Put the Laughter In Slaughter
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).
- Kid Buu from Dragon Ball Z for the most part can be summed up as "Destroy, destroy, destroy and laugh, laugh and laugh some more."
- There's also Frieza laughing at the destruction of Planet Vegeta.
- Zentraedi leader Boddole Zer in Super Dimension Fortress Macross gives a hearty "Muahahahahahaha!" as his fleet is destroying the Earth's surface and killing billions of humans, cementing his Complete Monster status.
- Hidan from Naruto.
- Roberto tended to do this in Monster while Johan was more... calm about it.
- While the anime version of Elfen Lied portrays Lucy as The Stoic Emotionless Girl who butchers people like the dozen without visible emotion, her manga counterpart displays a disturbing tendency to break in fits of insane cackling as she ripped people to pieces with gleeful abandon.
- It wasn't manslaughter, but the end of the great fight between "Nagi" and Rakan in Mahou Sensei Negima shares the spirit.
- Mad Pierrot from Cowboy Bebop. To Nightmare Fuelish levels...
- Kenpachi Zaraki is kind of the embodiment of this trope, although we only see him doing duels.
- Hallelujah Haptism has a tendency to laugh hysterically when the killing starts. Allelujah not so much.
- Several characters in Hellsing (though most often Alucard) engage in this.
- Typical of the Go Nagai style brand of Super Robot show, especially Getter Robo.
- In Devilman, everyone does this at one point or another, but the titular Type IV anti-hero takes the cake. A cake made of brutality and guts.
- In Berserk, many people take sick pleasure in slaughter, but Guts is the Ichiban Supeshiiarisuto: Watch as he laughs his ass off while he swats babies to death with his BFS.
- Accelerator of To Aru Majutsu no Index laughs insanely during every single one of his fights, most of which involve lots of killing.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Shion Sonozaki, during Meazaki-hen and thus Watanagashi-hen. There are pictures of her face with "You can't spell slaughter without laughter" captioned to them around on the internet, and she's pretty much poster child for this trope.
- The Gundam franchise's three big Psychos For Hire, Yazan Gable, Ali Al-Saachez, and Decil Galette are all guilty of this, chuckling to themselves as they gun down MS after MS. Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny's Extended are not better about this, nor are their creators, Muruta Azrael and Lord Djibril.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- 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.
- Any action movie that is filled enough with Narm has this, from the viewer's POV.
- Hot Shots Part Deux is the most violent movie ever made! And it has a lot of fun proving that.
- Jack Nicholson at the climax of The Shining was partly this.
- There's The Toblerone, too!!! Hahaha!!!
- Christopher Walken's Corrupt Corporate Executive in A View to a Kill likes gunning down his own henchmen way, way too much.
- In Chris Nolan's The Dark Knight, Joker spray paints the extra "S" on the circus van that has the slogan "Laughter is the best medicine" to invoke this trope.
Literature[edit | hide]
- 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 JRR Tolkien's universe is a rare good example of this.
- 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.
- 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[edit | hide]
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!)