Mad Scientist

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"So much has been done -- more, far more, will I achieve: treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation..."

Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein

They're scientists, they're somewhat scatterbrained, their practice is questionable, and they are frequently working for the bad guys, building implausible gadgetry, or slightly ridiculous superweapons. They tend to wear lab coats, have either wild hair or total baldness, and speak with fake Central European accents. Sometimes they will engage in Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness.

Mad Scientists tend to have vast stockpiles of Applied Phlebotinum available. They do a lot of hand-waving and cackling as they construct or summon the Monster of the Week or repair the villain's Humongous Mecha, which is usually only dimly visible in a gigantic foggy cloud of expository Techno Babble. When confronted about their amorality, expect them to shout that the true value of their work is "For Science!!"

When the specifics of the mad scientist's theories are delved into, they often become Theory Before Phenomenon, unless the scientist has been driven mad by some piece of evidence he saw and wants to prove was real. The Mad Scientist traditionally has a beautiful daughter for the hero to fall in love with.

An increasingly common take on this trope is that Mad Science is a disease, either hereditary in which case the afflicted may come from a long line of mad scientists, or transmissible through contagious ideas or revelations. Since Insane Equals Violent, the transformation associated with contracting Mad Science can often be a dangerous one, involving the sudden invention of a Killer Robot, Death Ray or other instances of implausibly fast engineering.

When there are more than one or two Mad Scientist in a work, they will often specialize, becoming an Evilutionary Biologist or perhaps a mad computer scientist. Of course, specializing in some mad -ology usually involves disagreeing with the current standard explanations in the field, or at least believing that there are some important experiments everyone is ignoring (probably because they are unethical). See also TV Genius, Evil Genius, Science-Related Memetic Disorder, and, inevitably, Scale of Scientific Sins Compare Absent-Minded Professor.

Note that in Real Life, a scientist performs experiments and an engineer makes things. The only reason we have "mad scientists" (insane data collection...?) and not "mad engineers" (crazy gadgets) is that most adults don't know the difference, and perpetuate that misunderstanding. Also, "scientist" sounds significantly more arcane and exotic than "engineer" for some reason.

Examples of Mad Scientist include:

Anime and Manga

  • Dr. Nishida from the Witchblade anime.
  • Matthew Denton of Heroman, no question. He's the good version-also no question, because in the second episode he gives many In the Name of the Moon speeches about how the alien invasion is his fault and thus he must stop it. And most of the stuff he comes up with could not have been conceived by a completely sane mind, (Of course, this is Anime we're talking about here) the most notable being a weaponized guitar that can kill cockroach aliens.
  • Professor Akihiro Kurata from Digimon Savers is one of the darkest examples of this trope. He's basically evil incarnate.
  • Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z is one of the first anime examples and fits this trope to a T.
    • In some versions (including the original manga), Juzo Kabuto is a mix of this and The Professor. And he has a handsome and Hot-Blooded grandson named Koji Kabuto, the main character.
  • Professor Souichi Tomoe from Sailor Moon. To be fair, in the anime version he was possessed by a demonic being that lived in his eye; in the manga, he was just plain evil.
  • Dr. Gero from Dragonball Z.
  • Washuu, from Tenchi Muyo!! and its spinoff series Pretty Sammy (a mostly heroic example).
  • Dr. Franken von Vogler from the Giant Robo OVA was introduced as a classic ranting Mad Scientist. The series subverts this trope, as successive flashbacks reveal more about his real motivations.
  • Icchan from Angelic Layer is often mistaken for a Mad Scientist; he seems to encourage it, making over-the-top dramatic entrances, speaking cryptically about his creations whenever he can, and wearing his lab coat all the time.
    • However, his invention makes sense, is based on diligent research, operates on the notion that the principles discovered in previous discoveries can lead to new ones, is dependent on capitalism to provide funds and is profitable for mankind in general. Mad Scientists everywhere are very, very disappointed in him.
  • At least a third of the major characters in Neon Genesis Evangelion are mad, or at least amoral, scientists.
  • Bleach: Mayuri Kurotsuchi is an extreme example, an unholy hybrid of a Mad Scientist, A Mad Doctor and Ax Crazy too boot, openly boasting of the thousands of souls he's tortured to death in his 'studies'. Yet he leads one of the Soul Society's 13 squads (his contains lots of quirky assistants) and is seemingly a valued member. You begin to see the problem that the rest of Soul Society has with the administration... Just to hammer it home, he even has a daughter that he made himself.
    • His Arrancar equivalent is Szayel Aporro Grantz, who shares his twisted science, represented the aspect of death known as "madness" and whose own Quirky Miniboss Squad existed solely to provide him food whenever he needed to heal injuries.
    • Also Aizen could count as well, what with his experiments on both shinigami and hollows, and his whole I will become God thing.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist, instead of dealing with the Mad Scientist, revives its predecessor-trope, the almost forgotten Mad Alchemist (see below).
    • The Movie introduces a scientist who is severely ticked at the world's alchemists for making his work worthless. The "mad" part of this shows up when he reveals that he discovered Uranium and threatens the Elrics with a hand-held nuke. Clearly he never tested the thing.
    • There's also Shou Tucker, who, under the pretense of having to produce good results in order to keep his license as a State Alchemist (although he later admits it was mostly "just to see if I could do it", combines his own young daughter, Nina, and her pet dog into a chimaera, condemning them to a Fate Worse Than Death from which Scar is forced to release them via Mercy Kill. He doesn't fit the traditional profile of this trope (he appears quite calm and kind for most of the time we see him), but there is no doubt that he crossed the Moral Event Horizon on that one.
  • Dr. Ni Jianyi from Saiyuki.
  • Weiss Kreuz is almost as fond of these as it is of Mad Artists - see particularly Takatori Masafumi, and Tsuji Mayumi in Weiss Kreuz: Glühen.
  • Hajimete no Aku. The protagonist Jiro is a self-proclaimed Mad Scientist, Although in fact he seems to be incapable of doing anything evil.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • Battle Angel Alita: Desty Nova. Mad laugh, human experiments, cloning, nanomachines, lack of morals, the whole works, and he's proud of it.
  • Dantalion the Seeking Researcher from Shakugan no Shana. He is outrageously excitable and creates his mad experiments For Science!, and not necessarily for evil means. One suspects that if he weren't contracted to the bad guys he'd be mostly harmless. For Bonus Points, he looks exactly like Father Anderson from Hellsing.
  • Speaking of Hellsing, there is The Doktor, chief scientist of the Millennium Group.
  • The eponymous Dr. Kishiwada of Dr. Kishiwada's Scientific Affection. Clinically insane and more than a little sociopathic.
  • Ginias Sakhalin from Gundam: The 08th MS Team, the head of the Apsalus Project, which could be best described as a miniature Death Star that kills cities instead of planets. He starts out relatively sane if overly dedicated, but he deteriorates as time goes on.
  • The Elder in Chrono Crusade is a mild example of this trope. He's not completely insane, but his inventions tend to be quirky at best and downright dangerous at worst. Some of the things he's responsible for in the series include purposefully allowing Rosette to steal an experimental bullet with a demon trapped inside so he wouldn't have to test it himself, and apparently fusing a friend with demonic legion in order to make him a better fighter. Oh, and he's a Dirty Old Man to top it all off.
  • Nina Einstein from Code Geass, a Teenage Mad Scientist Girl. She is particularly known for being a Psycho Lesbian and inventing weapons of mass destruction.
    • And the table incident. Don't forget the table incident.
    • Earl Lloyd Asplund is an older, slightly more comedic version of the trope. His Bunny Ears Lawyer status has earned him the Fan Nickname "Lloyd Aspie".
      • Lloyd plays with the trope as while he is eccentric and disrespectful, he is fully aware that he is a mad scientist. Also, he is the only (non-royal) noble in the series to have no lust for power and not be racist, and in that respect is in some ways the Only Sane Man.
        • However, Lloyd plays it straighter in the Alternate Universe manga Suzaku of the Counterattack, where he willingly goes along with Prince Schneizel's plan to gain C.C.'s powers in order to (you guessed it) Take Over the World, even though it could potentially destroy the Earth (and almost does, if not for the intervention of the heroes).
  • Another one is Grace O'Connor from Macross Frontier. Though she doesn't heavily advertise that she is a scientist in the first place, in fact she is, and not the worst one. Given that she's also a Hot Scientist, and what a scheming, amoral, and utterly Badass Magnificent Bitch she comes in the end, it's simply unfair to leave her out.
  • Sekirei has a few, but the biggest, craziest, and downright hammiest of them all is Hiroto Minaka, MBI's psychotic and manipulative CEO. He's hinted to be behind the discovery of the original Sekirei and the making of the current ones, and is CONFIRMED to be manipulating every single person in the series towards his own bizarre ends and making every character hate him in the process, but earning massive fan love for his Impossibly Cool Clothes and general CrazyAwesomeness.
  • Professor Franken Stein of Soul Eater, whose love of dissection is played for laughs early on. The "mad" aspect becomes important later on, as madness is somewhat more concrete in this world. Medusa definitely counts as well.
    • Stein's likening for cutting people up is played for laughs, but it's also what he seriously would have done to Medusa given the chance (and Spirit, and Maka, and Kid, and anyone he saw as interesting..). In the witch's case he settles for dismembering her and shoving a scythe blade into her skull for good measure.
  • Getter Robo has a few. Saotome is the most famous example, though he's very low-key (except in the Armageddon OVA) about it and fairly normal on the surface. Professor Shikashima on the other hand has several screws loose (and indeed, actually has one lodged in his skull) but his craziness is mostly played for laughs. In Getter Robo ?? Hayato replaces Saotome as the leading scientist, with his trademark Ax Crazy streak.
  • Some of the Naruto villains get into this, most notably Orochimaru and his Mad Doctor Bastard Understudy, Kabuto.
    • Madara is getting into this too, what with him collecting eyes, Zetsu army, and cloning Hashirama. Though you could argue he's not really a "mad" scientist so much as a douchebag scientist.
  • Hakase of Mahou Sensei Negima! qualifies. So does Chao.
  • Dr. Kaff from the Korean version of Mazinger Z, Robot Taekwon V is a thoroughly ridiculous example of this, and a Large Ham who wants to Take Over the World.
  • Hiroshi from My Dear Marie builds himself a Robot Girl who both looks identical and has the same name to a woman he has a crush on. When the two meet by chance, he tells everyone that they're siblings as a cover story.
  • Franken Fran. She's also a Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter (if you don't mind the stitches), who completely lacks any understanding of the word squick. And she does half of it For Science!!, and the other half to save lives... no matter the cost to quality of life.
  • While Shiho Miyano of Detective Conan may not qualify as a Mad Scientist, since she was forced into doing her research, her father certainly does. The series specifically mentions that her father was considered a mad scientist even by the standards of the Black Organization. That's pretty mad.
  • One story in The Kindaichi Case Files features the story of a mad scientist who, during WWII, chopped up soldiers and tried to sew the pieces into the ultimate human. It turns out that the real "mad scientist" was a pharmaceutical company that tested experimental drugs on six patients, all of whom died.
  • The Pokémon anime loves this trope, especially for villains:
    • Dr. Fuji, the Engineer Exploited For Evil who created Mewtwo for Giovanni in hopes he'd be able to revive his dead daughter
    • Professor Sebastian, who likes messing with radio waves to lure Pokemon/force them to evolve.
    • Dr. Namba, the campiest mad scientist on the list, who builds frequently ridiculous contraptions to capture Pokémon for Team Rocket, particularly Cassidy and Butch. Don't get his name wrong, whatever you do.
    • Dr. Zager, another Team Rocket scientist, who assists Jessie and James in Unova and sports a monocle.
    • Dr. Yung, from Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon, who is revealed to be the titular "mastermind", attempting to take over the world with super-powerful Pokemon holograms
    • Butler, in the sixth movie, laughed out of Team Magma for a failed attempt to re-create Groudon, who now travels as a circus magician, but tries his experiment again using Jirachi as a power sourceand ends up having it work a little too well.
    • Zero, the Yandere villain of the eleventh movie, an assistant for an aborted project. After being abandoned by his mentor, obsession drives him to take reviving it a bit too far. And by "take it a bit too far" we mean "threatening anyone who stands in his way with poisonous gas or a giant robot".
    • Cyrus, leader of Team Galactic and Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Charon, official scientist of Team Galactic.
  • Inverted with Irie, from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. While he did do vivisections on people, and does act a bit "odd" toward Satoko, he's an honestly nice, smart father figure.
    • But played terribly straight with his boss, Miyo Takano, who was perfectly willing to kill the reported host of a Hate Plague to make an entire village suffer the said plague just to prove that her grandfather wasn't mad.
  • Dr. Mashirito of Doctor Slump.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler: Makimura Shiori seems to think that nursing robots need lots of missiles and rocket boosters. Unfortunately, most of her inventions either blow up or go berserk. In one episode, her boss asks her why all of her projects are complete failures. Her answer? "Um, not enough firepower?"
  • Love Hina: Kaolla Suu is Crazy Awesome in that she's always gotta build bigger and better mechas based on the flying turtle, Tama-chan. These also explode on a regular basis. She even lampshades it in one episode by saying that having your creations explode spectacularly just seems like something a Mad Scientist would do.
    • Note: Kaolla Suu's name follows the "Western" order; that is, her surname (or family name) is Suu, and her given name is Kaolla.
  • Hollow Fields is a manga about a school for mad scientists' children. The children get a classic education in things like making Steampunk killer robots, making hideous animal hybrids, poisonmaking, and many, many other subjects.
  • Dr. Schroeder from Darker Than Black is a nice old man, but, as a review put it, "just when you start thinking he's fairly normal, he goes on a slightly psycho, childish rampage".. He only wants to rid the Earth of the Alien Sky that shut all space programs down. The side effect he expects would be killing as many people as there are stars in the sky, literally. A problem not explored in series is that there's no way to test his project and ensure that in process the whole Earth will not suffer the same fate as all those vanished rockets, turn into one big Gate, etc. He is quite sure his theory will work out exactly as he expects, so What Could Possibly Go Wrong??
    • Dr. Etou from Shikkoku no Hana manga, on the other hand, is a grinning, stuttering and almost drooling specimen—when his superior snaps him out of rants by punching this doesn't even look like needless cruelty.
  • Yoshizumi-sensei of Zombie Loan. He started off as a reasonably sane college scientist, but when Caramelo of the ARRC turned him into a zombie, he snapped. He ends up merging with his "masterwork", the Phalanx, only to be killed by Sawatari.
  • Hanaukyo Maid Tai. Head maid of the Technology Department Ikuyo Suzuki sometimes becomes one of these. When she does so, her spectacles become Scary Shiny Glasses. In La Verité, her face usually gets distorted as well.
  • Rintaro Okabe (or Kyouma Houoin as he sometimes prefers to be called) of Steins;Gate is a self-proclaimed example, often prone to peals of Evil Laughter, bouts of paranoia, and referring to his inner circle of friends as lab members. Yet despite all of this, he can be surprisingly grounded at times, and realizes that he and his friends' dabbling in time travel and poking about a Government Conspiracy could land them in very hot water.
  • Rinichiro Hagire, from Deadman Wonderland. He found a way to overwrite people's memories with his own, so that his conscious could continue to live through another's body, completely under his control. He also started a macabre carnaval in his search for the strongest Deadman for his next "generation." Death was expected by the loser. At the time of the the Wretched Egg's birth, he was testing human immunity, searching for a way to improve it, and eventually created the Deadman, he is now trying to turn of the MGS so that Shiro can be at FULL POWER which caused a huge earthquake when she first awoke, submerging the entire city of Tokyo.
  • Doc from Texhnolyze, who doubles as a Hot Scientist. Putting aside her prosthetic limb fetish and her tendency to have sex with her patients, she also puts wheels on a rat for no reason other than her own apparent amusement.

Comic Books

  • Doctor Doom.
  • Spider-Man's Arch Enemy, Doctor Octopus.
  • The original incarnations of Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor. In the years since, he's also been a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a villainous politician.
  • The Mandarin is a Mad Scientist enemy of Iron Man. He spends his time inventing mind-controlling super-cancers that run around like a cross between the Blob and the Borg. Or inventing orbiting Hate Rays to destroy the world with madness.
  • Doctor Sivana and his family are similarly the archenemies of Captain Marvel and friends. He's a five-foot-tall gnome of a man with a chrome dome, huge Scary Shiny Glasses, and more often than not a white lab coat. His stated goals (in no particular order): To become Rightful Ruler of the Universe in fact as well as in name; to spread evil, cruelty, and nastiness throughout the cosmos; and to humiliate, discredit, and ultimately KILL CAPTAIN MARVEL! Heh heh heh heh!!! What, exactly, his incredibly attractive and affectionate late wife saw in him is a total enigma.
    • The original version of the character was actually a benevolent man who was ruined by being rejected by the scientific community for his ideas. When his wife died, he blamed the world and turned into the crackpot we love to hate. Note this was the Pre-Crisis origin, the current version seems to always have been mean.
  • A heroic Mad Scientist in The DCU is Doctor Magnus, creator of the Metal Men.
  • In the Marvel Universe, AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) are a terrorist organization of Mad Scientists, who wish to overthrow the world's governments and institute a technocracy.
  • The DCU comic 52 had a secret conspiracy who was kidnapping Mad Scientists, good and evil, for a nefarious goal.
  • The Ultra-Humanite (arguably comics' first supervillain) who actually transferred his brain from the standard baldie-in-a-labcoat mad scientist's body into that of a beautiful woman. He was only another Mad Scientist in the Golden Age comics, but in the series The Golden Age, he becomes the arch villain, but poses as a hero and gets the medal of honor. He saved Hitler's brain, too. And put it in an invincible super-body.
  • D.A. Sinclair of Invincible is easily one of the most sadistic mad scientists in fiction. He started making zombielike techno-organic minions, Re-Animen, from dead bodies, which is bad enough. But he eventually moved on to live subjects, kidnapping his roommate and tearing out his vocal cords so that he couldn't scream while he operated on him (D. A. is a college student, after all, and can't afford anesthetic). And he tore his arm off and overrode his free will. Then he started duplicating the process on homeless people. Naturally, the US Government saw to it that he served no jail time when he was caught, and gave him a cushy job making Re-Animen for military use.
  • Dr Mindbender from G.I. Joe is particularly mad. Cloner, Genetic Engineer, Robot designer and master of mind control and inventor of many of Cobra's bizarre superweapons. That he's bald, usually shirtless and has pecs like melons only enhances his image of insanity. He even installed mind control chips in several prominent Cobra members, and prepared for his own death by creating a clone backup. Oh, and before he became a mad scientist, he was a... benevolent orthodontist. Until his freak orthodontics accident (seriously).
  • Simon von Simon from Little Gloomy. He's got it all, from his powerful machinery, futuristic inventions (such as the television and the microwave. Before you say anything, he invented them before anyone else did), hunchbacked Halfhearted Henchman, to his seething rage for everybody but himself. Of course, the fact that his plans for world domination were motivated by Gloomy dumping him, and the fact that the series calls him on not marketing his fantastic creations to get on top in a less freaky way undermines his menace somewhat; This, in turn, is offset by his army of ravenous zombies.
  • Dr Scyk from the Danish comic-strip "Dr Merling".
  • Several villains in the Blake and Mortimer comics fall under this trope. The most notable being:
    • Wade/Jonathan Septimusin "The Yellow M"
    • Miloch Georgevich in "Sos Météores" and "Le Piege Diabolique"
    • Voronov in "La Machination Voronov". Who also ends up being something of a Karma Houdini.
  • In Y: The Last Man geneticist Dr Allison Mann claims she was illegally cloning a nephew who needed a bone transplant. She later admits this story was fictional to gain Agent 355's sympathy rather than be thought of as a 'mad scientist'; her actual motive was to spite her father who was nearing success in cloning the first human. After several red herrings we encounter the REAL mad scientist is in fact Allison's father, who was seeking to clone his daughter so he could be a better parent the next time round, yet who also sabotaged Allison's cloning experiment out of sheer spite and may have accidentally caused the plague that all but wiped out all males.
  • In addition to Dr. Robotnik/Eggman, the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic has Dr. Finitevus and Dimitri, both of whom work for the Dark Legion, a group who believe in self-augmentation with technology.
  • Hank Pym (a.k.a. Ant-Man a.k.a. Giant-Man a.k.a. Goliath a.k.a. Yellowjacket a.k.a. The Wasp). Just take for example his origin story:

Panel of Scientists: You should stick to practical projects.
Hank Pym: No! I'll work only on things that appeal to my imagination... like my latest invention.
Panel of Scientists: Oh... what's that?
Hank Pym: I won't tell you yet! You would only laugh at me as you've done before! But when I've finished it, I'll show you! Then you shall know I'm a greater scientist than any of you!

  • Marvel's High Evolutionary. The man built his own planet!
  • Mr. Freeze used to be one of these, with no real backstory, just the whole freezing schtick. Then came Batman: The Animated Series which gave him chillingly tragic backstory and motivation, turning him more into a villainous Woobie. This new version of the character was Retconned into the main DCU.
  • Barry Ween, the 10-year-old with a 4-digit IQ in the eponymous series The Adventures of Barry Ween. A representative quote: "Hey -- put that down! That's the controls to my weather satellite! You just flooded Norway!" [short pause] "Well... it's only Norway..."
  • Batman rogue, Scarecrow is an expert psychologist who creates fear gas that preys on the target's most deeply seeded phobias.
  • Krona (of JLA-Avengers fame) is a mad scientist from a species of humanoids who had discovered immortality and realized the potential of the mind's raw power well before Earth's solar system had formed. He was determined to unlock the secret of existence: How had the universe come into being? To this end, he created a "time window" that would allow him to peer at the moment of creation. Unfortunately, apparently the act of looking caused the creation to go awry, and instead of a single universe, a multiverse was formed. Unfortunately, this included one evil antimatter universe... and the seeds for the Crisis on Infinite Earths were sown. Krona was banished, but eventually was employed by Nekron (the Lord of the Unliving) and turned into the embodiment of entropy. As such, he gradually grew in power, until he reached a point where he vivisected entire universes in his restless quest for answers. He forcibly interrogated Galactus to find out what he knew. All in the name of science.
  • Professor Merson, an American scientist working for Germany, was the source of countless Nazi superweapons (including the War Wheel) in the 1982 Blackhawk revival.
    • It can be hard to tell -- Blackhawk seems to feature gadgetry unbelievably ludicrous enough to fall under mad science in every issue, and frequently right on the cover.
  • Dr Rot from the Insane in the Brain storyline of the Wolverine comic, quite literally a lunatic running an asylum, whose particular flavour of insane science is psychic machines made out of human brains. Adequately summed up by the following quote, while he flees Wolvie with a fresh brain in one hand and a handful of cables in the other:

"We Rottenwells, like to make our own way, yes we do. And all I need to make mine now is a paper clip, a cheese grater, a nine volt battery, a still-beating hummingbird heart, and the exhaust fan from a 1979 Chrysler LeBaron. Make way boys! Medical science is on the march here!"

    • Even better, he pulls it off. By the time Wolvie catches up with him, he's turned the brain into a psychic grenade that drives everyone else insane for thirty seconds so he can escape. He uses a slightly-different set of improvised components, sadly.
  • The Awesome Slapstick had Dr. Denton, Destroyer of Worlds, a five-year-old genius who built a giant robotic teddy bear.
  • There is a double subversion in Universal War One. The scientist who invented the wormhole is the only one to care about a possible Time Paradox, so he kills the fools who want to 'go home' even if it endanger the universe. However, when Kalish explains him there is no way to create a time paradox, the scientist becomes mad.
  • 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.
  • German comic Nick Knatterton once had professor bartap, who invents a shaving foam which is also a very effective explosive. Unintentionally. (Comedic version, definitely.)
  • Hugo Strange from Batman, of course, is an archetypal mad scientist. He's an expert in everything from chemistry and genetics to psychology, and uses it for evil.
  • Dr. Billy Joe Robidoux from Wynonna Earp. To quote Wynonna "He's a southern-fried gumbo of Dr. Josef Mengele, Dr. Frankenstein and runs a real-life version of The Island of Doctor Moreau."
  • The Military Doctor in Sturmtruppen: He believes to have discovered the Invisibility Elixir without getting insane, while his attendants point out that's actually the other way around. He also thought that a case of anemia was actually caused by a Vampire.
  • Baxter Stockman is this in every version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In the original comic, April describes him as "off in his own world". Animated adaptations portray him as typical of the Trope (1987 version) or more egotistical than truly "mad" (2003 version).


"I'm not a quack, I'm a mad scientist!"

  • 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.
  • Dr. Jumba Jookiba from Lilo and Stitch (although he prefers to be called an "Evil Genius").
  • Dr. Finklestein from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • Syndrome from The Incredibles. Created rocket boots before he hit puberty, as part of a youthful desire to become a crime-fighter. But when his hero told him to back off, he spent more than a decade plotting against all the heroes-in-hiding and picking them off. His ultimate goal was to sell his inventions for profit, after he grew bored of becoming a "superhero". His hair wasn't the only thing about him that was loco.
  • Most of the traditional image of the Mad Scientist probably derives from various adaptations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, especially the 1931 movie: "It's alive! IT'S ALIVE!" Note that the original book is wildly different—see below.
  • The 1931 Frankenstein's Monster and other horror films of the time also drew heavily for their portrayals of mad scientists on Rotwang in Fritz Lang's classic 1927 SF film Metropolis. Rotwang, in turn, draws on the Mad Scientist depictions of Frankenstein in nineteenth-century stage melodrama.
    • It's worth pointing out that Rotwang from Metropolis is not only the earlier Trope Maker, but was himself largely inspired by the popularity of the wild-haired, heavily accented Einstein and other "eccentric German physicists" at the time who were upending people's notions of the limits of science in an unsettling manner. They helped inspire the image of the Engineer Exploited For Evil who is obsessed with his research and doesn't really expect it to be misused.
  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Dr. Putrid T. Gangrene qualifies, what with his diabolical plans to conquer the world with giant killer tomatoes, tomatoes turned into people, people turned into tomatoes, etc., etc. Don't call him mad, though. HE IS NOT MAD. A little angry sometimes, but not mad!
  • The Back to The Future trilogy has Emmett L. Brown, who is a bit more cuddly than your average Mad Scientist. Then again, this is the man who stole weapons grade plutonium from Libyan terrorists and promised to build them a nuke (he lied).

Dr. Brown: They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn gave them a shoddy bomb-casing full of used pinball machine parts!

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: Dr. Caligari is a little bit of this and a little bit of Circus of Fear.
  • Day of the Dead (1985). Dr. Matthew Logan, nicknamed "Frankenstein" by the soldiers. He is so obsessed with his work he fails to consider how the soldiers will react to him cutting up their deceased comrades for his experiments.
  • The title character of Doctor Strangelove, or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb.
  • Vincent Price in Edward Scissorhands might just be the kindliest Mad Scientist ever. His second-most-impressive creation (after Edward) is a giant cookie-making machine. And he creates Edward with the expressed desire to see if it's possible to make an artificial being with human love. And then amuses both of them with silly poetry later. Aw!
  • The Woody Allen comedy Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask has a skit featuring Dr. Bernardo, a mad sex analyst whose experiments include measuring premature ejaculation on a hippopotamus and building a 400-foot diaphragm. ("Contraception for the entire nation at once!") The segment ends with Allen's character battling one of the doctor's creations—a gigantic, disembodied human breast.
  • Seth Brundle in the 1986 remake of The Fly, but he doesn't start out that way.
  • The original Godzilla had Dr. Daisuke Serizawa who invented the Oxygen Destroyer that ultimately kills Godzilla. Though, he isn't evil.
  • Dr. Shiragam from Godzilla vs. Biollante whose experimental fusion of Godzilla's DNA, Rose DNA, and the DNA of his deceased daughter ends up causing the creation of Biollante. He's not evil either, but he's certainly mad with grief over the loss of his daughter.
  • In Igor mad scientists are like rock stars, and one of the most well known is Dr Schadenfreude.
  • Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr in The Man With Two Brains eventually becomes one of these—or, rather, a parody of one:

German Detective: You're playing God!
Michael: Somebody's got to!

  • Dr. Frank N. Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, who is also a Villainous Crossdresser.
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles has Arthur Spiderwick.
  • Walter Kornbluth from Splash. He is also Butch Hartman's inspiration for the character of Mr Crocker on The Fairly OddParents.
  • The film Terror of Mechagodzilla has the character of Dr. Mafune who not only turns his own daughter into a cyborg, but he also invents a device that allows him to control the sea monster Titanosaurus.
  • The Doctor, a.k.a. Rex Lewis a.k.a. Cobra Commander takes the role of the mad scientist in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
  • Dr Totenkopf from Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow.
  • The Ghostbusters, especially Egon.
  • Dr Emilio Lizardo, a.k.a. Lord John Whorfin, in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension.
  • The Prestige gives you two for one. Nikola Tesla (played by David Bowie) builds a matter duplicator, which one of the two main protagonists (antagonists?) uses to perform an "impossible" magic trick. The scientist is mad (see Read Life below) and so is the magician who uses his device.
  • Dr. Nai of The Clones Of Bruce Lee may have been influenced by Thomas Edison (see Tom's entry below in Real Life); he's a mad scientist who actually just has other people do all the inventing for him, such as a vegetation-destroyer, while he wears a business suit and yells at his scientists to invent faster. For the curious, The Spoony Experiment did a review of this movie (you are unlikely to ever be able to find the original copy...).
  • Black Sheep‍'‍s Astrid Rush. Though ostensibly trying to create genetically enhanced sheep, she's rather happy to find an instance of a man turning into a weresheep. And there was that thing about leeches.
  • Krank in The City of Lost Children certainly counts. And he appears to be the creation of another mad scientist.
  • Dr. Rochelle in The Return of Swamp Thing, who is more interested in causing mutations than in researching the key to eternal life like his boss would want him to.
  • Not to forget Re-Animator and Dr Herbert West.
  • Dr. Arless Loveless in Wild Wild West.
  • Doctor Catheter in Gremlins 2, played to the hilt by Christopher Lee. Interestingly he subverts it later on when he rejects his experiments as immoral, and vows that he will not commit cruel genetic experiments on animals again.
  • Pauline from the independent film Excision.
  • The Mosquito Coast starring Harrison Ford is a non-Science Fiction example. Ford plays an engineer who specializes in refrigeration technology; only problem is, most people already have fridges and air conditioners. So he moves his whole family out to the jungle in the middle of nowhere and builds a giant refrigeration machine just so his talents will be better appreciated. This isn't enough to satisfy his budding megalomania, so he goes on a quest to show a block of ice to some reclusive tribals who have never seen it, presumably so everyone would ooh an ahh over it and him.
  • Since Forbidden Planet is Shakespeare's The Tempest In Space, the wizard Prospero is replaced by the (mad) scientist Dr. Morbius. He's discovered the relics of an ancient alien civilization, one of which boost his intelligence to far greater heights than those puny mortals around him could possibly comprehend, do you hear me! Wah ha ha ha ha!


  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, the Alchemists' Guild are also Magitek mad scientists. Inverted with the character of Jeremy Clockson, who has the detachment from reality and dangerous obsession of the typical Mad Scientist because (most of the time, and in a very specialised way) he's saner than normal people.
    • The Igors of the Discworld series. Though typically the assistants of a Mad Scientist, they're known to conduct their own experiments, such as growing noses with feet, and their own special version of "self improvement". Though to be fair, the Igors in general are remarkably Genre Savvy—they know their place in the chain, and how to react when that chain is shaken. In fact, the clan basically foists off the most "modern" variant of their clan upon the Night Watch in an attempt to cease the corruption: that is to say, Mr. "Noses with Feet". Similarly, in Carpe Jugulum, an Igor working for vampires revolts at their innovations and revives the old master—not so much reviving the Good Old Ways as the Moderately Less Odious Old Ways.
    • Making Money gives us Hubert Turvy, a mad economist. With a really, really Crazy Awesome laugh.
    • Bergholt Stuttley "Bloody Stupid" Johnson may qualify, aside from his architectural and landscaping mishaps he made a mail-sorter with a wheel that has pi as exactly 3, it started churning out mail from the future and alternate universes until the post master smashed it.
    • Leonard of Quirm isn't so much mad as unable to foresee the consequences of his inventions.
  • While the Mad Scientist might seem quintessentially modern, he's probably Older Than Steam. The inspiration for both Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein's Monster and the adaptations which distorted Frankenstein into a Mad Scientist came from a much older literary and popular tradition about Mad Alchemists, and their blasphemous, yet entertaining, obsessions with the creation of homunculi and the secrets of eternal life. The most well-known remnant of the old "Mad Alchemist" trope today is the Faust myth, and its literary adaptations in Marlowe's Doctor Faustus and Goethe's Faust.
    • An interesting fact is that the 1910 silent film Frankenstein features a scene of monster's creation that is highly relevant to an alchemical procedure of palingenesis (re-formation of a once-living organism from its ashes or from its severed parts by heating). No other film adaptation involves this trace.
  • Victor Frankenstein, as originally conceived in Mary Shelley's novel, was not quite a Mad Scientist. Although he sees himself as a descendant of Mad Alchemists, Shelley makes his character more rounded and his mental instability more subtly portrayed. However, within decades wildly popular nineteenth-century melodrama theatre adaptations recast him as a cackling Mad Alchemist.
  • Dr. Skiner, from Hells Children is a very fine example of this.
  • Not sure whether this belongs here or in Real Life. But Alfred Bester's The Men Who Murdered Mohammed, along with its protagonist Professor Henry Hassell of Unknown Univeristy, gives Ampere and Boltzman as examples of actual "mad professors".
  • The King of the Mountain in Enid Blyton's The Mountain of Adventure.
  • H.P. Lovecraft definitely had more than one Mad Scientist character.
    • The stories From Beyond, At the Mountains of Madness, The Dreams in the Witch House and The Shadow Out of Time spring to mind. While all of the above feature scientists, only the one in From Beyond is a genuine Mad Scientist. Though some of the others Go Mad from the Revelation, they never adapt Mad Scientist mannerisms, instead getting more realistic nervous breakdowns.
    • Herbert West, mentioned above in the Film of the Book (albeit updated to later in the 20th Century.)
  • Arthur Machen's The Inmost Light written in 1894 contains a rather horrific version of this trope.
    • There's one in The Great God Pan. While the novel seems desperate to make him slightly sympathetic, at least to a modern reader he comes off as a Complete Monster. Yeah, lets practice some experimental brain surgery with a teenaged girl completely infatuated with you, and clearly incapable of truly informed consent. What could go wrong?
  • Most of Doc Savage's foes are mad enough to the point that their death machines could not have been a large scale threat after retrieval and close examination by Doc. At least, that's what he says...
  • Sadistic pavlovian Ned Pointsman, one of the main villains in Gravity's Rainbow.
  • Dr. Impossible, of Soon I Will Be Invincible, suffers from "malign hypercognitive disorder". His mentor, Baron Ether, had the condition as well. Symptoms include not following safety protocols while working with high energy physics experiments, extreme long-term planning, robotic servants, death rays, extreme long-term planning, maniacal laughter, wondering why you just didn't get a normal job while powering up the death ray, and insomnia.
  • The villain of Hilari Bell's The Last Knight is a rare example of a mad scientist in a fantasy setting, performing dubiously ethical experiments in order to give magical powers to humans (as, in the story's universe, only plants and animals have magic).
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe introduce Qui'w Xux, an incredibly brilliant scientist who designed the laser for the Death Star, the World Destroyers, the Sun Crusher and a number of other dangerous creations. Unlike many others in this trope her extremely guarded upbringing (she was raised by Imperials in an oppressive cram school where the price for failure was your hometown being obliterated) has caused her to develop a very naive and innocent view of her creations, having been led to believe they were intended for industrial applications (the Death Star would blow up a massive asteroid which the World Destroyers would then be able to harvest for materials, etc.).
  • H. G. Wells' Dr. Moreau from The Island of Dr. Moreau. The title vivisectionist isn't as early as Frankenstein, but he played a major role in shaping the trope. He has Einstein Hair -- decades before Einstein. He had the Mad Scientist Laboratory—his island (and he likely brought tropical island laboratories into vogue). Cast out from society, with only one assistant? Oh, yes. He did it all For Science! but used extremely painful methods that would give any PETA representative nightmares. Turned on by his own creations? Of course. Several films adaptations even give him a beautiful daughter of his own creation. He also provided the beginnings of the Engineer Exploited For Evil—he never intended to get revenge on the other scientists who cast him out, and in his own mind he had noble purposes for his work; it's only his (possibly willful) ignorance of how torturous his methods are that makes him less than a sympathetic character.
  • Dr. Griffin from H. G. Wells' The Invisible Man. All the evidence suggests that he was not entirely stable to begin with; after he manages to turn himself permanently invisible, he becomes a murdering psychopath bent on domination who refers to himself as "Invisible Man the First".
  • In James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Red Fury, Caecus persists in his efforts to make replicae of Space Marines over his Chapter Master's overt disapproval. (His servant Fenn falls more under Old Retainer than The Igor, because he vocally disapproves of it all.)
  • Subverted to some extent in the George R.R. Martin-edited Wild Cards books. There are Mad Scientists a plenty, on both hero and villain sides. Or at least folks who have been infected with the wild card virus who are now determined to build androids, giant mecha suits and all manner of mad-sciencey devices. The kicker is that the inventions they create really are just piles of unworkable junk, and the particular power they have developed is the ability to make their crazy inventions work. Any attempt to analyze and reproduce the devices prove to be fruitless and show that there is no way they should function in the first place.
  • Professor Drummond from the Nick Carter short story "Nick Carter and the Professor" from 1902. This story appeared in the reprint anthology Nick Carter, Detective published in 1963 by the MacMillan Company, with an introduction by Robert Clurman. Drummond worked out of Malden, MA and had his underlings steal a body from Mount Auburn in Cambridge. Carter also faced Dr. Jack Quartz.
  • Most of the villains in the Maximum Ride series. Often hilariously overdone, as with ter Borcht, who is a thinly disguised Expy of Josef Mengele in personality, Arnold Schwarzenegger in appearance.
    • More of Arnold Schwarzenegger in voice/outrageous accent, since Max alludes to him being rather overweight.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's The Master Mind of Mars, Ras Thavas. Who actually makes his living selling his skills and doesn't care about the rest of the world.
    • In A Fighting Man of Mars, Phor Tak. Originally sane while making his inventions, but losing it after being maltreated and exiled by his jeddak. At first it appears to be Revenge, but in the end, he reveals he wants to Take Over the World.
  • Garfield Reeves-Stevens' novel Dark Matter features a mad scientist cum serial murderer who actually manages to endow himself with metahuman powers similar to Captain Atom, Doctor Solar, Firestorm, and Doctor Manhattan (in imitation of the latter, he even visits Mars).
  • Remo Williams has encountered mad scientists, for example Dr. Judith White, who mutated herself into tiger/homo sapien hybrid.
  • Dr. Jekyll of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starts out sane, except he thought it was a good idea to create a potion that would silence the superego and allow him to indulge in every vice imaginable without his pesky conscience getting in the way. This Is Your Brain on Evil ensues.
    • His original goal was to remove/eliminate outright his "evil" side (the id). Unfortunately, one of the ingredients—a "special salt"—wasn't pure enough, and the resulting cocktail only worked halfway.
  • In the Soviet science-fiction story Amphibian Man, the title character's adoptive father, Dr. Salvator gives him shark gills, extensive knowledge about Oceanology and other sciences... and none whatsoever about such pesky details like days of week. Salvator also gives a rather passionate speech toward the end of the book critizising Science Is Bad.
  • Middle-Earth:
    • Fëanor in The Silmarillion falls somewhere between this and Mad Artist. An extraordinarily gifted craftsman and scholar, he starts out rather paranoid and nasty (because of the death of his mother and remarriage of his father) and ends up completely unhinged after his father is killed and his finest works are stolen.
    • Saruman can also be viewed as this character type, what with his obsession with industry at the expense of the natural world. He is also something of a would-be Emperor Scientist; he would have become one had his whole Take Over the World plan gotten off the ground.
  • Crake from Oryx and Crake combines with Evilutionary Biologist
  • The Corsay Books have a wide variety, from Frankenstien-style reanimationists, to those dabbling in Alien Geometries, to specialists in disciplines that seem closer to magic. They are the main antagonists of the work, but generally portrayed as misguided and dangerous rather than evil.
  • The Phantom of the Opera: Subverted by Erik, the titular Phantom in the original book by Gaston Leroux: He built a Robotic Torture Device / Death Trap and a Deceptively Human Robot at the middle of the 17th century, but his tragedy, as the Narrator lampshades in the Epilogue, is that he is so ugly he could never become a sciencist, but rather a toyman or stage magician:

And he had to hide his genius or use it to play tricks with, when, with an ordinary face, he would have been one of the most distinguished of mankind!

  • The main character of The Chronicles of Professor Jack Baling is one of these. He doesn't start off as one, but by the end of the first episode, he resides firmly in this territory. There seem to be some other characters who are also Mad Scientists, but we haven't seen them in any great detail yet.
  • In John C. Wright's Count to a Trillion, Menelaus tries a very hypothetical and dangerous experiment on himself the first chance he can get.
  • In The Dresden Files's first novel Storm Front, the main antagonist has a whole factory producing a magically-laced drug. It's catalyzed by a ritual, fueled by sex.

Live-Action TV

  • Jha'Dur in the Babylon 5 episode "Deathwalker".
  • Beakman on Beakman's World had the outward appearance of one, but as this was an Edutainment Show, most of his science was pretty sound. Most of it.
  • Professor Maggie Walsh and Warren Mears on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • To be specific, Warren is an Ax Crazy robotics expert.
      • Actually, no. Warren is good at Magitek in general as well, provided someone else provides the magic. Hence the Trio's Freezeray and Invisibility gun.
    • Also, there were this pair of students from Buffy's high school that made their own version of Frankenstein. Yes, Maggie wasn't the only one to get the bright idea!
  • Sherlock Holmes from the BBC's Sherlock is constantly experimenting on something, including human body parts that he pilfered from the local morgue.
    • Poor Watson even finds a human head in the refrigerator one day.
    • And Detective Sally Donovan finds some human eyeballs in the microwave.
    • And Mrs. Hudson finds a bag of thumbs in the fridge.
  • Justin from Wizards of Waverly Place becomes this in "Franken Girl", due to Alex constantly breaking in his room.
  • John Lumic from the Doctor Who two-parter "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel". In addition to being an Evilutionary Biologist, he explicitly considers himself above law.
    • Doctor Who is filled with Mad Scientists, ranging from the slightly unhinged, endearing sort to the completely unrepentant, Omnicidal Maniacs. The best example is, of course, Davros, the creator of the Daleks, who easily conveyed just how twisted he was even without an Evil Laugh.
    • And the Rani!
    • A few other notable old series examples: Taren Capel, Professor Zaroff, Mehendri Solon, and arguably Light.
    • New series Mad Scientists include : The Doctor, Professor Yana, The Master, Professor Lazarus, Davros, The Scientist of the Aryan Daleks (that's what Steven Moffat called them - They're definitely Aryan - their theme tune is Hebrew!) and numerous alien and human antagonists. Nearly every week, there is a scientist on the show.
    • Earlier incarnations of The Doctor could fall into this trope. Ace bordered on it, especially with explosives and practical chemistry. Adric may possibly have landed here too had he lived.
  • Topher from Dollhouse and, even more so, Alpha.
    • Topher is more The Lab Rat with delusions of mad scientisthood.
      • Well, it's implied a lot of the tech both at the L.A. and possibly other Dollhouses are his invention, so he's probably earned a place here.
    • Bennett appears to be one of these, too, if the promo material is anything to go by.
  • Walter Bishop [dead link] of Fringe, most of whose nervous tics and general mental confusion disappeared about the same time he was released from the mental asylum (he claims that they were side effects of the drugs he was taking). Of course, he's still a "fringe scientist", which means he's focused on things like teleportation, astral projection, reanimation, and diseases-that-turn-skin-and-muscle-tissue-translucent.
    • Disappeared? What show were you watching?
      • Possibly one with an alternate-dimension version of Walter who doesn't dose caterpillars with LSD, wander around the lab with a cow, express a desire to own a two-headed goat and actually say They Called Me Mad.
      • They met one of those, Walternate, he's a Complete Monster.
    • Actually, Walter operates under the influence of up to a half-dozen home-brewed mind-altering substances of his own design. So if he seems less twitchy at any given time, it is because he is taking much better drugs than the generic crap he received in the mental asylum.
    • Interestingly, Walter's madness isn't confined to the crazy ideas he comes up with in his lab. It's also clear he just can't cope with everyday life without Peter (or Astrid) to take care of him and that he suffers as a result.
    • Except for the insanity part, most of the scientists on the show qualify.
  • Dr. Yes and others on Get Smart.
  • Heroes, Volume 3 Mohinder Suresh crosses this line when the Super Serum he's injected himself with causes him to become increasingly unstable as the season progresses.
  • Daniel Faraday on Lost, especially the "scatterbrained" part.
  • Dr. Clayton Forrester on Mystery Science Theater 3000; his mother later takes up the role.
    • Joel also qualifies to some degree. He built smart robots out of ordinary spaceship parts, and his invention exchange concepts are a little... odd.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a woman known to many as the Destroyer of Worlds for her twisted experiments with genetics and chemistry.
    • The Ancients were essentially a race of Mad Scientists. Exceptional mention goes to Janus and that guy who made the Ark of Truth.
      • Janus is known for not one but two crazy inventions: a time travel device (two of them) and a device that destabilizes hyperspace in such a way as to destroy any Wraith ship that attempts to jump to FTL. Of course, the latter (called the Attero device) has a slight side effect. That being the destruction of any Pegasus stargate that is opened with a huge explosion.
      • And what does he do once he realizes what the Attero device does? He shuts it down and leaves it intact in his lab.
  • Degra, Dr. Crell Moset, Dr. Chaotica and numerous other specimens can be spotted on every incarnation of Star Trek.
  • Dr. Miguelito Loveless, The Wild Wild West.
  • Comic Book Evil, of the sort perpetrated by Mad Scientists, is the reason The Middleman organization exists.
  • Phil and Lem from Better Off Ted took years to notice that "everything we do here is evil". And by extension, every scientist who works at Veridian Dynamics.
    • Unusually for mad scientists they do stick to something close to proper scientific procedure.
  • For their TV show, the Japanese band Arashi spent a great deal of time coming up with such stellar experiments as "How far can you sail a boat made of hay?", "Will wasabi still taste spicy if you hold your nose while eating it?" and "What happens if we have a hurdle race whilst wearing binoculars?" Unsurprisingly these all tended to backfire on them.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Gaius Baltar is something of a deconstruction as his madness may or may not be messages from the gods, messages that ultimately give the key to finding Earth.
  • Obviously, the title character in the Farscape episode "DNA Mad Scientist".
  • Played with in the Dr. Death sketch on That Mitchell and Webb Look. Dr. Death is closely modelled on a German scientist immigrant (see Real Life below) who has been working in secret on technology to help America win the war. Parodied in that his first invention is a laser, a.k.a. Death Ray, that's used to... scan the barcode on a can of beans, and he's disgusted when the president wants his creation used for destruction. Later played straight when Dr. Death unveils his Death Scorpion (with a gatling gun to dispense helpful bullets) and he also tries to destroy it when it's to be used for the war effort.

Dr. Death: NOOOOO! (seizes hammer)
President: Professor!
Dr: Death: (shouting over hammer blows) Forgive me, Mr. President, but I created the Laser-Fitted Armored Scorpion of Death to help mankind, not to destroy!

  • In the Supernatural episode Time Is on My Side, the brothers encounter Doc Benton, a Mad Scientist who has used Mad Science to make himself immortal, but often needs to kidnap people and steal their organs when his old ones wear out.
  • The Syfy show Eureka, where the town's population is made up almost entirely of geniuses and scientists. The plots usually involve various degrees of scientific reality, from Real World, past theoretical, over possible but impractical, all the way to you gotta be kidding me.[1]
    • Some problems (of planet-destroying proportions) are caused by a student's science experiment gone out of control. Suffice it to say that you gotta be careful when you ask a student to build a working model of the Solar system, unless you want a giant fusion fireball in the sky that won't go out.
  • Dr. Boris Balinkoff in the Gilligan's Island episode "The Friendly Physician", who performs mind-transfer experiments on the castaways.
    • He also appeared in "Ring Around Gilligan", where he was testing his mind-control rings on the castaways.
  • The MythBusters come damn close at times.
    • Tory in particular has his Mad Scientist moments when building the more bizare props. Like a human sized dummy made from sewn together pieces of pork.
  • Omaro Cantu from the show Future Food has some Mad Scientist overtones.


  • Dr. 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 whom his deformed assistant had kidnapped for him to woo.

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?

  • 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...

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

  • The mythical Greek inventor Daedalus may be regarded as the first Mad Scientist.
  • 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 literally 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.

Puppet Shows

  • 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.

Tabletop Games

  • These are your player characters in Mortasheen, and also the source of most of the bizzare stuff in the setting.
  • Mage: The Ascension gameline had the "Sons of Ether", a "Tradition" of technomantic mad scientists who see their magick as the ultimate form of True Science. Virtual Adepts and Iteration X also fit this mold.
  • The fan made Genius: The Transgression, which is all about Mad Scientists so crazy that they can create stuff that bends the laws of physics.
    • The Catalysts of Geniuses even relate to five mad scientist stereotypes and quotes:
      • Grimm; anger and vengeance: "You will pay for what you've done."
      • Hoffnung; vision and hope: "We won't have these problems when I Take Over the World!"
      • Klagen; loss and sorrow: "No, you fools! You'll doom us all!"
      • Neid; banishment and jealousy: "They scoffed at me, they laughed at me, They Called Me Mad!"
      • Staunen; curiosity and amazement: "Oh, the things I have seen..."
  • Promethean: The Created eventually reveals that most Demiurges are this; overwhelmed by the force of the Divine Fire, they decide it's a perfectly logical course of action to make something new out of a corpse or parts of corpses.
  • Fabius Bile of Warhammer 40,000. His lab coat is made out of human flesh. That about sums up his state of mind.
    • Magnus the Red, Daemon Primarch of the Thousand Sons, arguably qualifies for this trope, though he's more of a mad wizard. He's got the reckless pursuit of knowledge, megalomania, production of the odd superweapon, and lead an entire legion of super soldiers into daemonic corruption.
    • Every Mekboy ever. When they aren't building big stompy idols of Gork and Mork, they're building chaotic field artillery or welding big guns onto bigger guns.
    • The Adeptus Mechanicus tend to get like this as you get further up the chain of command, especially with Masters of the Forge- part Space Marine, part Techno Wizard, all trouble.
  • In the Warhammer Fantasy Battle universe, pretty much any Skaven from Clans Skyre, Moulder or Pestilens. They nicely cover all three of the main Mad Scientist archetypes: Moulder are the Frankenstein types, stitching together psychotic, uh, things to make even bigger psychotic things. Pestilens are the disease merchants, mixing together various toxic goops with the eventual goal of making the perfect plague to unleash on the Overworld. Skyre are the engineers, making Warpstone shooting gatling guns, cannons that fire green lasers, and giant armoured hamster wheels that throw off green lightning indiscriminately. These three clans then sell their services to all the myriad Warlord ("normal") clans, to aid them in their conquests. For the record, the other "technologically advanced" races have only just invented gunpowder, and most are still on bows and arrows.
    • Although the Dwarfs do have this weird steam-powered gyrocopter. But Dwarfs tend towards sane engineering, in that they have this really conservative engineering guild keeping them from going Skaven. While you do get the occasional young maverick, most of those tend to stop being mavericks as soon as they lose their first limb to an explosion.
      • Actually, it's pretty much standard for aspiring Dwarf engineers to get kicked out of the guild when they try to invent something new, usually join the human guild for a while until they refine their prototype to something more reliable and trustworthy. Dwarfs like to maintain their reputation for machines that run like a Swiss watch.
  • The Demon Prince Vapula from In Nomine. He... stands out a bit from the more traditional Demon Princes.
  • Mad Science is an arcane background, and the Mad Scientist a standard character archetype, in Deadlands. It's caused by demons whispering secrets of future technology into the ears of promising inventors, which is as good a reason as any to go insane, I guess.
    • Its sequel, Hell on Earth, is set in a future where Mad Science brought about the Apocalypse How. As a result ( this was the ultimate goal of the demons who caused mad science in the first place, so they stopped 'helping' when it was achieved), traditional mad science stopped working, and was replaced with techno-shamanism and a more Anvilicious source of insanity: "gun spirits".
      • That's not entirely accurate. While the creation of new Mad Science devices is impossible, those already constructed still work as long as they are kept in good repair. This is why Dr. Hellstrom is still stomping around: He keeps his automaton body well maintained.
  • Most Dungeons & Dragons settings don't have much scientists of any sort, but when you find one in a highly magical world, chances for an obsessive dedication raise:
    • Greyhawk got some pretty crazy mechanical and semi-magical Schizo-Tech made by humans and gnomes alike, the craziest of which—along with wacky stories of the inventors—was collected in 'The Book of Wondrous Inventions' Sourcebook (once trampled by Something Awful). Most of it hardly have a place in a sane game, but is sort of funny—that is, as long as The Loonie in your party didn't saw it too.
    • It's up to Ravenloft to take up slack for the others on this trope. Being a "Gothic horror" game-setting, it does so in spades, with golem-crafters (Victor Mordenheim, Emil Bollenbach), Biological Mashup-makers (Frantisek Markov, Vjorn Horstman), Mind-Raping psychiatrists (Daclaud Heinforth, Celeste d'Honaire-Levode), and Woobie-ish crackpots trying to reconstruct their dead loved ones (too many to list). And that's not counting all the cackling weirdos who'd more properly be classified as Mad Necromancers.
    • Dragonlance got tinker gnomes, and Spelljammer imported some as they spread from Krynn in their insane space sidewheelers. The creators of such creatures as the giant space hamster, the carnivorous giant space hamster, the fire-breathing phase doppelganger giant space hamster or the miniature giant space hamster. And Al-mi'raj ("experiment 72"), known for non-tinkergnomes as "Blink bunny". They tend to build overcomplicated contraptions prone to slapstick malfunction.
    • Forgotten Realms has Lantan, the land full of followers of Gond, the patron of invention. A good example is Tinkersdam of Gond, alchemist who after far too many accidents involving explosions was exiled from several cities and ended up in a cave in Tethyr. He made high explosives just for fun, and directed charges at that... but sucked at making time-fuses. Also made pre-ordered weird stuff, like a mask that allowed a sleeping half-elf to pose as an elf in reverie because it did flawlessly fit over his client's face and has quite convincing open and blinking eyes (no magic). He also got some sort of hyper-awareness in his lab—not only never knocked over anything by accident, but didn't even let a kettle he didn't see to boil out. Which may be the main reason why he lived that long. Another example is Nadul DaRoni, gnomish DaVinci Expy whose ads appeared in Aurora's Catalogue with a comment "Madman, perhaps; genius, perhaps; annoying, most definitely".
    • I13 Adventure Pack I, adventure "The Circus of Gandolfo". Gandolfo experiments with bringing dead bodies and body parts to life.
    • 3.5 includes a variety of classes or prestige classes that play this straight, mix this with mad wizardry, or are a stand alone mad wizard.
  • Exalted is a playground for some of these. Combine the sorcerer-engineer castes, such as the Twilights, with the Great Curse, and every so often you'll get things like the Beasts of Resplendent Liquid.
    • And then we have their Green Sun Prince counterparts, the Defilers. Mad Science is practically a divine domain of their patron, and they combine it with Psychic Powers. Their Abyssal versions, the Daybreaks, tend to fit under here if they're nice.
  • Pathfinder has the Alchemist class, bomb-chucking, drug-swilling expies of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde, Herbert West, and Doctor Moreau.
  • A good amount of the masters from My Life with Master.
  • Magic: The Gathering features Niv-Mizzet, leader of the red/blue Izzet faction in the Ravnica block. Combines the raw power, volatility, and vanity of a dragon with the intelligence and madness of a Mad Scientist.
    • There have been many Mad Scientists throughout the game, including Momir Vig from the same arc, Yawgmoth (before he got worse), Gatha, and Urza, a rare example of a sympathetic Mad Scientist.
    • While not a legendary character, Innistrad adds Laboratory Maniac to the long line of mad scientists in Magic. He perhaps 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.
  • The GURPS setting Illuminati University actually has a department of mad science!

Theme Parks


  • 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.

Video Games

  • Advance Wars had Lash, a girl genius version of the mad scientist. The reboot Days of Ruin has Caulder/Stolos, probably the most extreme mad scientist ever. Among his creations are the games equivalent to nukes, a giant bomber, cloned humans intended to be used as Super Commanders, and most of all, a virus that kills its host by growing flowers all over it's body. He also loves to manipulate people into fighting each other just so he can observe them and views humans as little more than test subjects... Including himself.
    • I would like to point out that he doesn't think that the flower virus is deadly enough, so he UPGRADES it to kill EVERYONE (rather than just adults, which is what the first version did). Also, 'Giant Bomber' means a plane so large that two armies can fight on one wing, and each bomb can destroy thirteen buildings in one explosion. Guy is a genius. Completely insane nutcase, but still a genius.
  • Klungo from the Banjo-Kazooie games. He's responsible for Gruntilda's Beauty-Stealing Machine and in Grunty's Revenge is hinted that he also created Grunty's monster army. Unique in the fact he also happens to be the The Igor.
  • The Big Bad of Battle Golfer Yui is the leader of Black Hazard. He's responsible for turning skilled golfers into Battle Golfers, powerful brainwashed cyborgs under his control.
  • Dr. Suchong from Bioshock is the sinister and detached version, the warped genius behind much ADAM research, including several plasmids, the Little Sisters, and the Big Daddies.
    • Not to mention the fact that he was the linchpin behind virtually everything that went wrong in Rapture, including the protagonist himself—but, at least, he died an ironic death...
  • Busuzima from Bloody Roar went so far as to freakishly mutate his co-worker Stun to steal his research. Starting as a child who wanted to create a creature that would never die, he's fallen to become a Jerkass who would sacrifice anybody for money and power. He can also turn into a chameleon and fight quite well, but (unusually for his occupation) that's a natural part of him.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops had three: Dragovich... Kravchenko... Steiner.
  • City of Heroes and City of Villains have several of these, not including player character concepts: Dr. Aeon is the foremost example, tapping the energy of a slumbering demon in order to power his city. There's also Vernon von Grun, a Mad Scientist-In-Training Lab Assistant.
    • The Clockwork King thinks that he's a Mad Scientist, but he's actually an extremely powerful psychic whose creations work because he believes they do.
      • Brutally expanded on in a high level story arc, where an alternate universe version of the Clockwork King has realised his own sanity, and focused enough to conquer the entire planet and kill everyone on it.
    • And there's Dr. Vahzilok, obsessed with conquering death, with fairly typical results.
    • The Council, of which all of The Center's generals are mad scientists (SIX of them!). The lower ranks of the Council are filled with their creations.
    • It's mentioned at least once that Arachnos (the Big Bad Organization ruling the isles in which the game takes place), intentionally trains and recruits mad scientists, in order to stay ahead of the mad science game, ensuring their dominance above lesser criminal organizations.
    • The Hamidon is the result of a very, very insane ecoterrorist using science and black magic to turn himself into a giant amoeba that threatens to devour the entire earth. The Hamidon is responsible for spawning the faction known as the Devouring Earth.
  • The Doctor from Cave Story shows traits of this trope as well.
  • Chrono Trigger's Lucca is a rare heroic example.
  • Every single villain in the Crash Bandicoot franchise is either a mad scientist (usually with a first name starting with the letter N, which lends itself to Punny Names such as Neo Cortex (the usual megalomaniac Big Bad), N.Gin (the Yes-Man and more recently, The Igor), Nitrus Brio (a chuckling Frankenstein-like midget), N.Tropy, N.Oxide and N.Trance) or a hideously mutated anthropomorphic animal created by said mad scientists.
  • Dr. Nefarious from Ratchet and Clank.
  • Doctor! Gregor! Hoffman!
  • Mao in Disgaea 3. Despite being the main character, Mao is quite possibly the archetypal mad scientist. Thoughts of experimentation on interesting subjects send him into an excited fit, even if the subject turns out to be himself. The main story ends with Mao capturing and continually experimenting on the Big Bad, instead of killing him.
  • Dead Space has two, one good, the other...not so much.
    • The first one, Terrance Kyne, while he's gone a bit batty after being thrust into the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse, and has a habit of talking to his late wife (although that's not a sign of mental illness, it's a manifestation of the Marker), he's an OK sort who just wants to help Issac.
    • The other is Mercer, who will do absolutely nothing to endear you to him.
  • Bob Page from Deus Ex certainly fits this trope. Hell, the man has built entire multi-national conglomerates dedicated to such "grey area" pursuits as transgenics, bioweapons, espionage, nanotechnology, and cybernetics; all as part of a Xanatos Gambit to rule the world.
    • Bob Page also employs plenty of other scientists, some of whom are completely ignorant about what they're doing, some of whom were captured and forced to work and some of whom are just completely without morals.
  • Dr. Neurosis in Brain Dead 13, who plays out every Mad Scientist trope in the book.
  • At least three Devil May Cry villains have been scientists researching, experimenting on and trying to create demons—Arius in Devil May Cry 2, Agnus in Devil May Cry 4 and Chen from the second novel. It's debatable as to how "scientific" this line of work is, though, so we could call them Mad Pseudoscientists or something.
  • K.Rool from Donkey Kong Country takes a persona based on this trope in Dixie's Double Trouble.
  • Professor Monkey-for-a-Head from the Earthworm Jim games. "Don't make the monkey mad, son!"
  • The Master from Fallout, who beneath a calm, arrogant exterior topped by the reasoning of a Well-Intentioned Extremist exhibited a multiple personality disorder and overall emotional frailty.
    • The Fallout 3 DLC Point Lookout gives us Professor Calvert, a Brain In a Jar with a robot filled underground base whose goal is to turn all of Point Lookout's inhabitants into his mind controlled slaves.
    • The Fallout: New Vegas DLC Old World Blues has the Think Tanks, Pre-War scientists who chose to make themselves floating Brains In Jars whose stated goal is literally For Science!. It also doesn't help that they do a lot of drugs on their own free time.
  • Final Fantasy IV gives us Dr. Lugae, one of Rubicante's servants. He gleefully turned Edge's parents into hideous monsters, and when the party confronts him attacks them with a giant robot named Barnabas before turning into a mechanical skeleton to continue the fray. When the heroes finally reach Rubicante, he actually apologizes for Lugae's actions.

Rubicante: It was Lugae who made chimaerae of your parents. I shared no hand in his perversities. They shame me, as they grieve you.

  • Hojo from Final Fantasy VII is truly an archetypal Mad Scientist, right down to his outfit and sociopathic habit of sacrificing a great deal for the sake of scientific discovery (which, in his case, underlies his utter insanity). When you get down to it, Hojo may very well be the leading villain in the game, considering that most of the conflict in the game is indirectly his fault.
    • Cid, one of the trademark characters of the Final Fantasy series, is sometimes portrayed in this light. Examples are in Final Fantasy VI, where, despite working for The Empire, he is a sympathetic character, and in Final Fantasy XII, where he is a main villain and fits this trope to a T (although in that game, he could also qualify as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, seeing how the real bad guys were the pantheon he was fighting against).
    • On that note, Kefka Palazzo may qualify as one from Final Fantasy VI, seeing how it was heavily implied that Kefka's the one who invented Terra's Slave Crown.
  • Dr. Curien in the House of the Dead series. The third game has little cutscenes that chronicle his transformation from "scientist-trying-to-find-cure-for-sick-son" to "zombie-obsessed-psycho."
  • Impossible Mission: Two words: Elvin Atombender.
  • The first six members of Organisation XIII in Kingdom Hearts II were originally assistants to Ansem the Wise and his research on the Heartless. Vexen keeps up his research.
    • Arguably, Xehanort from Birth by Sleep is also one. He tries to restart a war that destroyed all worlds. FOR SCIENCE!!!!
    • And Braig, Dilan, Aeleus, and Ienzo either, considering what happened when they went just a liiiiiittle too far trying to make sense of Darkness in the heart...
  • Doctor Fred Edison from the PC game Maniac Mansion, its sequel Day of the Tentacle, and the television program arguably based on them. Granted, his desire to take over the world and generally be evil was planted in his head by a purple meteor, but as the sequel shows, even when he's not being controlled, Fred is still a very whacked-out and amoral scientist.
    • The second game's problems stem from a machine built by the Doc whose only purpose is generating massive amounts of toxic waste. Why? Because the other mad scientists were making fun of him for his inventions being too environment-friendly. That must've been after he dismantled his nuclear reactor chilled by a swimming pool.
  • Dr. Albert Wily from the Mega Man series; arguably, the heroic Dr. Light as well.
    • Wily's so nuts, some of his own creations are mad scientists, too; most notably, Gravity Man, whose data card quote is taken from Galileo.
    • Dr. Light's status as a Mad Scientist (knowingly) is further hinted with his hard work on Mega Man X along with his add-on compartments in his final year.
    • Mega Man X gives us Serges (who is speculated to be connected to Wily), Dr. Doppler (although he didn't really have a choice...), Gate (see Doopler).
    • We also have Dr. Weil from the Zero series, Master Albert from the Mega Man ZX series, as well as Wily and Regal from the Battle Network series, and Vega and King from the Star Force series. In fact, it seems most Mega Man villains are mad scientists. How else would they get all those robots, if not building them?
  • Any and every scientist working for Umbrella in the Resident Evil series is virtually guaranteed to be a Mad Scientist. The majority of the games in the franchise have also had a batshit insane researcher as the Big Bad:
  • Guildernstern from the Onimusha series of videogames, and his successor in the fourth installment Rosencrantz (see a pattern here?), both qualify as mad scientists. Guildenstern can't help but experiment with demon and human anatomy to come up with truly horrifying monsters for the protagonist to face. Even in the second game where he is never seen, he is mentioned in many in-game texts as the reason your character has to go through such hell with biomechanical demonic constructs plaguing him at every other turn.
  • In Psychonauts, the villain Dr. Loboto has all the trappings of a mad scientist, while using the style of his doubtless-failed career in dentistry.
    • Sasha Nein is a rare good example.

Sasha: Now, just relax. You won't feel a thing. Unless something really very bad happens.

  • Ewei/Wei Queyin from Romancing SaGa is a solid example. He does not have a lab assistant, however, but does have a Cosmic Keystone.
    • Also, Word of God states that he experimented on himself, infusing monster cells into his own, extending his own lifespan, however he is still mortal regardless.
  • Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. He has a recorded IQ of 300 and an almost admirable level of persistence. He is, however, entirely sane, relatively speaking.
    • Also Eggman's grandfather, Gerald Robotnik, brilliant scientist who designed a working orbital space colony and dabbled with artificial life forms among other things. He was driven insane after his granddaughter was killed by G.U.N.. The depths of his hatred for the world and his desire to destroy it shocked even Eggman himself.
  • Andross in Star FOX, who employed several bio-weapons (as in, lifeforms created as weapons) in Star FOX 64 and Command. The later however somewhat redeems his actions by revealing that he had been working on a device that would terraform the aptly named planet Venom into a more inhabitable one. Which just happens to be the perfect counter to the new threat, which come from the acidic oceans of the planet.
    • It should be noted, however, that the same game also hints that he was the one who created the new threat in the first place in the Good Bye Fox scenario.
  • Lemon Browning from Super Robot Wars. While not really 100% evil, she did conduct very mad researches that borders on playing God, such as the premise of W Numbers, which is to create an Artificial Human that is as perfect as possible compared to usual humans. She's also sort of the Evil Twin of Excellen Browning.
    • Also from Super Robot Wars, Aguila Setme and Egret Fehu. Both pretty much are similar to Lemon, except she at least had human decency and Alas, Poor Villain. Aguila mind fucks CHILDREN and turns them in living weapons, and figures any psychological scarring her sick experiments inflict can simply be removed with more brainwashing, or retained in some form if it make them fight even better. Egret builds Artifical Human Machinery Children, who basically agree with his belief Humans Are the Real Monsters (not to mention we suck from a biological standpoint), and is willing to kill all of humanity to achieve his end goals.
    • Kenzo Kobayashi was one of these (still is to an extent), but performed a Heel Face Turn in Original Generation (officially, was doing so slowly anyway after he developed a conscience prior)
    • Let's not forget Dr. Bian Zoldark. Initiates research on alien technology and starts a war to get the Earth prepared for alien invasion. Where's the mad part in that? He made Valsione for his daughter.
  • The Tales (series) has a few of these.
  • Dr. Muto's title character is a protagonist example: his machine accidentally destroyed his own planet and he spends the game trying to collect the MacGuffins required to rebuild everything, aided by the fact that he can transform into various creatures to progress.
  • The Medic and The Engineer of Team Fortress 2. The former is a German Deadly Doctor who heals out of convenience rather than anything resembling altruism, while the Engineer is a Texan holder of numerous degrees Gadgeteer Genius who has a great Evil Laugh.
    • In the Medic's case, Mad Scientists run in his family.
    • The Engineer is something of a subversion. Evil Laugh aside, he's probably the sanest character in the game.
      • Aaaaand that's now gone straight out the window, with the engineer cutting off his own hand to replace it with a robotic one that deploys mini-sentries. Or possibly he always had a robot hand, and just hid it beneath his glove all this time.
      • Still the nicest, most down-to-earth guy on his team. Really.
    • The Medic now shows further mad science in this video [1] [dead link].

Heavy: Doctor, are you sure this will work?
Medic: (Evil Laugh) I have no idea!

  • Thief II: The Metal Age features Father Karras of the Mechanists. He's mentioned in the first game as the fellow responsible for Garrett's replacement ocular, but by the second installment, he's gone completely 'round the bend and is cheerfully intent on bringing about The End of the World as We Know It. Among his achievements are the successful invention of robots, cameras, voice recordings, and motion-sensing automatic cannons in a vaguely Medieval Steampunk setting, along with horrific cyborgs that constantly weep in agony and beg for death. He also has a preoccupation with Garrett...
  • Dr. Kranken from Viewtiful Joe 2 fits the trope (like everything else in the games) to a stereotypical T.
  • Professor Emma from Wild ARMs 1 has shades of this, most notably when she led the team to a secret underground base that none of your teammates knew anything about, although the team spellcaster is the princess of the town it's built under.

Hanpan: There you go again, with another crazy idea... Isn't this illegal?
Jack: Someone stop this crazy professor...
Emma: I wasn't sure what I was getting into, so I didn't bother getting a permit.

  • Xenogears has arguable Big Bad Krelian, for whom everyone on the planet is a test subject, and, on the heroic side, the decidedly eccentric Dr. Citan Uzuki. His eccentricity is partially Obfuscating Stupidity, as he's actually a spy. A very intelligent spy.
  • Xenosaga goes its predecessor one better, giving us an only slightly mad Strangelove Expy in Sellers, the classic obsessive type with pretensions of chessmastery in Dimitri Yuriev, and the tragic and misunderstood type in Joachim Mizrahi. Mizrahi gets extra points for falling to his death while reciting Scripture at the top of his voice.
  • Tales of Monkey Island features the foppish French (or faux-French) doctor, the Marquis De Singe. (Pronounced by some of the characters like the English word meaning "burn", but "singe" is also French for monkey.) At one point Guybrush asks him why he would build a lightning machine powered by voles and he exclaims, "Science!"
  • Professor Von Kriplespac (More commonly known simply as "The Professor") from Conker's Bad Fur Day qualifies. He created anti-gravity chocolate and an entire army of evil teddy bears, and thought that a squirrel would be a good table leg replacement.
  • One of the main player archetypes in Dwarf Fortress. The kind who builds a 30-storey engine of destruction just so he can have a million streams of magma pouring down onto hapless goblin invaders at once, or constructs a gargantuan bridge just to find out how far you can throw a goblin.
  • In Monster Lab, the player is an apprentice Mad Scientist.
  • In the first Borderlands DLC, Dr. Ned is a mad scientist played for laughs.
  • In the Dragon Age Origins "Warden's Keep" DLC, the Blood Mage Grey Warden Avernus is a Mad Scientist mage. His research into Blood Magic, demonic lore, and the Darkspawn taint is ghastly but has yielded useful results: the Power of Blood talents your character can obtain in the DLC and the means to prolong one's life and halt the Darkspawn taint through Blood Magic. However, if you give him half a chance, Avernus will admit that he made serious mistakes and asks for a chance to undo the damage he caused. He will even quietly accept execution afterwards.
    • Also Caradin from original campaign may count, albeit when PCs meet him, he is more The Atoner than anything else.
    • Branka from the original campaign is a truly horrifying example. Her attempt to recreate the lost art of creating golems by finding the Anvil of the Void led her to abandon her entire family and her lover to a Fate Worse Than Death deliberately so that she could get past the traps guarding the Anvil with an endless supply of darkspawn birthed by the Broodmothers her female relatives had become.
    • From the sequel, Merill seems to have taken up the mantle of "Mad Mage dabbling in Blood Magic". Unlike Avernus and other "good" blood mages before her, her willingness to accept that she may be making big mistakes is not all there...
    • In Awakening, the Architect has several elements of this trope.
  • Faust from Guilty Gear before and after his Heel Face Turn, although after he's more like a wild, mad, but generous Heroic Sociopath.
  • The Elder Scrolls has several, but Relmyna of Shivering Isles stands out in particular. Obsessed with the power of flesh (no, really), she enjoys creating twisted monstrosities such as Flesh Atronarchs and the Gatekeeper, and considers them her "children". She also conducts some grisly experiments on the concepts of pain and suffering. Oh, and she's on your side.
  • World of Warcraft has two Wrath of the Lich King, both undead. Grand Apothecary Putress of the Forsaken performs unholy experiments to create a new Plague to destroy both the undead Scourge and all life in general. Professor Putricide of the Scourge (an obvious parody of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama) tries to do...basically the same thing, but without the 'destroy the Scourge' part. He also fits the trope better for having a Laboratory of Alchemical Horrors and Fun, as well as being the implied creator of most all of the abominations and similar the players have fought since arguably original WoW.
  • In Prototype, the Mad Scientist behind the outbreak of the Blacklight virus is Alex Mercer. He wanted to take the original virus and develop it into an even deadlier form. Unfortunately for New York City, he succeeds, brags about his achievement, and then goes and releases it in Penn Station. The player-controlled protagonist character is actually the sentient result, who has assumed Mercer's identity as its Shapeshifter Default Form.
  • Mass Effect 2s Mordin Solus may qualify, although he's more eccentric than outright mad. He's a Salarian doctor who was formerly a member of a special forces squad, then ran a clinic where he cured an entire population of a devastating plague while personally shooting attacking mercenaries in the head, both of which he sees as a public service. He also seems to have a taste for Gilbert & Sullivan.
    • He also keeps up a set of ethics and principles that he refuses to break, notably despising the idea of Playing with Syringes and experiments that lead to more suffering than necessary. In the end, he believes in saving lives, even through questionable means.
    • A better example is Daro'Xen; a Quarian who believes the Geth should be put back under the control of the Quarians, regardless of how much Heel Face Brainwashing it takes. In fact... especially if it involves those. She casually mentions that she performed surgery on her toys as a kid, and the Geth are no different. Tali calls her insane to her face right after.
    • Halfway between them both may fall Tali's father; A Well-Intentioned Extremist with poor judgment and a bit too little foresight, he performs experiments on the geth solely because he believes it will help his people (his daughter in particular). It backfires and he dies because of it.
    • Pretty much any krogan scientist. One laments that he will never be appreciated for his work in the field of Stuff Blowing Up, which he came to realize after he pulled the knife out of his mentor's chest. And he's the sanest one you meet.
  • The Portal series gives us Aperture Laboratories, an entire company full of mad scientists. Driven by their grandiosely insane founder and CEO, Cave Johnson, they got started in The Fifties by recruiting the best of the best of humankind and employing them as human lab rats in a vast array of Mad Science experiments. Said experiments involved such things as Body Horror transmutations, irradiation, DNA injections, and, of course, their signature teleportation experiments, one result of which was the Handheld Portal Device that forms a core part of the gameplay. Their crowning achievement was Artificial Intelligence, but even here they only succeeded in creating an AI as madly deranged as they were. GLaDOS proceeded to take over the research program... by murdering all the scientists with a deadly neurotoxin. It is then up to the protagonist to enter this maze of insanity and find a way to escape. The closing song to the first game (sung by GLaDOS) makes all this starkly clear.

Aperture Science: We do what we must because we can.
For the good of all of us, except the ones who are dead.
But there's no sense crying over every mistake;
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
And the Science gets done, and you make a neat gun,
For the people who are still alive.

    • Portal 2 ups the ante, primarily by sending the player on an exploration of Old Aperture—the test facilities from The Fifties, where prerecorded messages from Cave Johnson lay out the founding principles of the company and its decline into bankruptcy and despair, culminating with the aforementioned push for AI.

Cave Johnson: "For this next test, we're going to have a superconductor turned up to full power and aimed directly at you. No idea what it'll do. I'll be honest, we're just throwing science at the wall here to see what sticks. Best case, you get some superpowers. Worst case, some tumors, which we'll cut out."

    • More than likely, Cave's overzealous drive to experiment and try anything, even going so far as to fire anyone who questioned the safety of these activities, weeded out any sane scientists and encouraged the eccentric thinking of remaining staff. In the end, Aperture Science was operating totally off the grid, paranoid of any government oversight, in effect walling themselves in to one giant, death-trap lab.
  • Daryl, from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. Among other things, he wanders onto your ranch while creepily muttering things, tries to capture a Yeti-like creature in the nearby woods, has a lab that is prone to explosions, spies on your child through the window to observe how children act, tries to steal one of your cows for experiments, and considers taking your DNA to clone you after you die at the end of the game.
  • Doctor Cranium from Quest for Glory IV is out to reanimate dead tissue and all, but he really doesn't think he's a Mad Scientist. A bit perturbed about the world situation and how he get so little respect, sure, but not mad.
  • Professor Elvin Gadd of Luigis Mansion fame also qualifies, albeit he's a benevolent nutcase who seems to channel his eccentricities into his inventions (a machine that turns ghosts into paintings, among other things). It's later learned that he's inadvertantly responsible for all the woes caused in Super Mario Sunshine.
    • Surely Bowser can count. He's mad all the time. Not crazy mad, angry mad, but still... And who do you think designs and builds all his mechanical toys?
  • God Hand: Dr. Ion operates from a colossal, mechanical, mobile crab-shaped base, has legions of cyborg grunts under his command and also seems to be largely robotic himself. He's almost given a position among the Four Divas, but after Gene pummels his arse his reputation plummets.
    • Doesn't stop him from coming back for a rematch, though.
  • Dr. Odine from Final Fantasy VIII is undeniably brilliant and perhaps the expert on the power of witches in the world. He's the one who actually explains Time Compression to the party. He's also noted as being completely amoral - part of why Laguna continues in the position he has is due to needing to keep Odine's research directed towards productive means that won't cause the destruction of humanity.
  • Lezard Valeth from Valkyrie Profile and it's sequels show Lezard as a mad wizard/alchemist with mad scientist traits. (Though that may be an understatment considering how important to the plot his mad scientist skills seem to be.) He also has one of the creepiest laughs ever to appear in a video game.
  • Dr. Voltabolt from the Artix Entertainment games was always building crazy machines for the heroes of Adventure Quest, Dragon Fable, and Adventure Quest Worlds to take down.
  • In The Sims 2, Mad Scientist is actually the top career rank for the Science career. Also, Loki Beaker from Strangetown is obviously supposed to be one, according to his bio. He also has 0 nice points, which makes him an Evil Genius as well. He and his wife Circe have Nervous Subject in their house and according to the family bio, they are torturing him.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has Affably Evil demon lord Mitra. He cordially invites you to share in the bounty of the Schwarzwelt and offers to make you and your comrades citizens of his kingdom-to-come. He also has a tower full of human experiments and is developing insanity-inducing mutagens (which he eventually tests on one of your crew). And his science is... wrong. Very, very wrong. The experiment reports clearly state the demons have really no idea what the hell makes humans tick, so they're cutting as many as they can so they can get a better idea. With all that implies.
    • Aaaaand we come to Evil Brit Captain Jack. His crew has been fusing demons. So what. The problem is, they're not using the series' traditional Demon Fusion machines - they're using their own. Which mostly involve ripping apart two demons and weave them together.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army gives us Dr. Victor. Prone to Milking the Giant Cow, gleefully invoking Living Forever Is Awesome, and not a drop of evil in sight. He's way madder than most and a massive ham to boot, but that only makes him even more Crazy Awesome. KUZUNOHAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
  • Gears of War gives us Dr. Adam Fenix. He developed the Hammer of Dawn system, devised the plan to flood the Locust Hollow that required sinking Jacinto, and created the anti-Lambent weapon that appears at the end of Gears 3. He spent more time creating weapons of mass destruction than he did with his family, and he claims that he knew about the impending E-Day but couldn't stop it before it was too late. He tested his anti-Lambent weapon on himself. Unlike many mad scientists, he realized the folly of his work and did everything he could to make up for his failures.
  • Steiner is a former Nazi Mad Scientist in Call of Duty Black Ops.
  • Dr. Ort-Meyer from the Hitman series, responsible for the protagonist's creation. With a reputation as a disgruntled, megalomaniacal geneticist (even pulling an extensive They Called Me Mad speech in the first game's finale), he was capable of creating a mindlessly loyal and equally lethal version of 47 over the course of the game, which nonetheless ended up being destroyed by 47 (although there survived a more primitive version which went on to serve as a minor antagonist in Silent Assassin). The backstory of Blood Money deals with the impact of his creation's legacy and the prospect of it falling into the wrong hands.
  • Dr. Paul and Dr. Miranda from Escape From St Marys disguise their time machine as a coffin so that it's "inconspicuous." Their invention threatens to destroy the universe; they seem mostly unmoved by this.
  • Seath the Scaleless from Dark Souls is a dragon that combines this with Evil Sorceror. He is described as the grandfather of sorcery and the creator of various magical creatures like the Moonlight Butterfly. He went insane trying to decipher the one mystery that eluded him his whole life: why he was the only dragon born without the scales of immortality that every other dragon had.
  • Dr. Neil Jason in Absorption.
  • In BlazBlue, there's Professor Kokonoe and Relius Clover.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning has Ventrinio, a Token Evil Teammate late in the game who had a hand in your character's death and subsequent ressurrection.

Protagonist: You're a monster.
Ventrinio: No, I'm a scientist. I make monsters.

  • Alad V in Warframe, an undeniably brilliant but obviously unhinged scientist whose various projects threatened the entire Solar System several times, some still having lasting consequences.

Web Animation

Web Comics

  • Annyseed has the crazy, charming, sometimes grumpy and a little suspicious, Yet lovable, Professor Tripadiculous. He likes doing tests on Monkeys. He has the documents required or that sort of thing too. So don't question him.
  • Casey and Andy was created with the tagline, "Mad scientist roommates who periodically die." Both the eponymous mad scientists have, frequently, died, often at each other's hands, and often while indulging in mad science experiments. It doesn't help that one of them dates (a female) Satan, and their neighbour is an extreme Weirdness Magnet who is also an international jewel thief.
  • The Russian atomic bomb researcher from Atomic Robo.
  • Lionel Flammel from Monsterful, though he's not really evil at all he seems to get really excited with his ideas, often making him commit terrible mistakes such as letting a huge Chimera free. His array of mad science include making the perfect pet [dead link] to making crime-fighting robot girls and who knows what else.
  • Books Don't Work Here has Sparky to fill this role, and while he only has a bachelor's degree he is far enough removed from lucidity to qualify.
  • Girl Genius is set in an alternate timeline where "Mad Scientists rule the world. Badly." Some people are born as "Sparks", with Mad Scientific ability as an inheritable trait—accompanied with a tendency to go into a berserk, ranting fury, and a strange charisma, which helps to gather minions.
    • They evidently (de)range all the way from "excitable" to "crazier than a barrel of fruitbats". Here you have "fifty generations of lowered expectations" (though not completely out of it) - and that's one of the best cases.
    • Mad Scientists seem to actually outnumber sane scientists in this world. Even those without the "Spark" seem a little crazy. Maybe they're just acting as scientists are expected to act.
    • They even have mad social scientists!
    • Just to top off the sandwich, in towns which were historically known for being the strongholds of highly productive mad scientists, the natives are predisposed to be minions (between being attracted to the jobs and selection pressure on those already there).
    • When a daughter of Simon Voltaire finally got to breaking through, she ranted on while ignoring that her hair and clothes are on fire.
    • The protagonist is the latest in a long line of incredibly powerful Sparks, and her Sparky trademark is that she has a habit of creating "dingbots," small (the size of a cartoon pocketwatch) Clanks, to assist her. She's such a powerful Spark that they show Sparky tendencies themselves, and even build dingbots of their own - which may go on to build third-generation dingbots. That's right, she's such an impressive Mad Scientist, her creations are also Mad Scientists.

Krosp: Wait... You're actually going off to find an extra-dimensional monstrosity?
Maxim: She iz a Heterodyne.

    • If you are still wondering why most people try to avoid at least the ones currently in Madness Place, or why it's sometimes called "Spark induced fugue state", consider the fate of two sandwiches Rackethorn gave Agatha while she was susceptible to sidetracking.
  • Narbonic has "going Mad" as an inheritable genetic disorder. The main characters are a mad scientist, her hapless lackey, her gun-toting assistant, and a superintelligent gerbil she created.
  • Shaenon Garrity, the creator of Narbonic, now has Skin Horse, which is filled with the transgenetic products of said Mad Scientist types, including Sweetheart, an intelligent dog who's one of the heroes. Her creator Captain Bram is definitely a mad scientist. He plotted to take over the United States because the A.K.C. wouldn't recognize his genetically-engineered super battle dog as a registrable breed.
  • A Miracle of Science is set in a future where Mad Science is a memetically-transmitted mental disease.
  • Nukees features Gaviscon van Darrin ("I'm not mad, just really disappointed"), Danny Hua (creator of the Giant Robot Ant), and His Royal Highness King Luca, Monarch of the Nuclear Engineering Department of U.C. Berkeley.
  • Umlaut House and its successor involve several mad scientists, of both good and evil varieties, and even had a Mad Science Convention.
  • Sluggy Freelance has Dr. Schlock, time-traveling expert of Inflatable Technology, and Riff, a violently-minded tinkerer. And they're two of the good guys, until Schlock turned evil.
    • And let's not forget Dr. Crabtree, who created Y2K-noncompliant nanites that nearly killed off most of humanity, and turned herself into a nanite cyborg. And Dr. Steve Hereti, who claimed to have created Oasis and could control her via a wrist watch. And Dr. Scabmoreaureau, who created "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Gas", which forces two DNA strands to battle each other for supremacy to make genetic clean-up a fun game for the kiddies. Did I mention he's one of Santa's Elves? Yeah, Sluggy Freelance is lousy with Mad Scientists.
    • Sluggy also gives a pretty good explanation for why mad science is unrepeatable: Riff doesn't write down "no-brainers" in his notes, so when people try to replicate his inventions, they can't, since they're used to everything being exactly as written.
  • Mad About U. is about a college for mad scientists.
  • El Goonish Shive has Dr. Germahn, Stereotypical German Scientist and Mr. Exposition; Tedd Verres, a self-aware Mad Scientist protagonist (unlike the page image, they haven't laughed at him at the university; he's still in High School) ; Lord Tedd, his Alternate Universe Evil Overlord Counterpart who seems to be determined to kill all of his alternates. Finally, there were the scientists who worked on Project Lycanthrope.

Dr. Germahn: This isn't about money, you foolish intern! It's about having cool stuff to play with!

  • General Protection Fault has Nick Wellington and Dr. Wisebottom (his uncle), not to mention Nick's evil Mirror Universe duplicate, Emperor Nick. There has been discussion of an "Inventor's Gene" running in the family.
  • Schlock Mercenary has several - most obvious being Kevyn Andreyasn. Also, his good friend "Gav" Bleuel (cryonically-preserved author of Nukees), who accidentally duplicated himself 750 millions times and became one of the largest human ethnic groups in the galaxy.
    • But for Para Ventura, Kevin is not mad scientist enough.
    • Dr. Bunnigus picked up a thing or two, too. Especially after she had to think fast and talk fast so that instead of being tortured and killed for the secrets they accidentally discovered, she and the crew would be given an augmentation greatly increasing their chances to survive in the mercenary business, and possibly expected "natural" lifespan.

Dr. Bunnigus: (dramatically raises hands) BECAUSE I CAN!
Dr. Bunnigus: Ha-ha! That's my Captain Andreyasn impression.
Captain Murtaugh: It's very convincing. I can see that you've worked hard on it.

  • Alexa from Gold Coin Comics is a top scientist for the empire's military. She has alluded to dangerous experiments conducted in the past.
  • Jyrras Gianna in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures. Dabbles in mixing science and sorcery (though he is not a wizard himself), invents a 'cosmetic patch' that alters one's appearance, builds hypertech weaponry out of boredom, and accidentally created new life forms twice (three times, if you count his part in the creation of the Mows). Unlike most mad scientists, he had enough on the ball to make a fortune from his inventions.
    • His depiction in the Show Within a Show Spoof Spy Story depicts him as an actual one. He proceeds to subvert and lampshade various traditional tropes used by by Mad Scientist throughout the arc. (Such as while having a base in a volcano, it's dormant (The crater is in fact filled with orange pillows, not lava).)
  • Jordan Kennedy in Exploitation Now, an embittered and tragic Teen Genius who is the last survivor of a project to enhance human intelligence to super-human levels. Known for holding countries for ransom with stolen nuclear weapons and an orbital laser or two.
  • Morgan La Fey, in Arthur, King of Time and Space is an amoral sorceress in the baseline arc, but a Mad Scientist in the Western arc. And in the future arc, she's an amoral scientist and a Mad Sorceress.
    • The same web comic also applies elements of the Mad Scientist trope to King Pelles and his daughter Elaine of Carbonek, and their quest to create the ultimate hero of Christianity (Galahad), by merging their line with Lancelot's. The newspost under the strip revealing this plan (and that Elaine is based on Helen Narbon) calls them "Mad Theologians".
  • Most members of the Society of Inventors in Scary Go Round are in fact somewhat benevolent mad scientists. Other characters in the series (such as Archie Stanwyck and the monkey-obsessed Dr. Petrescu) are mad scientists pure and simple. Especially Petrescu, who's idea of a mobile phone is a normal landline strapped to a monkeys head.
  • Eric, the nerd from Loserz, having a mad scientist moment.
  • Smic, also known as Sir Reginald, is a British mad scientist of neo-victorian style. His antics include, harnessing the power of sunspots to fill a house with pizza, defeating an acid monster with his bare hands and raising the recently deceased.
  • Molly the Peanut Butter Monster, Galatea the Other Peanut Butter Monster, and Dean Martin in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. Poor Dr. Jean Poule would probably qualify as well, with her bizarre pet project which accidentally generated Molly?if not for the fact that Jean is, in many ways, the sanest person in the whole comic, a quality which in her universe is actually a bit of a handicap.
  • In Flintlocke's Guide to Azeroth, the group of engineers who constructed the Ultimate Goblin Engineered Weapon.
    • Probably Flintlocke too, regarding weapon engineering.
  • Minions At Work: Offering An early retirement plan with a fresh, minty after-taste!
  • In the 70-Seas side story Mary Mendele, the title character is a Mad Scientist who is also a nun.
  • Florence, a humanoid wolf and a main character of Freefall sometimes worries that her creator, Dr. Bowman, isn't entirely on the straight and narrow.
  • Mad Dr. Nesbit from Supermegatopia.
  • Exoth from Irritability is a professional mad scientist who spends much of his time making things that are either random or actively harmful to those around him.
  • Tales of the Questor has the Artifactor's Guild, the Alchemist's guild and more tellingly, the entire student body of their University.... on a grimmer note, they have the historical figure of Rosad Athair Beither, a biomancer (essentially a biologist/genetic engineer) who was obsessed with the origin of monsters, and created monstrosities and conducted horrific experiments on helpless victims as part of his "research." More horribly, his discoveries had such shocking implications that the Racconan government put a stay on his execution till he finished compiling his notes.... and there is apparently a secret society of his followers still active in the Sanctuary City underground.
    • The most current side-arc introduces a slightly more benevolent version, in the form of a biomancer attempting to gain sponsorship for his toxin-removing plants....
    • Not to mention that the protagonist and two of his friends (one an apprentice artifactor) managed to make an extremely powerful sword whose effects seem completely random, while drunk.
    • Keep in mind that in this world magic lux can be scientifically analyzed, and makes up the bulk of Racconnan technology.
  • In Fans! there's a psychiatric wing for mad scientists. Professor Ignatius Fitz fits the trope to a T.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court traditionally balances on the verge of this. Even not counting occasional pieces of Magitek.
    • Such as Court robots, that turned out to be originally golems (and now golem control units with elecromechanical bodies), whose creator did lose some important marbles from his head and his "children" are rather... fanciful - like non-flying Winged Humanoid "Seraph", or the cutest weather station you'll ever see. To trim the grass in park these guys happily use talking and learning robot cows with lasers in the eyes.
    • And then there's Kat who built a compact anti-gravity device highly customized crystallizer and later used this experience to build some sort of a hover-bike overnight. She also constructed a parkour-capable frame for one of the humanoid robots and proceeded to try and make quasi-organic bodies for these guys. They took to percieving her as a divine being. Eventually her mysterious status as "creator" was shown to be recognizable for the Spirit World.
  • Dr. Tal A. Kinesis in Evil Plan the Webcomic, an almost textbook example. His pseudonym reflects the telekinesis he gave himself in an experiment. He has an underground lab filled with inventions, but he can't fix any of them himself. The reason? He's just the programmer, and after a fight the real inventor left to become his enemy.
  • Dr. Nonami: Dr. Mechano is the classic variant of the mad scientist archetype, though the hero Nonami also has some minor aspects of this.
  • Last Res0rt: Dr. Daisy Archanis, although right now she's unable to be a proper mad scientist, since she lacks access to an appropriate lab.
    • Didn't stop her from building her own robotic leg while incarcerated, though.
  • The Mansion of E: Sylvester's ancestor Ludwig, who left behind numerous dangerously useful magical-powered machines.
  • The Whiteboard has Doc and Roger, though Doc focuses on paintball and military hardware.
  • Cyanide & Happiness has one too.
  • Game Destroyers had Dr. Fred Edison of Maniac Mansion as their army's mad scientist for a period of time. He has yet to be replaced.
  • It appears that Franken from Noblesse has been one in his old days, which isn't surprising, considering his name. He even has an eleborate lab in his apartment and is very willing to use anyone for subjects, although it's mostly for harmless and frankly silly experiments, but it horrifies people anyway. It becomes especially evident if he unlocks his seal and unleashes his Super-Powered Evil Side, which is the biggest source of Nightmare Fuel in the series.
  • Mezzacotta has Scott. The cast page claims he's not mad. He also claims he's not mad. Judge for yourself. Also, For Science!! Not that it was never called for. He doesn't always test things on humans right away. And sometimes he seems to be right.

Ah, my beautiful, indestructible Heisenberg eels!

Web Original

  • This forum story, The Mad Scientist Wars, pretty much uses this trope as its foundation stone. The players are all fans of the above-mentioned Narbonic and its new successor, Skin Horse (about a government agency that basically cleans up after Mad Scientists), so it was only natural.
  • The title character of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is very obviously drawn from this trope's clichés. With a few tweaks.
  • Sukebe from Pokegirls. In an odd application of the trope, he does succeed in bringing about the Apocalypse... mostly. But it's not complete, and the world got better eventually. Still, he will always be remembered as having "showed them all", that's for sure.
    • He did more. He won. He arranged things so that in stopping him, the global societies that violently rejected his original research and works have turned into ones where everybody considers them the most commonplace part of existence, to the point where if he could show up now with no history he'd be entirely respectable anywhere. And while he hasn't done that, and in fact isn't anywhere within that world any longer, there's no hard evidence at all that he even died doing it.
  • Dr. Insano from The Spoony Experiment. His background is unknown, and he plans to take over the world WITH SCIENCE!!! He's Linkara's archenemy, and even killed Spoony at one point. He also won the 2008 presidential election without making any attempt to hide his identity.
  • Speaking of The Nostalgia Chick, she is constantly running into the sociopathic Dr. Tease, and her beleagured companion, Dr. Block.
  • In the Whateley Universe, some Mad Scientist types (as well as other superpowered people) have the "madness as a disease" trope. The universe has an illness called Diedrick's Syndrome that only affects some mutants. 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.
    • Whateley Mad Scientist example: Overclock, who plotted to make a fellow student accidentally kill fellow students in a holographic simulation and drive her permanently insane, all because she ate the last of his favorite breakfast cereal.
    • Not mention Mega-Death, who chose the name while " 'dricking out" and unfortunately can Never Live It Down.
    • ...And let's not forget Jobe, who, well, he's not mad, exactly, but 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.
      • And 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.
  • 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 Hyperspace Arsenal of mysterious vials that could contain anything from explosives to poison.
  • Adam appears as a parody of a mad scientist in episode 9 of Maddison Atkins.
  • Dr. Griffin from Kate Modern is a former mad scientist.
  • This Shousetsu Bang*Bang fic has a mad scientist as main character, along with his loyal minion, Scarface.
  • The Pentagon War, which tries to be serious Hard SF, actually has a character named The Mad Scientist.
  • Coyle Command‍'‍s original Head of Science, Dr. Vendor, died offscreen within the first three shorts, which then called for a replacement to be found. Dr. Vorn almost took the position, but his plan to impress the Commander failed at the last minute. He was subsequently replaced by his own creation, Chrome Dome, who is a mad scientist in its own right.
  • 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.
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe, like any decent superhero setting based on comic books, has dozens of mad scientists creeping around. Notable examples include Heinrich von Frankenstein, Baron Malthus, Doctor Simian, Phillipe Moreau, the Evil Genius, Doctor Blight, Doctor Sinister, Emilio Astonishing, Doctor XX, Doctor Devastation, Professor Sunday, Professor Septimus, Penelope Periwinkle, and Doctor Gavin von Leggend. And that'ss just the bad guys.
  • Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum, and his henchman, Dr. Sophocles.
  • Herr Doktor Innis du par Nachteltaffen, one of the drop-in characters on Warning! Readers' Advisory.
  • The League of STEAM‍'‍s Crackitus Potts and Professor Jager may qualify.
  • Fenspace has so many they're simply called "Mads". First and foremost among them, though, is The Professor, who is responsible for many of the strangenesses in the setting.

Western Animation

  • Professor Farnsworth on Futurama takes this to the lengths of parody and beyond. Case in point:
    • "Even I laughed at me when I proposed the cross-species genetic analyzer, but I guess I showed myself!"
    • "Everyone's always in favour of saving Hitler's brain. But when you put it in the body of a great white shark, ooh, suddenly you've gone too far!"
    • He builds Doomsday Devices a lot. Oh, he doesn't plan to use them, he just seems to think they're cool. "I suppose I could part with one and still be feared..."
      • His rival and former student, Professor WERNSTROM! is of the evil (or at least asshole) variation.
    • Leonardo da Vinci also counts.
  • The Simpsons :
    • Professor Frink is a rather more amicable Mad Scientist: he's always apologetic when things go wrong with his inventions, and has a passion for inventing crazy things like self-aware robots that only scrub floors, auto-diallers with retractable wheels, automatic tap-dancing shoes, buildings that can sprout legs and run away from danger, and hamburger earmuffs.

Frink: (as a radio controlled baby-plane with his son in it crashes) Oh dear. My wife is going to kill me.

Chef: Hey, you're that crazy cracker from up on the hill.
Mephesto: Sir, if making mutant animals spliced with humans is crazy, then - ! Uh. Hmm. Oh, never mind.

Dr. Weird: Gentlemen! I have created... this thing.
Steve: What is it?
Dr. Weird: I don't know! Stand over here.
Steve: What, over here -- hey!
Dr. Weird: It works! I am one can short of a six-pack! (Evil Laugh)

  • Chrome Dome from The Tick (animation). El Seed and the Breadmaster may also quality for developing formulae that make plants come to life and bread explode, respectively.
  • Dr. Bad Vibes from COPS
  • Megavolt from Darkwing Duck. Likewise Bushroot, who's usually ignored in this capacity, because his "mad science" is botany.
  • Dr. Sevarius from Gargoyles isn't quite mad so much as he is amoral, but he displays a touch of the theatricality that is the hallmark of the best nutty professors.
    • Then again, he is being portrayed by Tim Curry. Go figure.
  • Dr. Cinnamon J. Scudworth of Clone High certainly qualifies, even though his day job is as a high school principal.
  • The Dark Knight always seemed to be neck-deep in mad scientists on Batman the Animated Series. Within the first five episodes of the show, he runs afoul of Man-Bat, the Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy, scientists-turned-supercriminals all. Scarecrow actually goes the whole hog with the trope, as his initial appearance features a plot to ruin the university he was fired from and murder all those who called his sanity into question.
    • Yes, killing them all will show that you are PERFECTLY sane...
      • Hey, it's not like they'll be saying otherwise.
      • Indeed, it should settle the question of his sanity quite comprehensively.
  • Johnny Test's older sisters Susan and Mary are both Mad Scientist teenagers. Also their friendly enemy, a.k.a. "Bling Bling Boy".
  • The character Vendetta on the show Making Fiends is a mad scientist, as she creates tons of fiends, which also can be considered as forms of life.
  • The title character of Invader Zim is a mad scientist himself. In fact, in a script for an incomplete Start of Darkness episode about him, Zim was actually a military scientist for his race whose creation, an "Infinite Absorbing Blob" was responsible for killing two of his previous leaders.
    • Dib and Professor Membrane would arguably qualify as Mad Scientists. Dib perhaps more so since his inventions revolve around his all-consuming obsession to destroy ZIM, whereas his father's inventions are more geared toward helping humanity. Even the Super Toast.
      • So they're good Mad Scientists?
  • Plankton from SpongeBob SquarePants shows signs of being this.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man's Doctor Octopus is one of these.
  • Wheeljack of Transformers Generation 1 is one. Part of his appeal was him convincing the other Autobots that his crackpot inventions were worth something.
    • His Shattered Glass counterpart is also a mad scientist, but less the cheery genial type normal Wheeljack is, and much, much more pure distilled ranting They Called Me Mad type of mad scientist.
    • ...and let us not forget Dr. Arkeville from the G1 cartoon. Though his madness was one upped by Starscream himself in Countdown to Extinction.
  • The Generation 1 comic Transformers Last Stand of the Wreckers has the Kimia Facility, an entire R & D lab full of mad scientists. And Brainstorm in particular is considered especially insane even by their standards.
  • Tarantulus of Transformers: Beast Wars is, if not a mad inventor, certainly crazy enough and scientific enough and treacherous enough to qualify for Mad Scientist.
    • This is actually a case of Character Development; in the first season, while he was the Predacon Science Officer, he was characterized more as "that creepy bot who'll eat anything he can catch". And even this was Adaptation Displacement—in the original toylines, he was a (still cannibalistic) ninja warrior.
  • Transformers Animated has Prometheus Black. He started out messing around with biochemical enhancements to try and beat out Professor Sumdac's robotics industry, but after a lab accident changed him into the supervillain Meltdown he went into full vengeful mad science mode. The chemical warfare specialist Oil Slick might also count, although outside the fact that he's a ninja who developed the Transformer equivalent of ebola not much is known about him.
    • Animated! Blackarachnia also has elements of this. The Allspark Almanac reveals she invented triple-changing, and her attempts to better understand her techno-organic mutation lead her to try and create another hybrid...resulting in Waspinator.
  • Dr. Thadeus "Rusty" Venture on The Venture Brothers, although his lack of ambitions and general ineptitude mean that he comes up with far fewer superweapons and far more get-rich-quick schemes than most of his ilk. Other M.S.'s in the Ventureverse include Pete White and Master Billy Quizboy, Jonas Venture Jr., Otaku Senzuri from the lost pilot, Professor Impossible, Mike Sorayama, Dr. Septapus, Baron Ünderbheit (implied), and Phantom Limb (implied confirmed, as part of his backstory)
  • One episode of Inspector Gadget features the M.A.D. Scientist—that is, a scientist that works for M.A.D. However, he gets really, really peeved when someone calls him a mad scientist, screaming, "I'M NOT MAD!!!"
    • "I'm not MAD! I'm Dr. Focus!" (gets arrested) "Now I'm really mad!"
    • The 1999 feature film has Dr. Artemis Bradford and his daughter, Brenda, both of whom designed the title cyborg. The 2003 sequel has Baxter, who could possibly qualify...
  • Doctor Two Brains in Word Girl.
    • Tobey has managed to invent entire armies of giant robots at the ripe old age of ten.
  • Dr. Doofenschmirtz on Phineas and Ferb is an Affably Evil Punch Clock Villain trying to conquer the Tri-State Area.
    • Phineas and Ferb themselves, actually. They do build things like city-spanning roller coasters, time machines and space ships after all, not to mention entire landscapes in their backyard. But they are very mellow for mad scientists, I'll admit.
      • With Phineastein, the Regurgitator, professor Poofenplotz and all the members of L.O.V.E.M.U.F.F.I.N.G, it seems the show runs on this trope.
  • The Tick (animation) has several: Brain Child, Professor Chromedome, mostly non-evil Julius Pendecker, and, a more benevolent (though unnerving) version, Dr. Mung-Mung, whose best-known creation is a super-strong giant made entirely of tongue.
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two Shoes is this. Despite being a small, petite girl, she is very intelligent and sadistic as she makes inventions for Misery Inc. that would spread misery to her town and also likes to destroy things for fun. She does have a soft side though as she has feelings for Jimmy buts treats everyone else with disrespect, even her own boss.
  • Recombo from Alpha Teens On Machines.

Recombo: My colleagues laughed and called me Recombo. They said it couldn't be done. But I shall prove them all wrong. Back home, people called me mad.
King: Mad? I was thinking more "total wacko"!

Real Life

  • Isaac Newton, of all people. Throughout his life he placed more emphasis on Alchemy than Physics, considering his groundbreaking work to be only a minor achievement. He spent a considerable amount of time on biblical research and attempted to prove that the world would not end before 2060. He went mad at one point and accused philosopher John Locke of sending women to distract him from his divine mission. It's suspected that the vapors from his alchemical experiments may have induced a hallucinogenic effect and caused this episode.
  • No report on mad science is complete without the man who might have given creation to the whole trope; Nikola Tesla, and his Teleforce Death Ray. If that's not mad science, we don't know what is.
    • How about harnessing the most powerful waterfall in North America to power an entire city, producing 150-foot lightning bolts from his ominous mountain laboratory in Colorado, and plotting to broadcast free power to the world from the Wardenclyffe Tower?
      • Or, alternatively, how about that he had OCD and synesthesia, had flashbacks to his brother's death whenever he was stressed, and, in his later years, would talk to pigeons and mail letters to Samuel Clemens... who'd been dead for decades? He was definitely a psychologically-troubled member of the science profession, even if he hadn't been a Mad Scientist.
  • Albert Einstein and the German nuclear physicists heavily influenced early Mad Scientists like Rotwang in the late 1920s. Crucial to the popularity of these "eccentric German physicists" was how they rehabilitated the image of scientists as logic driven pacifists in the wake of WWI, at a time when both war and Germans were intensely unpopular. (Einstein, with his characteristic wild hairdo, became the first scientific superstar and the first Popular Geek, helping spawn the concept of a Engineer Exploited For Evil whose inventions are inevitably misused.)
  • Nazi Germany scientist Josef Mengele, AKA "the Angel of Death". It's not unheard of to think that his name was pronounced "Mangle". Given what he did to the death camp prisoners, that wouldn't have been too much of a stretch.
    • Butterfly specimen eyeballs.
    • In a similar vein, the Japanese scientists who performed experiments on POWs during the war that makes one wonder if they were trading notes with Mengele at the time.
      • Very unlikely since anyone familiar with the nature of Mengele's research knows that any notes he had were virtually useless. It's debatable whether he was even a legitimate scientist, but it's very hard to believe Shiro Ishii would have taken him seriously.
      • Mengele was primarily an anthropologist (he was a PHD/MD) and not an incompetent one (this Troper read his thesis, in German which is the only way it's's really only interesting if you're REALLY into detailed skeletal analysis, and not especially horrifying.) And compared to what the Japanese military scientists came up with, he was a piker even where basic cruelty was concerned. The Japanese had medical experiments going that would have made Mengele, if not some of his more creative colleagues, cringe.
  • Also the scientists in MKULTRA, who really were trading notes with Nazi scientists.
  • Austrian-American psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, whose work on human sexuality led him to "discover" Orgone Energy, an omnipresent cosmic lifeforce that was generated (among other things) by orgasm. He sold Orgone Accumulators and even built Orgone-powered "Cloudbusters" which could supposedly make it rain, and ended up being shut down by the Food And Drug Administration for selling lunatic medical devices that didn't work.
    • Another version of the story has government agents smashing his laboratory and burning his books because the "effectiveness" of his work offended the country's puritanical values.
    • He even had minions, and his followers continue his work to this day at his house in Rangeley, Maine.
  • Aforementioned webcomic Casey and Andy twice had the "Casey And Andy Mad Science Award" for examples of Mad Science in real life. Both times, NASA won: in 2004 for the Genesis Probe and again in 2005 for the Deep Impact space mission.
    • It also appears to have been awarded to the Mythbusters, at least in their early episodes.
  • Thomas Edison is often portrayed in popular fiction as an evil mad scientist — not because of his scientific skills, but because of his vicious business acumen. He ran a sort of 'idea farm' at Menlo Park and recruited down-on-their-luck inventors to hammer out new devices, allegedly taking the credit (and patent rights) for many of them with or without some of his own input in exchange for financial support and a place to work. Critics claim he didn't always pay what he promised, with Tesla's case being just the most famous.
    • Well, that, and because of his probable cocaine addiction, probable sociopathy, and certain theft of the scientific inventions of everyone around him.
    • Edison also paid gangs of minions with clubs to smash up early movie theaters and beat the projectionists because they weren't using Edison Brand Projectors.
  • DARPA, the US Government's official program to fund Mad Science. Their only mission is "radical innovation". They fund all sorts of seemingly off the wall projects. Among their successes are night-vision goggles, GPS, and a little thing called the Internet... oh, and funding a little thing called the DARPA Challenge, for self-driving cars.
  • There is a real life psychological diagnosis known as "Mad Scientist Syndrome", so named because it tends to be a case of actually believing (some wacky event) such as alien invasion, or collapse of the world economy will "Show them all that I was right!"
  • Yet another article from about the dangers of science here. Surprisingly, Josef Mengele didn't get mentioned. Perhaps the Cracked writers didn't want to dedicate an entry to a guy whose idea of "science" was torturing helpless prisoners for kicks.
    • Seanbaby's article about exploring the depths of the human mind with The Sims 3 pokes at the whole Nazi scientist thing. Why, without ethics, he says, scientific knowledge increased by leaps and bounds! But then World War II ended and the Nazis that were left were forced to treat Jews, gypsies, and assorted other non-Aryans like human beings again, and that all stopped. So isn't it wonderful now that EA Games has created a people simulator we can use for the same thing?
  • Heston Blumenthal specialises in using scientific study to create tastier food (or, to use the specialist term, molecular gastronomy), his restaurant is currently[when?] number two in the world. A quick look at the menu will tell you why he's earnt a place of honour on this list.
    • As will a quick look at him in his kitchen. Scientist-looking chef whites, Bald of Evil, frothing beakers of liquid nitrogen and dry ice... the only thing stopping him being a classic mad scientist is that he hasn't actually killed anyone yet.
  • Buckminster Fuller. He invented many things, few of which saw much use. He made up words by dicing up other words and sticking the parts together. He slept two hours a day, spread across four 30-minute naps, for two years. He kept a diary of his entire life, updating it every 15 minutes and including a family history, newspaper clippings, sketches, and copies of all bills and correspondence. From 1915 to 1983. He was still very influential, however.
    • One invention of his that really did take off is the geodesic dome, one of the most efficient ways of enclosing space ever devised, most famously used for EPCOT at Disney World. Also, when a weird class of carbon nanoparticles was discovered that had a geodesic shape, what did they call them? Buckyballs! Or buckminsterfullerene, if you want to be technical.
  • Jack Parsons: One of the men that helped refine the jet engine and allow for space flight. He also teamed up with none other than L. Ron Hubbard. Their attempt was to summon a goddess which would help the new aeon bloom into one of free love and peace rather than war. At one point an angered L. Ron is said to have summoned a hurricane against Parsons. Parsons saw no differentiation between science and magic and died when his lab exploded.
  • Edward Teller, the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, who openly advocated nuking the U.S.S.R. Also advocated building a tunnel across America using nukes to do the mining. Once used a nuclear test to light his cigar (a man could get cancer doing a thing like that ...).
    • Teller didn't just invent the hydrogen bomb, he pushed like crazy to get the U.S. government to build it. Carl Sagan said that this made Teller the greatest menace to humanity in history. His suggestion of using nuclear weapons to dig tunnels, in Sagan's opinion, was just a way for him to deflect the guilt of inventing the worst weapon-of-mass-destruction the world has ever seen.
    • He was also the main push behind the Excalibur missile defense system, which used a nuclear bomb to power a microwave laser (and a bigger version that could fire at hundreds of targets simultaneously). Neither system actually worked, but it did manage to bring the US and USSR to the brink of war.
  • There exists another... Troy Hurtubine, a Canadian backyard inventor, who has invented little things like fire-paste, a grey clay-like material that can withstand blow-torch-grade heat directly for up to 10 minutes. How did he test this? By placing a mask of it over his own face, of course! (What? How else would you do it?) He also invented a viable power armour system that sprang up as an offshoot of his bear fighting armour. The kicker? He invented all of this virtually on his own time and resources.
  • David Hahn, a/k/a The Radioactive Boy Scout.[context?]
  • Harry Grindell "Death Ray" Matthews.[context?]
  • Howard Hughes, aside of being a Renaissance Man and germophobic, had a reputation for sponsoring mad science of all sorts. And this smoke was not without much fire. As Propnomicon blog put it,

The backstory behind this wonderful prop is appropriately insane, but su[r]prisingly believable when you consider the things the real Howard Hughes was actually involved in. To this day there are people convinced he was part of everything from Area 51 to the demolition of the secret Nazi base in Antarctica using a miniature nuke.

  1. Sometimes they stop at possible but impractical but it's uncommon