In anime, a villain’s laugh is usually meant to reflect their evil. The louder they roar, the more pleasure they will take from the suffering of their enemies. Such a phenomenon is especially true for antagonists without redeeming properties.
As a result, there have been some big and memorable evil laughs over the years. Some are deep and guttural, while others are light and mocking. Identifying villains from different series, the ways they’ve laughed, and what provokes such a response makes it easier to fathom their twisted psychology and appreciate how unashamedly evil they really are.
10 DIO Enjoys the Suffering of Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
DIO is one of the most conventional examples of villains in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. After establishing an entire empire of loyal vassals around the world, he wages war against the Joestars from his mansion in Cairo.
The vampire is most likely to laugh when an opponent realizes how helpless they are against him. Should the enemy be a member of the Joestar family, he is even more likely to burst into a fit of evil laughter. DIO’s sadistic tendencies give him an extremely dark sense of humor.
9 Galand laughs at weak opponents (seven deadly sins)
Galand may have the best laugh in the Seven Deadly Sins. Rude and boisterous, his roaring guffaws are so powerful they can send him into a rolling attack. Unfortunately for the villain, his smile is a symptom of his hubris.
At first, he mistook Escanor for an ordinary person and found his helplessness to be amusing at his challenge of exchanging blows. Ultimately, Galand’s miscalculation was so fatal that he had to face the punishment of his own commandment. Now frozen in stone, he can’t smile anymore.
8 Doflamingo Laughed at Every Chance (One Piece)
Despite being one of the most dastardly villains in A piece,,Doflamingo knew how to enjoy himself. Appropriately nicknamed “Joker”, he laughed when everything went according to plan or when he felt his enemies were underestimating him.
Doflamingo’s laugh is usually a controlled chuckle, which better conveys his underhanded and methodical nature.
Given how quickly Doflamingo’s mood is likely to change, he also uses humor as a coping mechanism. This was proven in his last scene to date, where he laughed at his circumstances from the darkest corners of Impel Down.
7 Marik laughed when he tormented others (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Yu-Gi-Oh‘s Yami Marik was an evil spirit that lived within the Millennium Rod. Though he had no compassion for commoners, he was especially hostile to the pharaoh because of the past they shared.
Marik will usually laugh when he gets the highest in a duel or when he puts his opponents in circumstances where there is no way out. For example, he particularly enjoyed tormenting Mai Valentine by locking her in a glass vial. She could only watch her friends play on the beach, completely ignorant of her suffering and the insects that ate her skin.
6 Hisoka laughed at inappropriate challenges (Hunter X Hunter)
Hunter X HunterHisoka’s life has been defined by a quest for challenge. If he feels that an opponent can one day be ready, he will prepare them for viable threats to be defeated one day. However, Hisoka is less nice to opponents with no potential.
When he was ambushed by Leorio and Kurapika, he laughed in their faces so blatantly that he couldn’t even look them in the eye. This better illustrates how far Hisoka is from most common fighters and that he treats the weak as fundamentally less to himself.
5 Madara just loves to fight (Naruto)
As arguably the most powerful character in the Naruto series, Madara’s laugh is particularly frightening. After being resurrected, given the Rinnegan, and stolen Hashirama’s chakra, he allowed himself one of the most hair-raising bursts of laughter.
Unlike other villains, Madara does not smile because of the suffering he causes. Instead, he relishes the battle and the chance to return the Uchiha clan to its former glory. Likewise, he enjoys a second chance to prove himself against Hashirama, who had humiliated him twice before. Madara doesn’t smile often, but when he does, no one forgets.
4 Mad Pierrot Laughed to Hold Back the Tears (Cowboy Bebop)
Mad Pierrot’s laugh was perhaps the most disturbing in Cowboy Bebop. Tortured to the point of shattering his mind, the man is a tragic victim of brutal trauma. He uses his laughter and circus-like tricks to hide the deep sense of pain he feels deep inside.
When Pierrot’s defenses were actually broken and he was injured, the floodgates burst open. Despite being significantly stronger than Spike, his pain tolerance was so low that he was too much in grief not to be crushed alive.
3 Light’s Laugh means someone is about to die (Death Note)
Initial, Obituary‘s Light Yagami never smiled when carrying out his murders. However, after being challenged repeatedly and losing his respect for human life, he became increasingly selfish and narcissistic. Before long, he was laughing as he orchestrated the deaths of people, even those who trusted him.
Despite the relatively personal relationship he had with L, the villain couldn’t help but beam at his rival’s demise and was equally jubilant as he attempted to take down the Japanese Task Force. Given how sparingly Light laughs, his villainous revelations are always cinematic.
2 Yoshikage Kira Laughs When He Thinks He’s Getting Away (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)
Despite being the most notorious killer in Morioh, Kira ironically doesn’t smile when finding or executing victims. Instead, he takes much more pleasure in escaping the heroes, as evidenced by the climax of Diamond is unbreakable. This suggests that his actions are at least partly driven by his ego and that he doesn’t really want to avoid conflict.
Believing that Bites The Dust saved him, Kira prepared to redo the past so that his pursuers would be put down for good. Fortunately, an ambulance crushed his head before he ever had the chance. Surrounded by evil spirits in the afterlife, Kira stopped smiling.
1 Blackbeard’s Laugh is the most memorable of the series (One Piece)
As the most infamous villain in the series, it makes sense that Blackbeard has the best laugh. When he pursues his goals or feels satisfied about cheating on someone, he will burst into a fit of humor. This was seen in Marineford when he stole Whitebeard’s Devil Fruit and attacked everyone else.
Blackbeard’s laugh is so memorable that it has even been parodied by fans. Despite the many iconic contenders in the gallery of Luffy’s villains, “ZE-HA-HA-HA” remains a fan favorite for its unapologetically chaotic energy.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest One-Piece Sword Users, Ranked