The Science Hero was once a staple of adventure fiction, overcoming the Evil Sorcerer and awing the superstitious natives with the power of Science! But somewhere between the invention of the Gatling gun and the atomic bomb, fiction-creators deconstructed the archetype to create a new kind of villain: a villain who believes that the conventional scientific community are fools! Needlessly constrained by their petty "morals" and their self-limiting "logic"!
The Mad Scientist fulfills many needs for a story's creator, allowing the Scientist to fit into a wide range of stories. This is a mentally unsound type which allows the story's creator to cover a weak motive or Bond Villain Stupidity with a Hand Wave. This also helps the creator of the story explain why mad scientists kept all their incriminating records and yet don't have a duplicate monster or at least a blueprint lying around. Secondly, they're scientists, which in fiction means they can invent whatever strange device the plot requires. Thirdly, their insistence on weird experiments gives them artistic license to invent those devices. And lastly, a mad scientist is almost certain to violate the Scale of Scientific Sins: expect An Aesop (even if it's a preposterous one).
The Mad Scientist accumulates certain tropes effortlessly. Gadgeteer Genius and the Mad Scientist Laboratory (or "la-bore-a-tory") are almost obligatory, the scientist’s conversation is likely to include the phrases For Science! and They Called Me Mad!, and the Labcoat of Science and Medicine (classically, the Howie-style lab coat that buttons diagonally across the chest and has a Mandarin collar) can be expected. Most Mad Scientists are Large Hams: some employ Sesquipedalian Loquacity, while others specialize in the Evil Laugh.
Mad Scientists tend to be freely interdisciplinary — often omnidisciplinary — but some fields of science are especially well-represented.
- Mad Biologists trespass in God's domain, meddling with the bodies of the dead, the genetic makeup of their subjects and the very fabric of life to create horrific monsters, Super Soldiers and misguided attempts at immortality (often defined misguided because the plot says so, or otherwise because they work very, very badly). Inevitably, some or all of their creations will break free and either destroy them or go on a directionless rampage; sometimes, the Mad Biologist will set them free himself, either for revenge or just as a field test. In modern works, they often expand their research to fiddling with super-plagues.
- Mad Chemists are in many ways descended from sketchy alchemists of earlier eras. They often overlap with Mad Biologists to some degree, but tend to lean towards creating Super Serums and deadly toxins, usually either to sell to government programs or to hold a city hostage with by threatening to dump their creations into the water supply. Their laboratories are often richly adorned with Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks.
- Mad Engineers work with machinery first and foremost, creating Killer Robots, Death Rays, Doomsday Devices, armed vehicles of every sort, and occasionally even something practical. They often have an excellent working relationship with evil generals, warlords, and unscrupulous governments, making endless reams of weaponry for employers who don't generally care about petty things like "collateral damage", "moderation", or "war crimes".
Common Mad Scientist archetypes include:
- Absent-Minded Professor: A scientist who tends to get lost in thought and not pay much attention to their surroundings.
- Dr. Frankenstein: Victor Frankenstein himself, who created a patchwork creature in the Mary Shelley novel.
- Dr. Fakenstein: A mad scientist whose name is clearly a reference to Victor Frankenstein from Frankenstein.
- Evilutionary Biologist: The mad scientist's experiment involves improving the human race on his terms.
- Fate of the Frankensteins: A mad scientist who happens to be descended from Victor Frankenstein.
- Herr Doktor: Mad scientists tend to talk in thick German or Austrian accents.
- Maker of Monsters: Mad scientists who favor biology tend to specialize in creating large, aggressive and poorly controllable creatures.
- Mr. Exposition: A mad scientist is a very common form taken by a character who serves to explain plot details to the other characters.
- Mr. Fixit: If the mad scientist's main area of expertise is technology, expect them to be a whiz at repairing broken machinery.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: A scientist who is knowledgeable in every form of science that the plot requires.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Mad scientist often use themselves as test subjects.
- Robot Master: Mad scientists with a head for robotics often make heavy use of mechanical minions for their plots.
- Sole Surviving Scientist: In a post-apocalyptic setting, there is one scientist left alive who tries to undo the damages done to society, but isn't exactly right in the head.
Common Mad Scientist creations include:
- Applied Phlebotinum
- Bioweapon Beast
- Death Ray: A ray gun designed to instantly kill people.
- Doomsday Device: An invention created solely to cause astronomical death and destruction.
- Frankenstein's Monster: The mad scientist creates an artificial being that commonly takes the form of a hulking brute stitched together from dismembered corpses.
- Genetic Abomination
- Humongous Mecha: The mad scientist builds a giant robot.
- Killer Robot: Whoever would invent an automaton designed to kill people probably wouldn't be of sound mind.
- Kill Sat: A satellite armed with a powerful weapon.
- Monster of the Week: One-shot monsters are likely to be the result of a mad scientist's experiment.
- Time Machine: The scientist creates a machine that enables people to travel through time.
- Wave-Motion Gun
Other common tropes include:
- Above Good and Evil: Mad scientists will likely consider the importance of their research to outweigh such tawdry concepts as morals and ethics.
- Bald of Evil
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Some experiments these kinds of scientists do amount to torture.
- Creating Life: Near the top of the Scale of Scientific Sins, and one of the most common experiments prone to go horribly wrong.
- Einstein Hair: Nothing says "mad scientist" quite like having hair like Albert Einstein.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Inevitably, a mad scientist's creations will backfire disastrously.
- Hollywood Hacking: Modern mad scientists have the capabilities of exploiting the technologies for their own causes among other reasons.
- The Igor: Mad scientists often have a hunchback or deformed dwarf as an assistant.
- The Madness Place: Mad scientists often lapse into hyper-productive fugue states when working.
- Mad Science Fair: Where all manner of Mad Scientist gather to showcase their various creations.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Mad scientists are frequently villainous in nature.
- Playing with Syringes: Some of the viler mad scientists like to subject others to horrific experimentation.
- Science-Related Memetic Disorder: The trappings of science portrayed as a psychological compulsion.
- The Spark of Genius: Some scientists' madness is strong enough to warp reality.
- Techno Babble: Mad scientists' explanations of their works often lapse into incomprehensible jargon.
- They Called Me Mad!: It is very common for a mad scientist to go on a rant about how they were mocked for their ideas by their peers, especially when in the process of starting their experiment or unleashing their creation upon the world.
- Turned Against Their Masters: Inevitably, a mad scientist's creations will turn on their maker.
An increasingly common take on this trope is that Mad Science is a dangerous superpower or even a mental disorder, either hereditary in which case the afflicted may come from a long line of mad scientists, or transmissible through contagious ideas or experiences.
At times scientists will show signs of madness, but remain at least loosely allied with the heroes. In this case they may be somewhat demented smart guys, extremely Eccentric Mentors, Conspiracy Theorists, Professors, Playful Hackers, Psycho Sidekicks, Innocent Prodigies, Genius Ditzes or even Demolitions Experts. These 'tamed' mad scientists are emphatically not 'safer' than their diabolical brethren. If otherwise-(mostly) sane scientists start behaving crazily while they're in the throes of creativity, they're visiting The Madness Place.
If a work has several Mad Scientists, you can expect them to be distinguished by their particular field of interest. While the classic Mad Scientist relies on electronic or mechanical engineering (such as the Robot Master), there are others who become an Evilutionary Biologist, Psycho Psychologist, Sociopathic Soldier, Eco-Terrorist, Mad Bomber, Tech Bro or even The Cracker. And all of the above and more can likely be found at the local Mad Science Fair, eagerly showing off their latest crimes against nature.
If a scientist wants to concentrate on ordinary science but is being coerced into producing terrible things, they may be a Reluctant Mad Scientist or even a Kidnapped Scientist. A mad scientist with good intentions, publicly or not, can end up being a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Film - Live Action
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Visual Novels
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- Bones in the Bones Coffee flavor "High Voltage" is dressed in a Labcoat of Science and Medicine and is surrounded by Gratuitous Laboratory Flasks in a Mad Scientist Laboratory.
- The Dolls of New Albion features Annabelle McAlistair who's raising up the dead. She brings her school crush Jasper back to life. It turns out he didn't want to be brought back to life and she destroys the Doll.
- Magic: The Gathering: This is a common archetype of Blue-aligned characters, due to the color's association with magic, technology and insanity. This is especially often the case for characters aligned with both Blue and Red (the color of destructive natural phenomena and chaos, a combination that tends to produce mad scientists focused on explosions and unstable technology) or Green (the color of nature and living things, producing a focus on monsters and "perfect lifeforms").
- Ravnica has two guilds who wear different versions of this trope as their hat, the Red/Blue Izzet League and the Green/Blue Simic Combine.
- The Izzet are CloudCuckoolanders who do Science For the Lulz, and favor very creatively applied Magitek, which tends to be very prone to exploding. Their leader, Niv-Mizzet, is a dragon mad scientist.
- The Simic are driven visionaries and Evilutionary Biologists who're in it for the potential and specialize in bio-sculpting, which they use to "improve" the living things of Ravnica.
- Innistrad, as part of its gothic horror theme, houses a lot of direct Frankenstein expies dabbling in the creation of monsters, usually by sitiching corpses together. Named examples include the visionary Ludevic, one of Innistrad's most talented monster-makers, and Stitcher Geralf. Also, we have Laboratory Maniac, who takes the "mad" part more literally than most; in terms of flavor, your library represents your magical knowledge, and running out of cards in your library causes you to lose because you've lost your mind, but the Maniac's ability makes it so that running out of library cards causes you to win instead, so you win by going insane.
- Many of the New Phyrexians can also be described as this — their entire goal is the "compleation" of all living beings, which can be summarized as Cybernetics Eat Your Soul for the entire body. The best example is probably Jin-Gitaxias, leader of the Blue faction.
- Ravnica has two guilds who wear different versions of this trope as their hat, the Red/Blue Izzet League and the Green/Blue Simic Combine.
- Mwahahaha is a "card game of mad scientists and global domination".
- Kozaky and Magical Scientist, two monsters fit this trope. Kozaky isn't a very useful card unless you're using a Human Wave Deck, and Magical Scientist is an illegal card (due to a notorious One-Hit Kill strategy it can use with Catapult Turtle); however, both monsters are featured on the artwork on many Spell and Trap Cards, suggesting that they were involved in the creation of many things in the game that only a Mad Scientist could think up, such as the Koa'ki Meirus.
- Cyborg Doctor seems to fit the bill too, if his appearance is any suggestion, although his effect doesn't seem all-too sinister.
- Lots of them appear in The Far Side.
- There's one strip with a woman telling her friend the story of why her husband is now a half-fly, half-human monster. Outside their home's window is the entrance to a gothic castle.
"So George says 'I'm going over there and telling that guy to shut that equipment off!' So I said: 'George, that guy's a mad scientist. Call the cops. Don't go over there alone.' Well, you know what George did. "
- Another depicts one in the middle of "mad scientist's block".
- Dr. Frankenstein himself (or the Hollywood version at least) appears quite regularly, usually with The Igor and/or Frankenstein's Monster. One memorable cartoon has him and Igor stuck inside the house on a rainy day, with their mother suggesting they should go downstairs and build a monster to pass the time.
- There's one strip with a woman telling her friend the story of why her husband is now a half-fly, half-human monster. Outside their home's window is the entrance to a gothic castle.
- German comic Nick Knatterton once had Professor Bartap, who invents a shaving foam which is also a very effective explosive. Unintentionally. (Comedic version, definitely.)
- Samantha Argus of Safe Havens is a personable, enthusiastic grad student who has unlocked the genetic code. She has the power to transform practically any living creature.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker: Traditionally, the Joker restrains himself to toxicology (his Joker Venom) and mechanical engineering (Death Traps, Electric Joybuzzers, etc.), but in the movie he graduates to highly advanced genetics and computer programming, to the extent of making Tim Drake a Clone by Conversion.
Joker: Beneath this puckish exterior lies the mind of a genius years ahead of my time. In the weeks young Robin was under my tutelage, I used him as the subject of my greatest experiment. Using cutting-edge genetics technology which I pinched here and there, I encoded my DNA in a microchip and set it in Bird-Boy's birdbrain.
- Despicable Me: Dr. Nefario; Gru does some work too, though.
- Victor Frankenstein from Frankenweenie and the other kids who resurrect their pets. Subverted with the science teacher, who just has a very poor way of explaining himself.
- In Igor, mad scientists are like rock stars, and one of the most well known is Dr Schadenfreude. In a subversion, Schadenfreude is actually a fraud (no pun intended). He doesn't have the brains to be an actual Mad Scientist, so he instead uses his Femme Fatale girlfriend to steal other scientists' inventions and claim them as his own. The titular character wants to be a Mad Scientist himself, but Igors are forbidden from doing anything on their own lest they be "recycled". So far, his successes include keeping a functional Brain in a Jar (who can't spell "Brain" right) and making an intelligent rodent immortal, while also giving him a death wish.
- The professor from The Illusionauts. Bonus points for having Doc Brown to provide the voice.
- The Incredibles:
- Syndrome created rocket boots before he hit puberty, as part of a youthful desire to become a crime-fighter. However, when his hero told him to back off, he spent more than a decade plotting against all the heroes-in-hiding and killing them off one by one. His ultimate goal is to sell his inventions for profit to make superheroes obsolete, after he'll grow bored of being a "superhero". His hair wasn't the only thing about him that was loco.
- Edna Mode, the Gadgeteer Genius who the heroes turn to when they need a fashionable skintight costume that's also bombproof, laser-resistant and machine washable, is of the 'tame' variety and specializes in textile engineering.
- Strangely enough, all actual villains in Incredibles 2 are mad scientists. The Underminer has a super-drill that digs through rock at high speed and prosthetic limbs with enhanced strength, while the Screenslaver hypnotizes others through remotely hacked screens with very fine control of the actions of the victim. Both have a level of technology at least several decades ahead of the movie's setting.
- Dr. Jumba Jookiba from Lilo & Stitch (although he prefers to be called an "Evil Genius"). Actually, his trial is what got the movie going.
- The title alien in Megamind tries to engage in villainy by being a mad scientist, but despite his incredible gadgetry his attempt is more style than substance.
- The scientist from the original movie The Fly (1958) was the inspiration for Dr. Cockroach in Monsters vs. Aliens. Despite what he did to himself, and his lack of mental stability, he is a fairly amicable guy, and is actually one of the good guys.
"I'm not a quack, I'm a mad scientist!"
- Dr. Finklestein from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloweentown's resident wheelchair-bound evil genius. Asides from being the creator of Sally, he also animated reindeer skeletons to pull Jack's sleigh and constructed his own wife to replace Sally.
- The main villain of the Teacher's Pet Finale Movie is a mad scientist named Dr. Ivan Krank, who desires to turn animals into human beings to disprove everyone's assertions that he is a "wacko", even when his initial attempts on an alligator and a mosquito have only resulted in grotesque mutant hybrids. Spot turns to him in hopes that he will help him achieve his desire to become a human boy. While Spot proves to be the first successful human transformation, Dr. Krank transforms him into a human adult rather than a boy and spends the rest of the movie trying to capture Spot when he escapes his lab.
- Charles Muntz in Up, who made the dogs' collars.
- Both of the scientists in Project "Ma" are this
- Full Moon Laboratory.
- Doctor Steel is a steampunk themed industrial musician whose look consists of a shaved head, pointy beard, vintage welding goggles and a mad scientist lab coat.
- The Abney Park song "The Secret Life of Dr Calgori" is about a Mad Scientist.
- The Mono Puff song "Poison Flowers" is about a young would-be mad scientist lamenting the beginning of the school year as he will no longer have time to build bombs and death rays, or to write manifestos.
- Jonathan Coulton has at least two: "The Future Soon", about a socially rejected nerd who dreams of becoming a mad scientist in order to get revenge and conquer the world. The other is "Skullcrusher Mountain", which is from the point of view of a mad scientist talking to a woman that his deformed assistant had kidnapped for him to woo. In particular, "Skullcrusher Mountain" is notable for for a line that flirts dangerously with Crowning Moment of Awesome:
I made this half pony, half monkey monster to please you,
But I get the feeling that you don't like it. What's with all the screaming?
You like ponies. You like monkeys. Maybe you don't like monsters so much.
Maybe I used too many monkeys.
Isn't it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?
- "Live" has another one, a Dr. Frankenstein analogue who is trying to create the perfect woman.
- The protagonist in "Broken Bride", a Rock Opera by Ludo
- Professor Elemental is a Dr. Moreau-like Mad Scientist in his song, "Animal Magic".
The myriad wonders of nature it's true
Can be understood fully in my home made zoo
By brain swapping with my cranial cutter
I created my apeish butler
and like any explorer forging new boundaries
I found this astounding and took me an owl beak and wings
grafted to a tortoise shell
and now my Owltoise is doing quite well
No my Chimpangoat's not the prettiest of creatures
my Donkeypede has the silliest of features
my Batraffes do fly into doors
and my Lobsteroos don't like their claws —
but until you've heard the Badgermingo sing
or fed a tiny fish to a baby Marmoquin...
My dear sir or madam you've never lived,
it's an impressive gift — so treasure this...
- The Weird Science theme song by Oingo Boingo is about making a woman. With pot and pans apparently. And... SCIENCE!!
- Most songs made by the EBM group Surgyn run with this theme. Bonus points for the voice clips with the German accented mad scientist. They carry this to their live acts too, often dressing up to evoke a medical fetish.
- The song "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett is narrated by a mad scientist whose monster, late one evening, rises from a slab to perform a new dance, which becomes "the hit of the land" when the scientist throws a party for other monsters.
- Helloween's "Dr. Stein" is about a mad scientist who creates monsters.
- In "Project Distortion" Maika, Gumi, Yohioloid and Mayu sings a Medical Horror, in which Yohioloid is turned into...something For Science!.
- In "Puppet Master: Finest Creation", Luo Tianyi and Yan He sing about a man who continued to perfect her doll, and it's heavily implied that the doll is her daughter.
- The Music video for Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science" involves several men dressed as scientist wandering around a mental institution called "The Home for Deranged Scientists".
- Invoked in the music video for Sabaton's "Father." Inventor of both chemical fertilizers (by isolating ammonia, which plants crave) and chemical weaponry (by isolating chlorine, which nothing craves, and not only kills whatever inhales it, but hurts like hell the entire time they die) Fritz Haber is depicted with Scary Shiny Glasses and lit by the Sickly Green Glow of his lab equipment as he exults in triumph while brandishing a fume-spewing test-tube and laboratory flask.
- The mythical Greek inventor Daedalus may be regarded as an unbuilt predecessor to this trope, what with his artificial wing invention that melts in the sun and kills the impulsive Icarus.
- The god Hephaestus deserves a spot here thanks to his many wacky inventions, some of them fueled by his seething negative emotions, including his trap-throne, which he used to trap his mother, Hera, in revenge for throwing him out of Olympus for being an ugly baby, his trap-sofa, which he used to capture and humiliate Aphrodite and Ares in order to highlight Aphrodite's infidelity, and to further spite Ares, gave Aphrodite's daughter by Ares, Harmonia, a magic necklace cursed to bring tragedy and misfortune to its wearers, while simultaneously keeping them young and beautiful. Harmonia's necklace would have several owners, including Semele, the mother-to-be of Dionysus, and Jocasta, mother and *cough* wife of Oedipus.
- Wayland the Smith from Norse Mythology is a rather similar inventor character. Unlike both Daedalus and Hephaestus, he is consistently depicted as evil and many of his inventions are for random acts of carnage.
- One appears in Monster Bash, working with Igor to reassemble and reawaken Frankenstein's monster.
- One of the race competitors in Stern Pinball's Mustang is a Mad Scientist, possibly as a Shout-Out to Professor Pat Pending from Wacky Races.
- Dr. E. Shock of Strange Science, whose experiment is a "Freaky Friday" Flip between a teen girl and a chimpanzee.
- Fallout Is Dragons has Doctor Javolt. To be clear: Fallout is Dragons is set in the Fallout: Equestria world, wherein the apocalypse was caused by balefire bombs and most technology has magic at its core. Javolt, on the other hand, rejects all magic and actively seeks to create non-magical technology, and apparently replaced his leg and his own eyes with non-magical cybernetic replacements after they were ripped apart in an explosion that also had an impact on his memory.
- Treknologic: Keri talks about experimenting on the crew and the genocide of all tribbles like someone would talk about the weather.
- Kaiju Big Battel's Big Bad is Dr. Cube, who was supposedly a failed Nazi experiment. He revels in being evil and leading his Posse of "giant city-crushing monsters." He's also a lot of KBB fans' favorite character. He also crossed over to CHIKARA, most notably giving UltraMantis Black the Eye of Tyr, a Norse Mythological artifact that can be used to control minds. This would backfire on Mantis three times.
- CHIKARA has Professor Nicodemus, a similarly hammy mad scientist and the manager of The Proteus Wheel (Volgar, Callux the Castigator and Frantik), three huge "science monsters" connected to his failed "Volgar Quotient", which had previously produced Juke Joint Lucas Calhounnote and Jeremy Leary, who had arrived in 2016 with a Greaser gimmick and claiming to have "The Best Hair in Wrestling."
- Parodied on one episode of Dinosaurs: a scientist on TV gives the "They Called Me Mad!" speech before unveiling his latest creation, a giant living squash. When his assistant calls him mad, the scientist calmly agrees, adding that what made him seek revenge is that he's angry-mad, not insane-mad.
- Dr. Bunsen Honeydew of The Muppet Show.
- The Mr. Potato Head Show: Dr. Fruitcake created a Frankenstein-like ham-monster that attacked the rest of the cast, built machines that have exploded when they're supposed to be safe, and gave the other characters real weapons as props while they were doing a spy show.
- The Island Of Doctor Moreau RP: Dr. Nicholas Moreau and Dr. Sabin Duvert.
- The Mad Scientist Wars, uses this trope as its foundation stone. The players are all fans of the Narbonic and its successor, Skin Horse (about a government agency that cleans up after Mad Scientists), so it was only natural.
- Carina Appelbaum from v2 of Open Blue worked in Seran's science corps. She holds a commission as a captain, allowing her to use a ship to scour the ocean for additional 'test subjects'. She carries a Hyper Space Arsenal of mysterious vials that could contain anything from explosives to poison.
- The Timekeeper attraction at Disney Theme Parks starred a robotic one voiced by Robin Williams.
- Universal's Halloween Horror Nights:
- The Caretaker is a surgeon-cum-mortician who started wondering what made some of his patients pass on despite his best efforts and grew obsessed with the concept of the soul, and started performing gruesome medical procedures first on the corpses from the graveyard, then on homeless people he lured in with the promise of a place to stay.
- Concept art reveals that The Boneyard from 1994 had one doing something to (what was presumably) a corpse in one of the rooms.
- Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream event had one as its very first "Icon", named "Dr. Livingsdoom".
- All the Makuta in BIONICLE, especially Mutran. The Great Beings also qualify.
- The Doctor Dreadful line of toys features the eponymous doctor as its mascot, and encourages kids to become one too by using his lab toys to make the various gross food creations.
- The Monster in My Pocket toyline had a figurine named "Mad Scientist". The original figurine was based more on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but the version used in the 2006 relaunch closer fit the general archetype by depicting him as a bald, hunched over scientist in a labcoat and his bio describing him as not letting anything deter him from using his formula to take over the world.
- Viceroy from Chadam threw himself into studies from an early age and became thirsty for knowledge, and began conducting experiments on dead bodies to understand why he was so different, and began to start killing people for the sake of said experiments...only to eventually start using the living, instead.
- Judging by his voice and mannerisms, the co-host Wizard in DEATH BATTLE! seems to be this. And upon the release of their second Q&A video, it does happen to be the case.
- Most of the main characters in The Fear Hole are one of these, with the exception of Dan the Janitor. They have a tendency to be, how do you say it... amoral.
- Twilight Sparkle in PONY.MOV. Her last name is eventually revealed to be Mengele.
- Ollie & Scoops has Dr. Toodles, a scientist cat who conducts strange experiments, lives alone in a creepy laboratory building, and has a very Evil Laugh.
- In Brennus, these guys are calles Contrivers. Telling them their creations don't work is a bad idea.
- Mandragora from The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids may be an alchemist (who dresses like it, torch-lit laboratory, alembics and all), but hereally acts more like a mad scientist, complete with bringing monsters back to life with cries of having unlocked the secret! of life! ''itself!''. Pythe jokingly refers to Mandragora as "the Governor's pet mad scientist".
- The main character, her family, and a major part of the cast in Defection counts as this.
- Dr Romanoff in A Grey World fits the trope well, his frustration at bureaucracy of the scientific community leads him to perform secret experiments For Science!
- Mirror World has Syrile, a member of House Dusk who experiments on the humanoid creatures populating Inoptica to perfect the Devoiding process, and to fuel his sadism.
- The Pentagon War, which tries to be serious Hard SF, actually has a character named The Mad Scientist.
- Pretending to Be People features a few:
- Silas Cole, founder of Contention, was a brilliant inventor and a paranoid madman. His wife, Mary, also fits the bill.
- The unnamed spiky-haired scientist working for Marvin Glass displays great skill in cybernetics and genetics.
- Francis Beans is one in training, working under the tutelage of the aforementioned spiky-haired scientist.
- SCP Foundation:
- Many scientists working for the SCP Foundation were portrayed like this in the early years of the SCP Wiki, at least before they started behaving more like actual scientists. Nevertheless, most of the SCPF researchers can be described as being Morally Ambiguous Doctors, given their unethical practices of forcing prison inmates called "D-class personnel" to serve as test subjects in experiments with a wide variety of dangerous paranormal objects, often not caring about whatever nasty effects happen to the D-classes.
- Dr. Jack Bright may be the maddest of all the SCPF's scientists, if this (joke) article is to be believed, which paints him as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander Psychopathic Manchild who commits all kinds of crazy and evil antics for his own amusement. Though even in "canon" stories, Dr. Bright is characterized as an eccentric weirdo due to growing kinda crazy and depressed from his immortal condition.
- SCP-1760 ("Casket Garden"). Pyotr was a mortician and scientist who carried out experiments regarding long-term chemical preservation of human remains, as well as chemically-induced reanimation and regeneration of such remains. This is the source of the animated remains that appear in the SCP-1760-16 coffin every six years.
- SF Debris reimagines Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager as one of these, to the point that for the episode "Scientific Method", which involves the Voyager crew being experimented on, has to have a rider that this time it isn't Janeway. Her exploits have included breeding hives of flying tarantulas with a taste for eyeballs, building an emotion bomb, creating a "rape gorilla", rigging the consoles to electrify their users for her own amusement, sending redshirts to their deaths because they serve Mexican food at the funerals, and the creation of something only known as "Kes-kotay".
- "First, it's a mutant, not a monster; second, those chains are unbreakable, and third, I only made one, so if you kill it, that's technically genocide! And technically suicide."
- This Shousetsu Bang*Bang fic has a mad scientist as main character, along with his loyal minion, Scarface.
- Sonny gets Mad Scienced deconstructs this sort of thing by showing it from the perspective of the potential victim. It addresses issues such as funding and why the henchmen would even still work with a lunatic. Turns out they have a "Death Ray clause" in their contract.
- Spectral Shadows has Dr. Penning, who wishes to experiment on Raelian Ommandeer for his own evil gains. And then he also creates The Anthrodroids, which are basically android anthropomorphic animals.
- Tails of the Bounty Hunter has Dr. Vogar Oblingor, a reptilian alien who has anthros transformed into feral, mindless beasts or tries to turn them into Super Soldiers so he can sell them to be used as weapons.
- To Welcome Oblivion has Dr. Lilith Madison, a scientist who had hundreds of innocents kidnapped and experimented on with Eldritch Energy to see what effects it would have on them. Predictably, dozens of the test subjects died horribly.
- Whateley Universe: Tons of them, both at Whateley Academy and in general. The school has two whole categories of of super-scientists, Gadgeteers (ESPers and Technopaths who instinctively know how to create new things, but only within the bounds of ordinary physics) and Devisors (creators of Applied Phlebotinum that bends the laws of reality). Either type can end up as Mad Scientists, but devisors are far more likely to due to the I Reject Your Reality aspects of their power. A few students have both traits, which tends to makes things dicey. Note that even the crazy ones sometimes make money legitimately, with Gadgeteers being able to get patents and Devisors sometimes being able to sell their one-of-a-kind Devises (for huge fees), so their supertech does have some impact on society, but various other factors ranging from Corrupt Corporate Executives to Fantastic Racism to Chronic Villainy mean that not all do, and plenty regardless of sanity end up as SuperVillains.
- Some Mad Scientist types (as well as other superpowered people) have a form of the "madness as a disease" trope. The universe has an illness called Diedrick's Syndrome that only affects some mutants, and Devisors are one of the two groups most susceptible to it (the other being electrical energizers). Due to an imbalance of neurotransmitters, the person can get paranoid, megalomaniac, etc., and that makes the imbalance worse, so things escalate until finally, said character is insanely screaming about destroying the planet because, say, he originally just lost his car keys.
- Even the ones who don't have Diedrick's tend to slip into The Madness Place quite often, especially when they get a 'Big Idea' which they obsess over, with forgetting to eat or go to sleep just being the more benign consequences that can occur.
- Examples of Mad Scientist students at Whateley Academy include:
- Overclock, who plotted to make a fellow student accidentally kill her teammates in a holographic simulation and drive her permanently insane, all because she ate the last of his favorite breakfast cereal one morning.
- Mega-Death, who chose his Atrocious Alias while " 'dricking out" and unfortunately will never hear the end of it.
- Belphegor, whose arrogance, kleptomania, and cowardice would be enough to qualify him even if he didn't have Deidrick's (which he does).
- Jobe, who, well, he's not mad, exactly, but his Blue-and-Orange Morality means that there's little he won't do, consequences be damned. He planned to turn his first girlfriend into a Drow and bond her to him by ensuring she would only reach orgasm with the first person she has sex with (This serum worked really well when he accidentally injected himself with it). That's not even close to the worst thing Jobe has done, and he's only about fifteen right now. Even the good things he has done are hideous: take his new vaccine for dysentery, which will save thousands of lives every year, and which he made by testing it on unwilling people on his father's island. He regularly gets censured by the United Nations — not the Karedonian government, but Jobe himself.
- Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum, and his henchman, Dr. Sophocles.
- Daisy Brown: The titular character's father is never seen, but we do know he created Alan, a Body Horror monster that Daisy lives with. A large portion of the drama comes from Daisy trying to find his notes on Alan so that she can deal with him better.
- In DanTDM's Minecraft mod-related videos (e.g. mod showcases and Custom Mod Adventures), both him and Dr Trayaurus, his villager friend, show shades of this — neither of them show any qualms about engaging in morally questionable activities in their experiments/mod showcases, including and not limited to playing around with genetics and cannibalism (yes, really).
- Dr. Crafty has the titular character, who got kicked out of art college and decided to start a YouTube series to (somehow) Take Over the World.
- The title character of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is very obviously drawn from this trope's clichés. With a few tweaks.
- Dr. Griffin from KateModern is a former mad scientist.
- The League of S.T.E.A.M.'s Crackitus Potts and Professor Jager may qualify.
- Left POOR Dead: Dr. Robert Smedley
- Adam appears as a parody of a mad scientist in Episode 9 of Maddison Atkins.
- The Metaverse ...hoo boy...
- Doctor A. Pocalypse
- Doctor Vandanger
- Doctor Vector
- Doctor Vorn
- Chrome Dome
- Lord Malignance.
- Professor Plague.
- Speaking of The Nostalgia Chick, she is constantly running into the sociopathic Dr. Tease, and her beleagured companion, Dr. Block. A sign of genuine danger in To Boldly Flee is Tease acting like an actual scientist would in one scene. Also, neither of them have real degrees.
- A recurring antagonist-type on 7-Second Riddles, sometimes attempting to experiment on the protagonist, other times working with dangerous AI, or generally acting as an obstacle.
- The Spoony Experiment:
- Dr. Insano. His background is unknown, and he plans to take over the world WITH SCIENCE!!! He's Linkara's archenemy, and killed Spoony at one point. He also won the 2008 presidential election without making any attempt to hide his identity. And he made an Atari Jaguar CD work long enough for Spoony to play through the game.
- He has used SCIENCE! to create a "son" though instead of a monster the Son of Insano is a cute pink fuzzy ball. Who wants to help daddy take over the work and knocked out Tidus.
- He also undid all his previous Villain Decay in more recent appearances.
- Since Linkara didn;t want to have to keep getting Spoony for cameos, he created the alternate universe Dr. Linksano, who is this but a little softer (he can be placated with a holodeck to play out ruling the world on, Dr. Insano cannot.)
- It was a shame he didn't make a cameo in The Nostalgia Chick's video of Hollywood Science, which talked about this trope in detail.
- styropyro is this, with his channel description giving his profession as 'Professional Mad Scientist.' This amounts to creating extremely overpowered lasers, electrical experiments, and various crazy experiments. By his own admission, most of his inventions should never exist, but because they're cool. Despite this, he does take safety seriously.
- Herr Doktor Innis du par Nachteltaffen, one of the drop-in characters on Warning! Readers Advisory!.
- This is how Duncan Jones and Sjin characterise themselves in the Yogscast Minecraft Series. Both are users of science and use it for somewhat unethical means, with the former using nukes to threaten Rythian into complacency (it doesn't work, since Rythian is having something of a breakdown) and the latter kidnapping Teep for his own evil ends. Both also fought each other in the first Tekkit server, ending in a nuclear detonation that forced everyone to rebuild from scratch.