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Un-Evil Laugh

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They have classes for that.

"BLA HA HA HA HA! No, that doesn't sound right....How about.... KWE HE HE! No, that one makes me sound like a chocobo. I want Cecil to fear me, not laugh at me. Maybe.... FUYA HA HA! *sigh* Golbez made all this look easy."

A villainous laugh so remarkably stupid-sounding that, instead of striking fear into the hearts of those who hear it, it causes bouts of uncontrollable sniggering. A Not-So-Harmless Villain may do this on purpose to deflect suspicion. A Minion with an F in Evil is likely to do it by accident. The most pitiful form of the Un-evil Laugh is Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud. In other cases, if there's no lampshade hanging, it may be hard to tell if the writers or actors meant for the laugh to be genuinely menacing and just missed the mark, but only examples that appear to be deliberate on the creators' part should be listed.

Contrast Giggling Villains, whose seemingly unimpressive laughs only make them creepier. Also contrast Annoying Laugh, though it can sometimes coincide. Compare Laugh with Me! in which the villain demands that someone else laugh as well.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In an unintentional example of this trope, Chick Tracts represent laughter in writing as HAW HAW HAW.
  • Originally, The Batman criminal known as The Penguin was given an effeminate giggle.
  • Empowered: Minor supervillainess Hardpoint may or may not be subject to sexist discrimination by her male peers like she claims, but they at least have a point that her villainous laugh ("hyuk hyuk hyuk snort!") is unlikely to strike fear into anyone's heart.

    Fan Works 
  • Leave for Mendeleiev: After learning about the hat designing contest, Chloé schemes about using it to humiliate her favorite bullying target Marinette and starts sniggering to herself... but stops short when she chokes on her own spittle.
  • Shinderella (basically Fate/stay night meets Cinderella meets Questionable Casting) features Matou Sakura attempting to laugh wickedly as one of the evil stepsisters. The stage directions note that she "actually sounds like someone who is PLAYING IN A SUNLIT FIELD with a group of KITTENS."

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Voldemort gloats over Harry's Disney Death with a bizarre "Eh-heh-heh!" — since he's going through an extended Villainous Breakdown, it's likely totally intentional on the actor's part.
  • Evil Ed from Fright Night (1985) has a voice crackling with pre-puberty and a laugh like a donkey on inhalants. As a vampire, the laugh gets more reverb, but it's still the same goofy laugh.
  • Austin Powers:
    • In the first movie, a big group Evil Laugh by Dr. Evil and his organization eventually peters out and becomes distinctly un-evil.
    • Intentionally done in Austin Powers in Goldmember, in which Scott Evil's laugh sounds more like a mix between screaming and crying, is incredibly hilarious, and gets him reprimanded by Dr. Evil for doing it wrong. By the end, though, he's learned how to have an effective laugh.
  • Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles makes the mistake of starting an Evil Laugh while sucking on a candy, and almost chokes on it before spitting it out.
  • Dr. Flemyng, from The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The Skeleton itself has a far more traditional Evil Laugh.
  • From Prince of Space, we have the Phantom's drawn-out, twangy chortle, which sounds like an unholy merger of Burgess Meredith as the Penguin and a car with a bad starter motor. Haaaa-haaaa-haaaa-haaa-haaa-haaa-haaa-haa-haa-haa-haa-haaaa.
  • Tex Richman in The Muppets (2011) and his "maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh!" (He's not laughing. He's literally saying that). Lampshaded by one of his henchmen, who is proud of his own very Evil Laugh.
  • Thurman in Dinner for Schmucks has a bizarre one which sounds more like a kettle whistling than laughter.

  • In one of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books, Count Olaf has begun practicing a bizarre evil laugh that involves interjecting random words that start with the same letter as whatever onomatopoeia for laughter he happens to be using. He stops doing this in the next book in favor of a more conventional evil laugh, which is mentioned to be something of a relief to the Baudelaires.
    • Vice-Principle Nero in The Austre Academy is described having a very unrealistic laugh, Lemony Snicket going into detail about how his laughs are said as "te-he-he" is spelled.
  • Johannes Cabal: One villainous eunuch wizard has a laugh "like a hyaena in a helium-rich atmosphere". Johannes is unimpressed, despite the wizard's power.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Raj in The Big Bang Theory, when contemplating Sheldon's humiliation at the hands of Leslie Winkle, comes out with one of the most unconvincing "evil laughs" ever committed to sitcom.
  • Prince Edmund in the first series of Blackadder has a slow, thin and high-pitched "Hah hah hah" that makes him sound like an utter wimp, which he emits when he plots to seize power or inflict misfortune on someone.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Nerd Trio do this to convince a demon that they're supervillains. As the script says, "It needs some work."
  • Phoebe and Joey from Friends attempted to laugh evilly after concocting a scheme to bring Ross and Rachel back together. Unfortunately, Joey kills it.
  • Dara O Briain, the host of Mock the Week, showed one off while recounting how he was mistaken for a burglar at Ed Byrne's house.
    I looked like a gentleman burglar, right—like I'd left a note saying "The Cat has visited you! Hmnahahahahaaa!"
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Spanish Inquisition's "Diabolical Laughter", rapidly followed by "Diabolical Acting".
  • The Count from Sesame Street. "Ah-ah-ah." He did have a more sinister one when he started out, though.

  • Bleak Expectations: The Evil Laugh is an essential part of being evil. Mr. Benevolent's got a sort of evil chuckle. Pippa Bin has a truly impressive evil laugh, complete with echo. Harry Biscuit's is, by his own admission, terrible, because he's bad at being evil. At least, the first time around. The second time, however, when he really is evil, he gets it right.
  • Dead Ringers: Theresa May tries to gloatingly laugh at Boris Johnson's misfortune, but she's so incapable of experiencing joy it comes out as a sort of nervous cough. When she tries again, she can't even manage that.

    Stand-Up Comedy 

    Video Games 
  • In The ClueFinders 4th Grade Adventures: The Puzzle of the Pyramid, Sir Alistair Loveless starts off with a proper Evil Laugh at one point — but then he starts coughing uncontrollably when he accidentally swallows his mint during said laugh.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, when the surviving members of Organization XIII first appear to the main character, one can clearly hear Demyx's rather uninspired titter among the collection of otherwise decent Evil Laughs.
  • Alfred Ashford's interesting laugh in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica.
  • Jak and Daxter parodies this in the outtakes with Gol. "SICKLY. Evil laugh."
  • In No More Heroes, Destroyman's laugh is a pretty good example, and given the setting probably intentional.
  • Brady Culture from the adventure game Sam & Max: Culture Shock has a few false starts with his evil laugh before getting it down pat.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Heidegger and Scarlet are nicknamed "Gyaha" and "Kyaha" by Cait Sith. Hard to be worried when they're around.
    • "WUH HUH HUH HUH!!" Monster Clown he may be, but Final Fantasy VI's Kefka lacks something in the terrifying laugh department. That was intentional, however, to showcase Kefka as a Harmless Villain and a Dirty Coward. Then comes the second half of the game...
    • Ultros/Orthros from VI. Even though it's only spelled out, there's something about his affected "Uwee hee hee!" that fails to inspire much in the way of fear.
    • Borghen from Final Fantasy II either has the least evil laugh in the series, or else he's packing one mean turkey call.
  • Team Fortress 2, The Spy: "HON HON HON *snort* HON HON HON"
    • Pretty much every class has a laugh that is either supremely annoying or lacking in the intimidation department. Examples include the Scout's fratboy-like chuckles, the Engie's coughing, the Soldier running completely out of breath laughing, and the Medic occasionally sounding like an old lady. The Heavy generally has an impressively bellowing laugh, but it tends to devolve into a somewhat silly "D'ohohoho!"
  • Most of the Laughably Evil villains of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, such as "Chaw-haw-haw!", "Whoa-ho-ho!", and "Heh heh heh!" The more sinister villains will have laughs like "Ooh hoo hoo hoo!", but the most terrifying laugh from those villains would be "MuhehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehahahahahahahahahahahahHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAAHAAHAAHAA!!!"
  • Scorn, the stage 1 boss from Knights of the Round has a hilariously girlish cackle that he can't resist letting fly every so often.
  • Goldman in House of the Dead 2 may have the best worst evil laugh ever.
  • In Mortal Kombat 4, Jarek gives a weird, muffled laugh that sounds more like humming in his and Jax's endings.
  • Zarok in MediEvil: Resurrection has such a laugh, often sounding rather silly and nana-ish, not to mention that it tends to get interrupted by him having a coughing fit. He actually lampshades it in the same cutscene. He finally gets it right in the end after his defeat in the final battle.
    Zarok: "I really need to work on that mocking laugh..."
  • Deltarune: Lancer's signature "Ho ho ho!" laugh, which only emphasizes just how incompetent he is as a villain and serves to only make him more comical and endearing. Lampshaded at one point in Chapter 1 by Susie:
    Lancer: Ho ho ho!!! Are you ready to be...
    Susie: Stop. Stop talking. "Ho ho ho"? What is that. Why are you saying that.
    Lancer: "Ho ho ho"? It's my evil laugh! Scary, right!?
    Susie: You sound like baby Santa Claus.
  • Squid, the evil supercomputer from Will You Snail?, tends to get voice cracks whenever he laughs, and while he has some exceptions, his evil laughter usually tends to sound too pitchy and goofy to truly come off as imposing. Though that sometimes still works in his favor and makes him sound creepier.

  • In Narbonic, Helen Beta Narbon has a proper evil laugh... which lasts for about three seconds before devolving into giggles, titters, and snorts.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Defied by the skeletal Big Bad Xykon: he declines to join his minions in an Evil Laugh because he hasn't been able to muster up a good one since his transformation into a lich robbed him of his lungs.
    • The vampire possessing Gontor tries for an evil laugh but can only manage an embarrassing "Bwee hee hee hee hee hee!". His patron God of Evil gripes about his poor grasp of "basic villain stuff" on the next page.
  • Spinnerette's Doctor Universe commented that he often wished his laugh was more maniacal.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Beautiful Gorgeous' form of a villainous laugh consists of her giggling, chortling, horrible laughter while making weird and absurd faces with every chuckle.
    Sheen: That laugh could get annoying.
  • Mandark in Dexter's Laboratory: HA haha! HA haha! HA haha haha!
  • Kim Possible
    • Señor Senior, Junior's laugh (despite his father's best efforts to teach him a proper Evil Laugh).
    • Ron Stoppable gets turned evil in one episode and Shego is noticeably in pain from hearing his "evil laugh" because it's so terrible. Oddly enough, though, he's actually quite dangerous and competent in all other evil areas.
  • Dave the Barbarian.
    • The haphazard chortling of Dark Lord Chuckles the Silly Piggy.
    • Dave's evil ex-girlfriend, Princess Irmaplotz, also botched the evil laugh. BWO HO HO HO HO!!! Never goes without being lampshaded.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Presto Tina-O", Tina attempted to do an evil laugh while plotting to prank Jimmy Jr., but she's not very good at it.
    Louise: Do you have something caught in your throat?
    Tina: That was my evil laugh, I also have something caught in my throat.
  • The Antichrist in the Rapture episode of American Dad!.
  • In Xiaolin Showdown, Jack Spicer's "evil" laugh starts out decent, but ends up being rather pitiful, as he tries too hard.
  • Played with in The Backyardigans episode "Flower Power". Austin, playing the villain The Gloommeister, performs his Evil Laugh. When asked why he laughs like that, he says that it sounds better than his normal one, and then demonstrates—with a giggle-snort that would have made Steve Urkel proud.
  • During his stint as a car salesman in The Simpsons episode "Diatribe of a Mad Housewife," Homer attempted to do his own evil laugh on what he thought were some unsuspecting customers. He didn't exactly miss any notes, but without any dramatic echo, music, or shadows, it came across as more awkward and silly than outright menacing.
  • In an early Halloween episode of King of the Hill, Hank tries to get Bobby into character with his new devil costume by teaching him the proper evil laugh. Hank's own laugh is pathetic enough, but Bobby's bizarre, huffing chuckle is even worse. Hank's response when asked if it sounds evil enough? "Uh, it was... disturbing!"
  • Played with in Total Drama when Max attempts and fails at evil laughs for a few episodes, but he manages to do a real one later on.
  • Doc McStuffins
    • In "Boo-Hoo to You!," when Doc McStuffins's dad tries for an Evil Laugh, it comes out really weak and Doc tells him that he might want to keep trying on it.
    • In "Toy Hospital: Welcome to McStuffinsville," the half-lion/half-bunny toy Stanley gives a sort of weird barking/coughing laugh when trying for an evil laugh.
    Tiggley: What was that?
    Stanley: It's my laugh of evil.
    Tiggley: Yeah, needs some work.
  • Downplayed by Queen Chrysalis in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, who does cackle in a stereotypically evil way more than once. However, she also has a bubbly giggle, to the point where it's been parodied in fan-comics.
  • Peridot in Steven Universe has a laugh that's more of a dorky giggle than anything else. It fits in rather nicely with her rather nonthreatening... everything else.
    Peridot: I could call [Garnet]... Lots of things. I could call her (snrk) two things! Two clods! Ahahahaha! Walking around like she's... One clod! Nyeheheheheh!
  • Lampshaded in Tripping the Rift where Darph Bobo is aware of his unevil laugh and has been practicing. One episode he actually asks Chode and the crew how it's coming along, and they tell him it "needs work and sounds forced".
  • The Venture Bros.: a Discussed Trope in "The Bellicose Proxy". The Monarch and Henchman 21 are trying to coach Harmless Villain Augustus St Cloud into stepping up his supervillain game, which naturally includes practising his Evil Laugh. The best St Cloud can do is an awkward wheezing chuckle with a bizarre groan at the end, which 21 considers "scary, but in like, that gross way."


Loveless Laughs

It was going well until he swallowed his mint.

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