I've found that whenever an evil rich character laughs in anime they raise their hands to their mouth and let out a 'ohohoho' or similarly annoying laugh.

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Where does this mannerism come from? I can now tell someone is rich if they have this style of laugh, but that's because of association rather than understanding

There seems to be a YouTube user called ohohojuo-sama which posts lots of these http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MM_k1MZB4Ak


The hand raising part comes from old Japanese traditions where refined women were not supposed to show their mouth when they laugh. The fact that a character uses it can indicate that they place a high importance on manners and such which is one of the traits of stereotypical posh characters.

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Women covering their mouths as they laugh at the lady falling over after pulling bamboo from ground (Scene of the Twelve Months - Fifth Month (Toyoshiro and Teyokuni) ) 1801

The Ohoho! is intentionally high pitched and annoying - this is to make it sound both artificial and bitchy (which is usually the character's personality)

Kodachi from Ranma 1/2 was the first instance of this trope occurring in anime, however this trait was already in use in film by this stage.

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