurrection 'F', while he's beating on Goku after Sorbet shoots the former, he wakes Goku up after he passes out just so he can hear him scream. In Dragon Ball Super, after torturing Gohan to a cripple, he tauntingly tells Gohan to cry and scream for his life.
    • Cell freely admits to Future Trunks that his greatest joy is seeing the look of terror on his victims' faces, and the extent of his Evil Plan after winning the Cell Games is simply to hunt down every last person on Earth, one at a time, and savor their fear and despair as he kills them, then repeat the process on other planets.
    • After seemingly defeating Vegito, Super Buu proceeds to go on a massively destructive rampage through West City in celebration. During said rampage, he openly wishes that he didn't kill every last human on Earth earlier, as destroying things isn't as fun when he can't hear his victims' screams.
  • In Fairy Tail, Midnight enjoys screams, so he drags his fights out and slowly tortures his opponents. Ironically, as a child he was often tormented by the screams of his fellow slaves in the Tower of Heaven to the point he couldn't sleep.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Kimblee from loves more than anything the sounds of destruction. Explosions, buildings falling down, and especially screaming are sure to get at the very least a Slasher Smile from him. Usually it's more along the lines of maniacal laughter and monologuing, though. When he is consumed by Pride and trapped in a typhoon of anguished souls, he is able to maintain his sense of self solely because of this trope. That's right, Kimblee's practice of this trope was a Chekhov's Gun.
    • Also somewhat implied with Lust.
    I look forward to the day when those eyes will be wide with agony...
  • Hellsing has several examples:
    • In the 7th OVA, Zorin Mind Rapes Seras, hacks off her arm, slices her eyes, and stabs her with her scythe. As Seras screams in agony Zorin cackles "More! More!"
    • In the manga, the Major has half a chapter devoted to this trope. To wit: "And it is superb when the enemy prisoner screams in time with the shriek escaping from the schmeisser I hold as I mow him down." And that's only the SANE portion of the speech.
    • When fighting Tubalcain Alhambra, Alucard tells him to "squeal like a pig." He does so only after Alucard splits his arm in half lengthwise.
  • In one scene, Jakotsu tells Inuyasha that he wants to torture him before he kills him. He then says "at least give me one sweet little scream of agony."
    • "Oh, yeah, that's the way! I can't wait to see you cry!"
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure:
    • In Battle Tendency, Kars is shown to take pleasure in hearing Joseph screaming in agony after Kars cut off one of his arms, sarcastically asking if he's trying to say something, and then describing his inarticulate screaming as "an excellent response" (or as "music to my ears" in the English dub). Although, considering how big of a pain Joseph had been to Kars, it could also just be Evil Gloating.
    • In Stardust Crusaders, J. Geil's main reason to do anything was for the sake of hearing his victims' screams; he outright states that Polnareff's sister had a nice scream.
    • But then it gets inverted when Polnareff (with a lot of Kakyoin's help) manages to severely injure him by countering his Stand ability. "Hey J. Geil! You are the one with a nice scream."
    • Golden Wind gives us Cioccolata, who videotapes his victims in order to have their screams and looks of agony around for future viewing.
  • Sadi-chan from One Piece, having the sadomasochism theme.
  • In One-Punch Man, a group of humans hiding in a stadium attempt to surrender to the Deep Sea King, saying that they will give him anything he wants. What he asks for is some nice screams as he kills them.
  • In Reborn! (2004) during Glo Xinia's fight with Chrome he demanded "Give me MORE!" after hearing her screams of pain.
  • In the original Japanese version of the Filler Arc at the start of Sailor Moon R, Ail/Alan makes a comment on how the screaming of young girls is sweet music to his ears.
  • In the Saint Seiya spinoff Episode G, a Giant enters the Cancer Temple and realizes the place is covered by countless human faces as if they were trophies. When Deathmask appears, the Giant asks him how he can stay sane with all the endless moans, cries and screams of agony coming from said faces; Deathmask smiles and calmly replies the only thing he hears from them are exaltations towards him.
  • When Death the Kid was being tortured in Soul Eater, Face–Heel Turn Justin Law took out his perpetual earphones so that he could listen. Even the other villain raised an eyebrow.
    • Giriko, at least when it comes to Maka. In the anime, Asura seems to get a kick out of her screaming too, crushing her ribs just for the desired effect.
  • In Super Dreadnought Girl 4946, Makoto Tobita's sister Kuumi fights and kills demons solely because she loves to hear their screams. However she comments that she prefers her brother's screams the most.
  • Sword Art Online: Sugou Nobuyuki/Oberon, if his ecstatic reaction to the look of fear on Asuna's face, complete with a big Slasher Smile, as he chains her up and is about to molest her in front of an incapacitated Kirito is anything to go by.
    Sugou: Yes! Great! That's what I was hoping for! You can't get NPC girls to make faces like that!
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Mado says this to Hinami as he's using quinques made from her parents to try to kill her.
  • Toriko: The Appetite Demon "Neo" wants his victims to scream in fear and agony because it makes them more savory.
  • Hiei from YuYu Hakusho. Has been savagely killing everything around him that breathed since he could walk, and describes their cries of pain to have been like a child's music box to his ears. No wonder we never got any scenes of Hiei as a child.
    • There are scenes from his childhood. He was a creepy baby with creepy eyes, even with teeth, and when he smiled, it was a Slasher Smile. And as a kid, he slaughtered demons because it was fun, and the demons who adopted him abandoned Hiei.
    • Sensui's violent alternate personality Kazuya makes a "music to my ears" expression when he hears Yusuke's screams after he's been shot in all of his extremities.

    Comic Books 
  • "Scream for me!" is practically Sabretooth's catchphrase.
    • Parodied in a Deadpool comic, when Creed was about to do something terrible to Wade, before he started:
      Sabretooth: Scream for me!
      Sabretooth: Enough Wilson.
      Deadpool: No, wait! Now I'll do it like a little girl! EEEEEK! EEEEEK! EEEEK!
      Sabretooth: I said enough!
  • Batman:
    • The entire reason why the Scarecrow's Fear Toxin exists is to make his victims scream.
    • He even appreciates them scientifically. In Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, the main character Warren White screams after finding a fake eyeball in his cafeteria food. Johnathan Crane/Scarecrow, who's sitting next to him, notes that his scream had an interesting pitch and timbre and asks if he can do it again. When White says he can't, Crane stabs him in the leg with a fork. He's disappointed, because now White is screaming in pain instead of terror.
    • Robin (1993): Johnny Warren is a mob enforcer and Torture Technician who loves the sound of people suffering. In his first appearance he spends a day torturing a woman while waiting for her boyfriend who stole from his bosses to maybe show up.
  • Sin City:
    • Kevin, the cannibalistic Serial Killer from the first story (later renamed "The Hard Goodbye"), is seen listening to Lucille scream in horror from her cell after he hacked off and ate her hand with a big, satisfied grin on his face.
    • Roark Junior, the title character of the story "That Yellow Bastard," is a Serial Killer who rapes and murders little girls and who loves to hear them scream. As Nancy Callahan reveals during her Cold-Blooded Torture at his hands eight years after his first attempt on her is foiled by Hartigan, the screams of his victims are the only way that Junior can receive any kind of sexual gratification, to the point of being practically impotent without it.
  • A Love Like Blood: As human victims are being boarded into his private plane, Lord Karkossa remarks that "nothing wets the appetite quite like the sound of screaming cattle".
  • Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen: Working with the Nazis, Mad Doctor Dr. Sweikert takes advantage of his prisoners to perform horrific surgeries on them without any sort of anesthetic, enjoying the sound of their screams.

    Comic Strips 
  • Non-evil case: In a Baby Blues story arc, both of Daryl and Wanda's parents visit them for a couple of weeks. Being deprived of children for several years, the grandparents are eager to help out with everything around the house. One day Wanda and Daryl both reflect on how organized the house is then, how much quieter, how much cleaner. For a second they smile, and then they look at each other, and their faces change. Suddenly they both shout "I want my chaos back!" This happened again in a Sunday strip in which Daryl tries to relax when he discovers he temporarily has the house to himself. No screaming, no yelling, no grabbing at his pant legs, just him, a beer, and quiet... "How did I stand it??!"

    Fan Works 
  • In Blazing Generations, sequel to the Sword Art Online fic I Will Not Bow, Yamato, Sugou's Dragon, freely admits as such. On multiple occasions, he attacks or tries to attack Alice, wanting to torture her purely to hear her scream in agony.
    Yamato: Oh, the fun I'm going to have with you. I'm going to take my time and see everything that body of yours have to offer. And after that's over, maybe I'll do a little tinkering with your mind. It's so much more fun hearing the screams of an actual person. NPCs don't even feel the pain. I wonder what your screams will sound like.
  • In a fanfiction that rewrites Fairy Tail's 372nd chapter, Erza, while torturing Kyouka told her directly to her face that she enjoys hearing her scream.
  • In Diaries of a Madman, Kat loves this and jumps at the chance to showcase her torture skills. Discord also describes the screams of his enemies as "like music".
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Dr. Wily and Bass are like this.
  • In Opening Dangerous Gates, Daemon wanted to torture Lucy for the desired effect.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • After raping Mizore in Act II, Miyabi is vocally disappointed that she didn't scream even once while he did so, even using this as a Post-Rape Taunt against Mizore's new boyfriend Dark; it does not end well for him.
    • In Act IV and later Act V, Evil!Falla flat-out tells Tsukune and Kyouko to their faces that she hopes they scream and beg for mercy as she kills them.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged's version of Sailor Mars, at a theme park: "I LOVE THE SCREAMS OF CHILDREN!"
  • In cloneserpents' "Screams" series Hermione, broken by extensive torture, needed to hear a certain amount of screaming in order to function psychologically. At one point, after she was separated from an equally-broken, mute Harry and had been without screams for several days, she lapsed into a catatonic state.
  • Viridian: The Green Guide: 'Fingers', one of Katsuki's 'friends'-slash-fellow bullies, complains about how their latest target happens to have a voice-based Quirk, meaning they have to muffle them and can't hear them scream the way Izuku and other victims have.
  • In the The Legend of Zelda fic Wisdom and Courage, Veran absolutely delights in the suffering of others. Case in point: during the final battle, she slices Link up like a loaf of bread to the extent that he's puking blood and then threatens to cut out his eye, to which Link cracks under the Primal Fear and pleads with her not to. In response, Veran takes pride in the fact that she got him to beg, makes him plead for it again, and then gouges out his right eye anyway.
  • All For Luz: All For One considers listening to the painful moans of the vestiges from the Quirks Luz took after killing the original owners in her Roaring Rampage of Revenge to be the one thing keeping him entertained, as he's trapped in the girl's Mental World, when he's not speaking his Quirk's successor.

    Films — Animation 
  • As the page quote shows, "My Lullaby" in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride is almost entirely Zira saying how much she loves cries of pain.
  • The Monsters, Inc. monsters don't just like to hear screams; they need them as a source of energy. And again, they use jump scares to generate screaming. By the end, though, they discover that laughter is both an even more potent energy source and a far more enjoyable one to obtain.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: A rare heroic example, Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween, laments that he has "grown so weary of the sound of screams," indicating that he used to enjoy them. The screams he's referring to are those of fright from Halloween pranks, and not torture.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Harry Potter:
    "God, I miss the screamin'."
    • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort puts his finger to Harry's forehead which causes him pain and he screams in agony. Voldemort watches this with an excited look on his face and screams along with him, almost like he's urging him to continue screaming.
  • The Addams Family: Screaming is a way of life and perfectly normal to the Addams.
  • At one point in the movie Virtuosity the villain SID 6.7 uses a roomful of hostages as a source of a variety of screams, which he then remixes into a symphony of fear for his enjoyment. If one wasn't aware already that SID is a complete psycho, this scene should put any lingering doubts to rest.
  • In The Dirty Dozen, Maggot demands a woman do this before he knifes her, nearly warning their targets.
  • In Batman Begins, Dr. Jonathan Crane is implied to enjoy using his fear toxin to force people into panic attacks. Just consider what he said about his patients to Falcone after spraying him with said fear toxin.
    "They scream and they cry, much as you're doing right now."
  • In The Dark Knight, the main reason The Joker loves using knives is so he can "savor all of the little emotions", which you miss out on when using a gun.
  • Sabretooth, as Storm has the displeasure of finding out in X-Men.
  • The Sultan in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is such a sadist, he makes music with screams. He has a torture device with prisoners shackled inside that he plays like an organ, their screams as he does so creating his rather, uhm, unique interpretation of music.
  • In Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects Charles Bronson's Cowboy Cop protagonist gets a blissful smile on his face at the end of the movie as he hears Duke, the child sex slaver he's just locked up, screaming for help as he becomes acquainted with his new cellmate.

  • The Black Wind, Machin Shin, of The Wheel of Time, is composed only of the very vocal desire to hear people suffering.
  • Cazalla, the commander of the dread fortress of Matanceros in Michael Crichton's posthumously published Pirate Latitudes is known throughout Port Royal to find the screams of his dying victims restful and relaxing.
  • One of the Red Knights in Arthurian Legend was cursed to require the continuous din of screaming ladies to rest. Without the noise, headaches and insomnia would quickly drive him mad.
  • Ray used to be baffled by this in Christopher Brookmyre's A Big Boy Did It and Ran Away. Then his wife had a baby, and he understood how people got desensitized.
  • In one of the Magic: The Gathering novels, Crovax has a torture machine that's a pipe organ with people getting Electric Tortured instead of pipes. His only problem with it is that whenever one of the victims finally dies, he has to find someone who screams at the same pitch to replace them.
  • DomDaniel in Septimus Heap is specifically mentioned to love the last scream of a dying person.
  • The Elric Saga: The Melnibonean court has a choir of surgically-altered human slaves who can only scream in one particular note each.
  • Dr. Edgar Malbarn from Armageddon Force does this, and proudly admits it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The villain in the Criminal Minds episode "Limelight" treated audio recordings he made of his victims being tortured to death like pornography.
  • Some Super Sentai villains. Bandora, for example, says she loves to hear children crying, and the villains of Samurai Sentai Shinkenger use suffering to raise the water level of the Sanzu River where they live.
    • The basic premise of how the Rinjuken Akugata are able to use their abilities is that they literally draw their power from the screams of people.
  • In Babylon 5, this is why Cartagia finds torturing G'Kar so frustrating. In "The Summoning", the Torture Technicians eventually turn to a whip that induces ever-increasing-pain with each blow, with the fortieth blow causing death. At blow thirty-nine, G'Kar screams.
  • In the Doctor Who story "The Sun Makers", the villainous Collector goes into overtly sexualised raptures when anticipating the sound of Leela screaming as she gets scalded to death, and boasts about how sophisticatedly the death chamber is wired for sound.
  • The Barrel Girl Gang of Dexter, especially Jordan Chase of Season 5, seemed to do what ever they could to their victims to get them to scream. To the point Dexter was sickened by their actions.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Vampire!Willow and Faith (after she's turned evil) explicitly share their love of this. They're also two of the most psychotic characters in the series.
    • Played for homoeroticism when Faith is about to torture Buffy in "Enemies".
    "Before we get started, I just want you to know — if you're a screamer, feel free."
    • Faith invokes this again in the first season of Angel when she tortures Wesley. She removes the gag from Wesley's mouth because she wants to hear him scream when she uses her makeshift flamethrower on him. Wesley defiantly tells her, "You never will." We never find out whether or not the flamethrower actually would have elicited screams from him, because Angel bursts in to rescue him before Faith has a chance to use it.
    • When Spike is about to chomp on Willow in her college dorm room, she threatens to scream. Spike just says, "Bonus."
    • Adam. "I do appreciate violence."
  • In Heroes, when Sylar is about to munch on Isaac and Claire, he is disappointed that neither scream.
  • On an episode of Hill Street Blues, Buntz and a rookie cop are held prisoner by a serial killer. Buntz assures the younger man that the killer only wants to hear them beg, and that he'll keep them alive until that happens. The rookie nonetheless breaks down and winds up getting killed. Buntz triumphs over the killer by taunting him.

  • The Blue Öyster Cult's "Dr Music" is, on the face of it, a dance-themed track referencing discos and dancing, upbeat, poppy and lyrically undemanding. But listen closely to the lyrics...
    Girl, don't stop that screaming, You're sounding so sincere; So much music, In the tracks of your tears! But if you wanna face the music, open up your ears — To my friend, Calamity Jane, Hear the rhythm — in the sound of her pain!
  • Albert Fish, in Macabre's "Mr. Albert Fish (Was Children your Favorite Dish?)", is revealed to love this in the first few lyrics of the song.
  • If "Shock Treatment" is your favorite track on Nox Arcana's Blackthorn Asylum album, then chances are that this is you.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Aztec god of rain, Tlaloc, like most other Aztec gods, demanded Human Sacrifice in a particular form—and his required victim was a doozy. Families were asked to volunteer their children to be escorted to Tlaloc's shrines in the mountains, especially to his temple on Mount Tlaloc, where they were either buried alive with seeds and a planting stick, or have their hearts cut out in order to propitiate the rain god into bringing early Spring rains to create a bountiful harvest (and not blight or dry or freeze the crops). If the children cried during their fatal pilgrimage, this was seen as a good omen for life-giving rain.
  • The cruel and murderous Ah Puch is noted to roam at night, seeking out the living to drag off with him to endure unspeakable tortures. The only known way to ward him off is by letting out screams of terror and pain, which will convince him that his minions have already got to you and satisfy him enough to continue on his hunt.

  • The Gungan Council has Karma thoroughly enjoying torture, with Kaelin getting off on it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The 5th addition sourcebook "Volo's Guide to Monsters" claims that Gnolls enjoy the sound of screaming, and discusses how this trope affects their relationship with the Leucrotta, Mix-and-Match Critters that gnoll chieftains sometimes keep as pets. Both creatures are Always Chaotic Evil and immensely sadistic, but gnolls have no sense of restraint while the leucrotta know how to drag out their kills, meaning that gnolls find witnessing a leucrotta kill almost as much fun as killing themselves. Also, leucrotta are excellent mimics, and their ability to mimic the sounds of other creatures in pain can provide gnolls with some relief from their bloodlust during sustained periods of peace.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Chaos Space Marine Night Lords Legion is fond of this. However, the Dark Eldar have based their entire society on inflicting and enjoying other people's pain. When launching another terrifying raid on a hapless foe, their favored transports are open-topped skimmers, "the better to hear the screams of our prey as we ride them down, to savour the fear etched on their faces, to taste the tantalising tang of their blood in the air as an appetiser before the feast." Their leader Asdrubael Vect's most famous quote is "Death is my meat, terror my wine."
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Braids, at least according to Mutilate.
    • Liliana Vess as well, according to another edition of the same card.

Ursula then goes on and directly says that "It's an aphrodisiac." Disney villainesses are surprisingly kinky.
  • The musical adaptation of Beetlejuice has "That Beautiful Sound", a song about Lydia and Betelgeuse terrifying anyone who knocks at their door. The Act 1 finale also implies Betelgeuse literally gets off on the sound of people screaming, as he's practically orgasming when the Deetzes and their associates scream in fright after he's summoned.
    Betelgeuse: Oh, God, I missed that sound!
  • Voltaire's song "When You're Evil" gives us this line:
    Your tears are all the pay I'll ever need.

    Theme Parks 

  • Transformers: Generation 1: Soundwave's quote in his original toy bio was "Cries and screams are music to my ears." No sign of this sadism appears in his show/comic appearances, though; he's rather businesslike about evil.

    Video Games 
  • HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic embodies this, and will gleefully discuss it at length with little provocation.
  • In one RuneScape sidequest, the player controls a forgotten warrior whose friends and brother are all slaughtered by a quartet of adventurers (long story). The ghost of Taevas, her brother, comes back to haunt her and to encourage her to exact ruthless vengeance.
    "Gut her. Rip her in two. Make her suffer...When she least expects it, crush her. Let me hear her. Let her screams comfort me in the darkness."
  • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka, as he himself says best.
    "Hee-hee... Nothing beats the sweet music of hundreds of voices screaming in unison!"
  • Persona 5: Haru Okumura, the resident Nice Girl, shows some... interesting tendencies when it comes to the game's monsters.
    Haru: Why is it that I get a shiver of excitement whenever the Shadows plead for their lives?
  • Suikoden II Luca Blight claims to love "hearing those pigs squeal," meaning the innocent bystanders that he tends to slaughter while they're begging for their lives.
  • Papa Cesar in House of the Dead: Overkill:
    As you well know, Isaac, I enjoy pain. It's like a good Chinese dinner, you know? With the sweet and the sour? Expanding on that analogy, I will smile with delight - that's the sweet - as you scream for your fucking life - of course, that's the sour."
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, Jane has the 'Sadist' ability, which kicks in randomly to make her deal more damage. When it activates, she says "Hmm, Scream for me." She's also given the moniker "Sadistic Jane".
  • One of the level ending quotes of Dungeon Keeper:
    "Knife. The streets run with the blood of the slain. Screams of pain and howls of anguish rip the night air like a vengeful siren's song! This really is a place you can take the kids for a weekend."
  • Bayonetta has this trope in SPADES. One of the reasons she gives in the game for killing angels is that they aren't annoying when they are dying.
    "You know, you're not nearly so ugly when you're screaming."
  • Sniper Wolf explains that gunfire, sirens and screams were her lullabies when giving her death speech to Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, although in this case, they may have been her lullabies considering the fact that she was born and raised in the battlefield around Kurdistan/Iraq.
    • In Sniper Wolf's case those sounds were beyond her control and something she did not enjoy. A straighter example could be found in the character of Colonel Volgin from Metal Gear Solid 3 who loves torturing his victims. During World War II he and the Russian units under his command were ordered to execute thousands of Polish citizens and soldiers, he personally beat many such victims to death with his fists and took off their blindfolds so that he could enjoy the look of terror in their eyes as they died. During the game's story he subjects the young Big Boss, then known as Snake, to Cold-Blooded Torture where he beats him within an inch of his life and electrocutes him, and when Snake pisses himself because he can't hold it in through all the pain Volgin reacts to it by saying, "Yes! Now that's what I wanna see!" Ocelot, a man who ruthlessly tortured Snake with electricity during Shadow Moses which means this is saying something, watching this is disgusted at first, but slowly begins to view torture as an art form after the torture session ends.
  • I-No of Guilty Gear gleefully admits that she enjoys anyone else's screaming, as shown in her winquote against Bridget.
    I-No: Ahh, the sweet sounds of a child screaming. It strikes right at my heart. Cry some more for me!
  • Though it doesn't come up within the BlazBlue canon itself, the vocal versions of Unlimited! Hazama's/Terumi's theme, Endless Despair and Regular Hazama's them Gluttony Fang state outright that the sound of unbridled screaming and wailing is like wonderful singing in his ears. He isn't particularly keen on what causes the screams, it can be pain, rage or sorrow, just as long as it is derived from misery. Considering what horrible beings Hazama and Terumi are within canon, though, it does not require a great stretch of the listener's imagination to believe that all of this holds true outside of his theme song as well.
    • Confirmed in the third game, Chronophantasma, by Yuuki Terumi. Especially notable since one of his dislikes on his official character profile is "Loud noises"... In other words, he has an If It's You, It's Okay relationship in regards to peoples' screams.
  • Leanne, the initial protagonist of Theresia: Dear Emile, associates screaming with her beloved mother.
  • In Jeanne d'Arc, Gilvaroth loves the sound of screaming, and sorely missed it in his can. In an unusual twist, he doesn't seem necessarily linked to sadism, as he enjoys the screams his followers make (at his command).
  • Dr. Weil in Mega Man Zero 3 upon leaving Crea and Prea to deal with Zero, says "I've got some pig squeals to enjoy.", in reference to the humans who are currently at the mercy of the Dark Elf-brainwashed, currently insane Reploids.
  • Several demons have lines like this in the Raidou Kuzunoha games.
    Vishnu: I shall slaughter those who would do you harm and arrange a grand opera with their screams!
  • In Mass Effect 2 there's a prisoner on board the Purgatory that, if you try to talk to him, only says "I hear the screaming in my head. It's nice."
  • The first Parasite Susan encounters in The Cat Lady, Doctor X, describes a woman's screams as like 'poetry without words' and dances merrily as he tortures her.
  • Anghel, in Hatoful Boyfriend, aspires to write manga. One of the villains in his Forbidden Epic says "What a nice voice you cry out with!" in a drama CD.
  • On the IOS version of Mirror's Edge there is a achievement called "Scream For Me" earned by doing this to ten enemies. Either Faith is a X-Men fan or she likes to get her Faith on.
  • Played for Laughs in Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires, with Kyouko, a youkai, commenting upon how she wanted to 'start the morning with the sound of human screams.'
  • Ganondorf in Hyrule Warriors will sometimes comment that he can't help but find satisfaction in the anguished screams of his foes.
  • Metal Face in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 is a vicious Killer Robot who enjoys impaling people on his claws and bragging about it. "Her screams were music to my ears, as my claws slid right through her soft flesh. Like a hot knife through butter!"
  • Diablo franchise:
    • Duriel, the Demon Lord of Pain. It is said that the screams of pain of other creatures is like a twisted symphony to his ears.
    • Cydaea, the Maiden of Lust from Diablo III, describes how she enjoys torturing the demons imprisoned in the Towers of Sin:
      Cydaea: The chains tear at their flesh... Hear their screams, such sweet music!
  • Dead by Daylight: Before he became one of the Entity's Killers, Ji-Woon Hak, a.k.a. the Trickster, was a Korean pop star-slash-serial killer whose modus operandi was torturing his victims and recording their screams to incorporate into his music. This screaming can be heard in his trailer music and in-game as part of his chase theme.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: Reina, while possessing a motherly demeanor off the battlefield, has a morbid fascination with hearing the death cries of her foes. This is explicitly spelled out in her debut appearance on the Revelation route, where she notes that the Mokushu Forest provides the perfect acoustics for her to best enjoy her enemies' last words.
  • Warframe: Nihil the Glassmaker, an Orokin judge, earned his nickname by deliberately creating a Fate Worse than Death to be the worst capital punishment the empire could bestow, forever trapping the consciousness of victims inside glass oubliettes. He outright admits that he used to have a choir of oubliettes screaming in his home, looking forward to making a new one after he takes control of the Origin System.

  • In Anecdote of Error, Yensha claims to have relished in Dolvyn Dal's screams when she killed him, though considering what kind of person he was, and that she is interrogating an enemy soldier when she says this, it is unclear whether this is true, nor can one feel bad for her victim if it is.
  • Girl Genius:
    • Played with here. The "Red Playroom" in Castle Heterodyne has a machine that generates screams. With all kinds of adjustments, volume, guilt-innocence, agony-ecstasy, sad-mad, etc.
    • Also played with regarding the Jaegermonsters. They love nothing more than the townsfolk screaming in terror while they fight. However, it's been made clear several times that despite their murderous reputation, they'd prefer to fight monsters rather than slaughter innocent people. After all, innocent people don't fight back, and they can't scream in terror if they're dead.
  • Goblins plays this straight with Dellyn Goblinslayer, as with Riss, who considers taking an interest in the suffering of other to be a natural survival mechanism. On the other hand, Kore narrowly avoids this one. Sure, he tortures Chief just to make him scream, but there's a practical reason: to guilt the other goblins into coming to the rescue so he can kill them too.
  • Umbria/Zaedalkah from Our Little Adventure. In one of her first appearances in the comic, she commented that the worst thing about Hold Person is that her paralyzed victims can't scream when she stabs them.
  • Milder example in Schlock Mercenary. Captain Tagon certainly seems to be enjoying bringing a smug perp down a notch by destroying their recording equipment and their chance at selling videos of their space parkour, and declares the resultant inelegant bawling to be 'sweet, sweet music.'
  • Trevor (2020): Dr. Smithe comments that he misses Trevor's screams.

    Web Original 
  • Hamster's Paradise: The maniacal ripperoo is a species of predatory rodent designed to eat its prey alive and is stated to actually become excited when it hears the distress cries of an injured animal. This combined with its intelligence and tendency to toy with its still living food indicate that it's a very sadistic creature that kills just as much for pleasure as it does sustenance. Their smaller, sapient descendant, the Harmsters, have an entire civilization built around bloodshed and violence, to the point that they view kindness and affection as morally repugnant.
  • SCP Foundation 469, "The Many Winged Angel", which feeds off noise.
    "Any human or animal that touches or gets too close to the surface of the creature will be quickly enveloped by the outstretching wings and drawn inside. Despite the feathers' soft appearance, each hair has a sharp point that quickly pierces through clothing and into bare flesh, releasing a neurotoxin that immediately stimulates all the pain receptors in the body, as well as other stimulants to keep the victim from passing out too quickly."
  • Trolls often are an example of this trope. Granted, it's more often screams of rage or disgust that they seek, but still.

    Web Videos 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: This ultimately does in Sweet Tooth; his sadism compels him to leave the safety of his Humongous Mecha just so he can slaughter his enemy up close and personal. That was exactly what The Joker expected him to do, and Sweet Tooth gets a faceful of Joker Venom for his trouble.
  • This gag song falls into this eventually, after pretending it's about sunshine and happiness.
  • The Nostalgia Chick is delighted to see the guys in her life breaking down in some way, and the only reason she can give for Frollo been seen as sexy is his smirk after hearing the old captain get whipped.

    Western Animation 
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot had a one-shot villain named Himcules, who actually became stronger at the sound of others screaming in pain or humiliation... while people laughing at him did the opposite.
  • Beast Wars:
    • The homicidal Rampage, who loves the taste of fear.
    • In "Other Voices Part 1" when Optimus is being scanned/tortured by the aliens:
      Megatron: [listening to Optimus scream] Ah, would I could have that sound to lull me to sleep each night...
  • Bane demands that Batman scream his name for him after he has him dead to rights in Batman: The Animated Series. Batman doesn't give him the satisfaction.
  • In the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Runaway Brain", the Mad Scientist Dr. Frankenollie tortures Mickey through electrocution, remarking "I love it when they squeal!".
  • In the Metalocalypse episode Dethkomedy while the band are discussing possible concepts for their next album, William Murderface suggests "Hey, why don't we just record people dying? Like all the world's leaders, or a bunch of ladies."
  • In Steven Universe: Future, Larimar states that she loves the sound of human screams, leading to Steven entrusting her to the controls of a roller coaster. When it malfunctions and she's struggling to make it stop, she clarifies that she loves hearing screams of delight. She later discovers that laughter is an acceptable substitute.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Transformation", the Cironielian Chrysalis Eater tells the captive Starfire she will enjoy her screams.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): In the episode "New World Order, Part 1," the Tengu Shredder declares he'll enjoy hearing the screams when he remakes the world in his image.
  • The 2023 season of Total Drama has Scary Girl (Lauren), who specifically states that she finds Damien's screams "delicious" and even saves him from a shark because if it ate him, she wouldn't get to hear him scream anymore.
  • Played for Laughs in Wander over Yonder with Lord Hater, who – in one episode – wants to capture Wander and Sylvia so he can record their tortured screams in a mix tape containing several other screams already.

    Real Life 
  • British serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley would record the dying screams of children they tortured to death and listen to them later for their amusement. One of these tapes was supposedly played at their trial, and veteran police inspectors left the courtroom weeping openly.
  • Roy Norris and Lawrence Bittaker, aka "The Toolbox Killers", murdered five teenage girls. As with Ian and Myra above, they recorded the girls' screams as they tortured them. One of the tapes was played in the trial of Bittaker and it traumatized everyone. Well, everyone except Bittaker, he found it funny.
  • Arthur Leigh Allen, a convicted child molester who was suspected of being the Zodiac killer; he loved the attention he got from being a suspect and played up his creepiness by claiming that he kept a record of children screaming.
  • In a non-evil example, plenty of metal or screamo music involves screaming to sing the lyrics or as a background instrument. Although this is theatrical screaming and not produced by actual torture (we hope).
  • Also non-evil: parrots. They're extremely social, noisy birds that naturally live in huge flocks and easily become bored or lonely. A lot of screaming for them is basically a plea for attention or "I'm here! Where are you?" and tired owners who start shouting or screaming back are accidentally reinforcing this; one of the best ways to solve this is to keep parrots in pairs or small groups.
    • This trait isn't just unique to parrots; some breeds of cats, such as the Siamese, are especially talkative and social, and if they don't have someone to keep them company and believe they're on their own, will yowl with a particularly loud voice until they locate you.
  • Yet another non-evil example. A lot of ER doctors like it, (in theory) when kids they're seeing are screaming. It means the kid is lucid enough to scream, has enough energy to scream, and has enough air to scream. When the kid stops screaming is when things go to hell. Similarly, the sound of a newborn baby screaming (sometimes after a good smack) can be a relief, if not outright joy-inducing, for many medical professionals and terrified parents: the baby needs to cry for its lungs to expand and expel amniotic fluid and mucus, otherwise it wouldn't be breathing.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Loves To Hear Them Scream, The Sound Of Screaming


Rosy the Rascal

When the villains discuss their favorite music genres, Rosy plays a recording that just consists of people screaming, disturbing Scourge.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LovesTheSoundOfScreaming

Media sources: