Put the Laughter In Slaughter

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Don't ruin Zhuge Liang's evil moment


This is a subtrope of Evil Laugh, and the opposite of Dissonant Serenity. It's when a character goes around killing everything in sight and seems to be having a lot of fun with it, like Joker levels of fun. Especially if the character is Laughing Mad. Typical of the Blood Knight, the Boisterous Bruiser, some Ax Crazy characters, and some Heroic Sociopaths. But it can happen to anyone, especially during a Heroic BSOD, a Heroic Sacrifice or a Bolivian Army Ending. But it's rather exceptional for normal heroes, since usually there's something deeply wrong if The Cape is actually having fun killing people (unless they're trained to do so).

Examples of Put the Laughter In Slaughter include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • The Joker in most of his incarnations, except when he's taking killing seriously.
    • As demonstrated in the former page picture, in The Dark Knight, he actually rides a circus truck emblazoned with "laughter is the best medicine", and a large red S spray-painted just before "laughter".
    • Actually, in his very first appearance, he didn't laugh or smile at all. Needless to say, Characterization Marches On.
  • Spider-Man's foe Carnage also takes great joy in killing, as his name oh-so-subtley hints at.
  • Bullseye is this to a T. His sometimes friend/sometimes enemy Deadpool is also a good example.

Fan Works



  • Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. An authentic Ax Crazy if she had an ax instead of a wand.
  • Odiana in the Codex Alera is completely Ax Crazy and really quite cheerful (and self-aware) about it. She usually expresses this by being inordinately cute and cheery while suggesting that they just kill everyone in about a 5-mile radius.
  • Rachel from Animorphs is a rare heroic (well, sort of) example of this. Right before charging into her final battle, she leaves us with this little gem: "I felt...I felt exalted. It was my moment. This was my place and my time and my own perfection. I was no longer afraid. Weird. If I'd had a mouth I'd have smiled. <Well?> I said. No one moved. <Scared?> I asked. No answer. <You should be,> I said, almost laughing. I lunged..."
  • Tulkas, the god of war in J. R. R. Tolkien's universe, is a rare good example of this.

Live Action TV

  • In Heroes, Sylar has a good bit of fun being a psychotic serial killer.
  • The easiest way to describe the new series Doctor Who version of the Master is "completely insane...and loving every second of it."
    • River Song is a Sociopathic Hero version, as she takes great delight in shooting down the bad aliens.

Tabletop Games

  • The Yozi Adorjan is infamous for this; the only sound she can stand is her own laughter, she swoops around the Demon City slaying all she touches, and murder is something she finds particularly amusing. Those who take enough of her Charms will also eventually adopt this attitude.

Video Games

  • Any FPS that is Duke Nukem-ish enough has this. We should open a Troper Tales page for all the times we as players have started laughing uncontrollably in the middle of a slaughterfest.
    • The characters in Left 4 Dead have a cackling sound file that some players set to play whenever they fired their guns.
    • Caleb from Blood also periodically laughs maniacally when there's lots of violence happening on the screen... Such as when he just threw a bundle of dynamite into a crowd of evil cultists (and/or innocent civilians).
  • Shion during her torture of Satoko in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
    • Eva-Beatrice at a bare minimum during her murder of Rosa, in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. So much so that once just wasn't enough. And actually, Beato herself quite a few times, although it was stated in red that this was not the case.
  • Luca Blight. His motto might as well be "You can't spell 'Slaughter' without 'Laughter'!"
  • Kefka, people! Just one of the many things he has in common with The Joker.
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Heavy Weapons Guy is notable for this, especially towards the end of the "Meet the Heavy" video. The other characters, too, apply when dominating an opponent.
  • Wallachia of Melty Blood laughs madly even as he chops his opponents to bits. Not that you see any blood, but that's the impression.
  • Dimentio in Super Paper Mario does this after "killing" Mario, Peach, and Bowser.
  • Dawn of War: Khorne Berserkers, Chaos Space Marines and Ork Big Meks all have laughing sounds when attacking. Aspiring Champions even have a fast-paced laugh when their morale is gone.
  • In Borderlands, Brick, the Berserker, seems to have a lot of fun beating people into a pulp with his bare hands while in his Unstoppable Rage.
  • In |Sonic the Hedgehog 2006, Mephiles laughs like a lunatic after killing Sonic.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In his last scene, Hank Scorpio in The Simpsons grabs a flamethrower and jumps down to battle a bunch of soldiers invading his secret lair. He laughs maniacally as they all desperately run for cover, and while Homer is leaving you can hear Scorpio shouting to him that he's "missing out on some fun!"
  • One episode of Drawn Together features a sickeningly-sweet Strawberry Shortcake clone who's actually committing a Holocaust. But, she reminds us, "You can't spell slaughter without laughter!"
  • The 1961 Popeye cartoon "It Hurts Only When They Laugh" has Olive making Popeye and Brutus laugh while she's doing the dishes so she'll know they're not misbehaving and fighting. However, while Olive is doing the dishes, Popeye and Brutus are beating the living hell out of each other—and destroying the living room in the process—while laughing. The boys lampshaded it at the end in Popeye's ending theme tag:

Popeye: You're not a riff-raff...
Brutus: If ya fights and ya laugh...
Popeye: With Popeye the Sailor Man! (toot toot!)