In anime, a villain's laugh is usually intended to reflect their evil. The more hearty they bellow, the greater pleasure they're likely to derive from their enemies' suffering. Such a phenomenon is especially true of antagonists with no redeeming qualities.
As a result, there have been a number of great and memorable evil laughs over the years. Some are deep and guttural, while others are light and mocking. Through identifying villains from different series, the ways they've laughed, and what elicits such a reaction, it becomes easier to delve their twisted psychology and appreciate how unapologetically evil they really are.
10 DIO Relishes Joestar Suffering (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
DIO is one of the most conventional examples of villainy in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Having founded an entire empire of loyal vassals across the world, he wages war against the Joestars from his mansion in Cairo.
The vampire is most prone to laugh when an opponent realizes how helpless they are against him. Should said enemy be a member of the Joestar family, he is even more inclined to break out in a fit of malicious laughter. DIO's sadistic tendencies give him an extremely dark sense of humor.
9 Galand Laughs At Weak Opponents (Seven Deadly Sins)
Galand has arguably the best laugh in the Seven Deadly Sins. Crass and boisterous, his bellowing guffaws are so potent that they can send him into a rolling fit. Unfortunately for the villain, his laughter is a symptom of his overconfidence.
Initially, he mistook Escanor for an ordinary person, finding his helplessness to meet his challenge of trading blows amusing. In the end, Galand's miscalculation was so fatal that he suffered the penalty of his own commandment. Now frozen in stone, he is incapable of laughing anymore.
8 Doflamingo Laughed At Every Opportunity (One Piece)
Despite being one of the most dastardly villains in One Piece, Doflamingo knew how to enjoy himself. Appropriately nicknamed "Joker," he laughed whenever things were going according to plan or if he felt his enemies underestimated him.
Doflamingo's laugh is usually a controlled snicker, which better conveys his underhanded and methodical nature.
Considering how quickly Doflamingo's mood is likely to change, he also uses humor as a coping mechanism. This was proven in his final scene so far, where he laughed at his circumstances from the darkest reaches of Impel Down.
7 Marik Laughed When Tormenting Others (Yu-Gi-Oh!)
Yu-Gi-Oh's Yami Marik was a malevolent spirit that lived within the Millennium Rod. Although having no compassion for ordinary people, he was especially adversarial toward the Pharaoh on account of the past they shared.
Marik will typically laugh when getting the upper in a duel or placing opponents in circumstances with no foreseeable way out. For example, he took particularly pleasure in tormenting Mai Valentine by imprisoning her in a glass vial. She could only watch as her friends played on the beach, completely ignorant of her suffering and the insects that ate at her skin.
6 Hisoka Laughed In The Face Of Inappropriate Challenges (Hunter X Hunter)
Hunter X Hunter's Hisoka has defined his entire life through a search for challenge. If he feels like an opponent could one day be ready, he will groom them into viable threats to one day be defeated. However, Hisoka is less kind toward opponents without potential.
When ambushed by Leorio and Kurapika, he flagrantly laughed in their faces to such an extent that he couldn't even look them in the eye. This better illustrates how far beyond Hisoka is from most ordinary Hunters and that he treats the weak as fundamentally lesser to himself.
5 Madara Just Loves Fighting (Naruto)
As arguably the most powerful character in the Naruto series, Madara's laugh is particularly frightening. After being resurrected, obtaining the Rinnegan, and stealing Hashirama's chakra, he allowed himself one of the most spine-chilling laughs to date.
Unlike other villains, Madara does not laugh due to the suffering he causes. Instead, he relishes battle and the chance to return the Uchiha clan to its former glory. Similarly, he enjoys having a second chance to prove himself against Hashirama, who had previously humiliated him twice before. Madara does not laugh often, but when he does, no one forgets it.
4 Mad Pierrot Laughed To Hold Back The Tears (Cowboy Bebop)
Mad Pierrot's laugh was perhaps the most disturbing thing in Cowboy Bebop. Having been tortured until his mind was shattered, the man is a tragic victim of brutal trauma. He uses his laughter and circus-like gimmicks to hide the deep sense of pain he feels deep down.
When Pierrot's defenses were actually broken and he got injured, the floodgates came crashing open. Despite being significantly stronger than Spike, his pain tolerance was so low that he was too stricken with grief to avoid being crushed alive.
3 Light's Laugh Means That Someone Is About To Die (Death Note)
At first, Death Note's Light Yagami never laughed when conducting his killings. However, after being repeatedly challenged and losing his respect for human life, he increasingly became more egotistical and narcissistic. Before long, he laughed when orchestrating peoples' deaths, even those who had trusted him.
Despite the relatively personal relationship he had with L, the villain could not help but to gloat at his rival's undoing and was equally jubilant when attempting to bring down the Japanese Task Force. Considering how sparingly Light laughs, his villainous reveals are always cinematic.
2 Yoshikage Kira Laughs When He Thinks He's Getting Away (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
Despite being the most notorious killer in Morioh, Kira ironically does not laugh when finding or executing victims. Instead, he takes much more glee in escaping from the heroes, as proven through the climax of Diamond Is Unbreakable. This suggests that his actions are at least partially driven by his ego and that he doesn't actually want to avoid conflict.
Believing that Bites The Dust saved him, Kira prepared to redo the past so that his pursuers were put down for good. Fortunately, an ambulance crushed his head before he ever had the chance. Surrounded by malevolent spirits in the afterlife, Kira wasn't laughing anymore.
1 Blackbeard's Laugh Is The Most Memorable Of The Series (One Piece)
As the most notorious villain in the series, it makes sense that Blackbeard has the best laugh. Whenever furthering his goals or feeling satisfied about deceiving someone, he will burst into a fit of humor. This was seen in Marineford when stealing Whitebeard's Devil Fruit and attacking everyone else.
Blackbeard's laugh is so memorable that it has even been parodied by fans. Despite the many iconic contenders in Luffy's rogues' gallery, "ZE-HA-HA-HA" remains a fan favorite for its unapologetically chaotic energy.
NEXT: The 10 Coolest Sword Users In One Piece, Ranked