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"I HAVE CHORTLES!"

Not all villains manage to develop an Evil Laugh. Some, for reasons known only to themselves, prefer to giggle. This can become highly disturbing, making the villain more evil or sinister than if they'd just done a straight-out "Muhahaha!"

It's diabolical when the villain is male, but a giggle from that otherwise dark and grim lady is also a very bad sign, since it's generally amusement at the prospect of hurting you. Badly.

It can work out for those bad ladies who wouldn't be able to carry off a full-throated, maniacal laugh. Or even for those who can, as it provides some contrast between appearance and laugh. One suspects that these villains know exactly how unsettling it is...and derive much pleasure from being menacing

Examples of Giggling Villain include:


Anime and Manga


Comic Books

  • The Joker uses giggles when it suits him. Full on maniacal laughter when it doesn't.
    • However, it's Frank Gorshin's take on the Riddler with his maniacal giggle on 1960s Batman series that is the real classic.
    • Mark Hamill states that he uses these quite often to change up his version of Mr. J to keep it from getting stale. In an interview, he even admitted to practicing his giggles while driving on the freeway.
  • Griffin in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. An already creepy characteristic is made worse by the fact it seems to be coming from nowhere.


Film

  • Peter Lorre belongs at the top of this list. Even his characters that were not villains were creepy, due in no small part to his distinctive voice and laugh.
  • Next is Richard Widmark's Psycho for Hire Tommy Udo from Kiss of Death, who likes sending old women in wheelchairs on short but exciting trips down the stairs. So much so that he inspired Frank Gorshin's portrayal of the Riddler in Batman.
  • From Kill Bill, we have Gogo Yubari, normally a blankfaced psychopath in schoolgirl attire. Upon being asked to walk away from battle with the Bride, she gives a giggle that would be cute, if we hadn't already seen her utter insanity...and commences trying to beat the Bride up with a meteor hammer.
  • Dr. Giggles...as should be apparent.
  • Nazi Agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The moment he says "We...h-huh...we are...heh-heh...not thirsty..." in that breathy, stuttering sex offender's voice, you know nothing's beneath him. He lets more giggles rip when Indy and Marion are sealed in a tomb.
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Lao Che. "To the poison you just drank!" Cue chortles.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera has Pavi Largo. His giggle is so cute and effeminate, it's hard to believe he's actually something of a monster.
  • The aptly-named "Giggler" from the Charles Bronson film Death Wish 3.
  • Asami from Audition giggles like a schoolgirl as she's cutting off her lover's feet with Razor Floss.
  • Renfield in Dracula has one of the goofiest laughs ever, and man is it ever creepy.
  • From The Road to El Dorado, Tzekel-Kan, the high priest. As he is already both comically hammy and scarily eager to perform human sacrifices and see the townspeople horribly killed, his giggling walks a fine line between creepy and hilarious.
  • In Live and Let Die, this is, unsurprisingly, the case with Kananga's henchman Tee Hee.
  • In King of New York, Laurence Fishburne plays The Dragon as a giggling villain. It seems to be something between a nervous tic and an occasional psychotic break.
  • In the 2010 Clash of the Titans, Medusa laughs frequently as she battles Perseus' squad.
  • Robert Englund's mercinary character in The Adventures of Ford Fairlane giggles maniacally every time he makes an appearance.
  • The Toon Patrol in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? fit this trope, particularly Psycho, who has a very distinct giggle compared to the other weasels.
  • Esteban Rojo from A Fistful of Dollars whenever someone is being tortured.
  • Romero from Escape from New York, added with a heavy dollop of Ambiguously Gay.
  • Calder from Prince of Darkness. A Scary Black Man with a Badass Baritone who makes high pitched giggles after being Touched by Vorlons makes for serious creepiness.
  • Nigel from Rio.
  • Whats Up Tiger Lilly features a giggling black thug in the Japanese film's first fight scene. His creepy laughter is carried over into Woody Allen's Gag Dub.


Literature

  • The title characters in Duumvirate can do the Evil Laugh, but far more often they just do some version of this.
  • This trope is at least half the reason many fans of Harry Potter hate Dolores Umbridge more than the series Big Bad. It's even worse in the movie version, thanks to Imelda Staunton's magnificent performance. There's tales of viewers with the powerful urge to somehow find a way to leap through the screen and punch her, if not worse.
  • Zabulon, leader of the Day Watch's Dark Others in the Night Watch series, breaks into a giggle every so often. It serves as a warning sign that you've just screwed up in trying to counter his tactics, or that events have progressed into the category of utterly weird.
  • Stephen King's Flagg is fond of this, especially in his Dark Tower incarnation. Coupled with his Slasher Smile and deathly pallor, he manages to creep the hell out of the poor bit-part villains in Wizard And Glass.
  • Mr. Teatime, especially in the movie.
    • IIRC, in one of the Discworld books Mad Lord Snapcase is described as having a Psychopathic Manchildish snigger that was more terrifying than any booming Evil Laugh.
      • Also used in Equal Rites, where the Things from the Dungeon Dimensions induged in evil snickering during one of Esk's nightmares.
  • At the end of The Pilo Family Circus, Kurt Pilo, undergoing a Villainous Breakdown and mutating due to badly-restrained anger starts chuckling and giggling to himself: "Oh hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo... Well now, well now, isn't this something? Someone's having a laugh... oh ho ho ha ha... There's, ha ha, traitors, and I'm..."
  • Wilson Kemp from the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of The Greek Interpreter".
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf and his girlfriend, Esme, become an extreme and ridiculous version of this in The Grim Grotto. Working on perfecting their evil laughs, they ended up with things like "Ha ha heepa heepa ho!" "Tee hee terrycloth!" "Giggle giggle glandular problems!
  • From Robin McKinely's Sunshine: One of the vampires in Bo's gang giggles; it's how the titular character recognizes him in a later encounter.
  • The men with no pain from the Inheritance Cycle madly giggle in battle.
  • Shadowthrone from the Malazan Book of the Fallen is dramatic, partially insane (albeit Crazy Awesome) and prone to erupting into fits of the giggles at least once in most of his appearances. Though by the last book, while no one could ever really call him "good", he does prove rather less than villainous after it's revealed that he masterminded most of the plot's resolution in order to cement his place among the gods.
  • Varys from A Song of Ice and Fire, who may very well not be a villain at all.
  • In Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die, we see how Mr. Big's henchman Tee-Hee got his name, as he giggles while breaking James Bond's finger.


Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who has The Master, a master of chuckling, chortling and guffawing.
    • Anthony Ainley's Master was quietly chuckling to himself all through Logopolis and Castrovalva. Seeing as how that's when Tom Baker left the series and Peter Davison came on as the fifth Doctor, it was especially disturbing to many a fan.
  • On Red Dwarf, the episode "Demons and Angels" had the crew meeting their "good" and "evil" selves; when playing Evil Lister, Craig Charles came up with an impressively scuzzy giggle.
  • In the Firefly episode "Objects In Space" River Tam's maniacal giggling manages to freak out Jubal Early.

 Jubal Early: You're somewhere on this boat. Somewhere with a com, playing games!

[Rivers deranged giggling filters over Serenity's com system]

Jubal Early: That's somewhat unsettling.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Warren Mears even giggles right before he shoots Buffy and kills Tara.
    • The Mayor does this on occasion too.
  • Gackt gives Mr. Brain's Takegami Teijirou a bizarre laugh that's a mix between Giggling Villain and Evil Laugh. The result is...creepy, to say the least.
  • Jim Moriarty in Sherlock.
  • Rumpelstiltskin does this a lot in Once Upon a Time. His Storybrooke counterpart Mr. Gold doesn't, though, even though he still remembers his true identity.


Theatre


Video Games

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