[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2941819_orig_7519.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Now, then, riddle me THIS!]]

The Riddler is a comic book character, one of the most famous of Franchise/{{Batman}}'s RoguesGallery, first appearing in Detective Comics #140 (October, 1948) as a nemesis to Batman. He was co-created by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. Known as [[MeaningfulName Edward Nigma]], his motivation is that of a man who is obsessed with riddles, mysteries, and clue?cl҉u͢e cl҉ ̢?̴?? ▓ɑ~?

ᴳʳᵉtings! [[SelfDemonstratingArticle I, the Riddler,]] h▓ve bypassed Arkham Asylum's ''pathetic'' security to gift your small website a glimpse of my famed and illustrious exploits! If only to ensure that [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker the clown]], or one of the many under-evolved cretins teeming amongst your readership, will not do it for me.

My first appearance was, aheh, "masterminded" by the writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang, in Detective Comics #140. My origin was thus: after achieving high scores on several important tests in school, my ''pig''-hearted father, blinded with rage and unable to accept my untempered brilliance, decided to....

[[AbusiveParents ...hrm. I presume even the MOST slow-witted of you can extrapolate the details yourselves.]]

Several of the so-called "professionals" ogling my cell believe this incident sparked an unavoidable compulsion to tell the truth, and prove I am right. Although granting these people's inane ramblings any credence will only encourage them, I have myself noticed an inability to commit a crime without the aid of my carefully-constructed conundrums. [[ChronicVillainy It... worries me, at times.]]

After a brief foray into the waters of crime through manning a crooked carnival contraption, I embraced it whole-heartedly, adopting my ''nom de plume'' and striking fear into the hearts of Gotham with a dazzling array of crimes, capers and deathtraps! Still, brilliance attracts nemeses, and the Batman eventually began using my riddles to thwart my crimes before FINALLY locating me, and sending me plunging off a pier to my doom.

[[DidYouDie ...for those of you incapable of figuring it out, I lived.]]

Afterwards, I continued my clue-riddled crime waves! These ranged from the whimsical, such as daubing a charade-clue for the people of Gotham on the Gotham Museum so I could escape through the resultant crowds with stolen Egyptian artifacts, to the more unseemly, such as hijacking a bus, offering riddles to the passengers and killing and robbing any pathetic wastes who failed to solve them.

It was then, through a partnership with upcoming lesser villain Hush, that I solved the greatest riddle of all: the identity of the Dark Knight himself! [[StatusQuoIsGod ...unfortunately, I can't reveal it to you, or anyone else.]] After all, a riddle that everyone knows the answer to is worthless, as he so ''irritatingly'' pointed out.[[labelnote:Note]]Plus he also mentioned that if I revealed it, it would alert Ra's al Ghul and his League of Assassins that I used a Lazarus Pit without his permission and come after me.[[/labelnote]] I suppose you'll have to set your tiny, ''lizard'' brains to deducing it yourselves, won't you?

After an ill-fated venture on behalf of the Society left me brutally beaten by the Shining Knight, and in a coma for the better part of a year, I elected to turn my vast and undefeatable intellect to solving crimes, rather than their proliferation. The cases were child's play, and in many cases annoyingly so, but they gave me an opportunity to prove my intellectual superiority to the Batman on a somewhat more acceptable playing field.

[[Main/{{New 52}} As of recent events, however,]] I have discarded this folly and returned to my old ways. Apparently, up to and including imprisonment. Only for as long as I see fit, of course.

It is worth noting that many of the ignorant masses were first made aware of my excellence through [[LiveActionTV/{{Batman}} Frank Gorshin's portrayal,]] (To say nothing about his excellent fashion suggestion in costumes) as well as my stooping to engage with the so-called "menaces" in the [[WesternAnimation/SuperFriends Legion of Doom]]. Fortunately, Creator/JohnGlover later portrayed me with the proper intelligence as in a most satisfying ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' story where I got my revenge on a former employer that even the Batman could not thwart. In 1995, Creator/JimCarrey decided to ape Gorshin's performance in ''Film/BatmanForever''; while not completely faithful, he was close enough and theatrical enough to do me justice. Barely. In the world of video games, Creator/WallyWingert has tried his hand at impersonating me in the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'', with my affinity for [[DeathTrap death-traps]] intact. Cory Michael Smith is set to portray a more youthful variation of myself on ''Gotham''.

And now, a riddle!

->A nine-letter word, common as air,
->When each letter's cut, a new word to pare,
->Take a letter each round and continue to one.
->Name the word and the path and then you'll be done.

Can you solve it? [[labelnote:Need a hint?]]The answer's startling, I assure you![[/labelnote]] Oh, what am I saying? Of course you can't! Once you've admitted I'm better than you, leave any of your tropes related to me below.
----
!!Tropes:
* AbusiveParents: Edward was brutally beaten as a child because his father believed that he cheated on a test, then continued to do so even as Edward told him he didn't because his father believed that he was lying. No wonder he developed psychological issues.
* AffablyEvil: When he's in a good mood.
* AscendedExtra: A rather minor villain until his first appearance on the sixties show. A combination of the series' popularity and Frank Gorshin's memorable performance saw Riddler become far more prominent in the comics.
* AttentionWhore: His justification for becoming The Riddler, as shown in ''Detective Comics Annual'' #8:
--> "It wasn't the money I wanted. It wasn't the action I sought. I just liked the attention."
* TheBadGuyWins:
** His [[BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Diniverse]] version actually ''won'' in his debut episode. While Batman and Robin thwarted his attempt to kill the CorruptCorporateExecutive who screwed him out of the profits of the best-selling video game he designed, the Riddler still got a very nice ConsolationPrize in that the executive's life was ruined because he now lived in paranoid fear of the Riddler's return.
** As of the Comicbook/{{New 52}} reboot, Batman's first year of vigilantism has once more been modified, and Eddie plays a big role in it. In Zero Year [[spoiler:he tricks the GCPD into giving him total control of the city. And Batman isn't able to stop him.]]
* BadassInANiceSuit: Thanks to ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', he often dresses in snappy suits as opposed to the old green question-mark-print tights. And yeah, he ''can'' be a badass when the situation calls for it.
* BigBad: In the [[Series/{{Batman}} sixties show]] and of ''ComicBook/BatmanZeroYear''.
* BrainsAndBondage: Occasionally referenced--his minions Query and Echo used to work at a fetish club.
* ButtMonkey: Jeph Loeb's ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' and ''Dark Victory'' both portray him as this. [[spoiler:''Catwoman: When in Rome'' and ''Hush'' (both written by Loeb as well) avert this, however]]. Although, [[spoiler:the aftermath of ''Hush'' shown him getting beaten up by everyone he used before.]]
* CallingCard: His riddles.
* CaneFu: To the point where his cane in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'' looks more like a blunt weapon than a walking aid.
* CanonImmigrant: Frank Gorshin in the [[Series/{{Batman}} live action Batman]] created the green suit and bowler hat look as an alternative for the spandex and the slightly more sedate version in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' sealed the deal to make this the Riddler's preferred costume in the comics.
* CatchPhrase: Sometimes has a tendency to introduce his riddles with "Riddle me this."
* TheChessmaster / TheDogWasTheMastermind: [[spoiler: During the ''Hush'' arc. One of the cover arts even shows him playing chess with pieces looking like the characters, though Batman had dismissed him earlier since he hadn't updated his tactics like the others had.]]
%% * ChronicVillainy
* CivvieSpandex: His trademark outfit. Now almost exclusively associated with the goofy, harmless trickster version of him; he's preferred the question-mark smoking jacket more recently.
* CriminalMindGames: His M.O.
* CutLexLuthorACheck: After ''InfiniteCrisis'', he briefly reformed and went into business as a PrivateInvestigator, reasoning that he'd still get paid to match wits with Batman (the thing he really enjoyed) and Batman wouldn't be allowed to hit him anymore.
* CuttingTheKnot: Batman often defeats Ridder using either this or by [[TakeAThirdOption taking a third option]].
%% * DastardlyDapperDerby
* DeathTrap: He loves these. In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', he uses them on innocents in a challenge for Batman. Some fans have pointed out that he's taken a few lessons from [[{{Saw}} Jigsaw]], while others would like to point out that [[OlderThanTheyThink Jigsaw took a few lessons from him]].
* DemonicPossession: During the "Dark Knight, Dark City" storyline. The result? An AxCrazy version of the character that only the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'''s version can compete with.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Bumbling CloudCuckooLander? Scheming near-equal to Batman? A BunnyEarsLawyer version of both? Or a psychopath who could go head to head with the Joker in terms of insanity?
** And thanks to ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', he might be a nerdy [[{{Saw}} Jigsaw]].
* DiminishingVillainThreat:
** Inverted, began as a relatively harmless, some-what ridiculous villain and escalated into a genuine threat.
** Also kind of applied in universe; throughout his criminal career the Riddler has felt the need to pull bigger, more dangerous and more complicated stunts mostly out of a compulsive need to "play" with Batman.
* DominoMask: A green one is more or less the only thing consistent about his costume throughout his various incarnations. Well, when it's not purple...or black...or painted on...
* GigglingVillain: In the sixties series, even more so [[UpToEleven than the Joker.]]
* HarmlessVillain: Frequently. Even in the DarkAge, he tries to avoid needless violence, though it all [[DependingOnTheWriter depends on the writer]].
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Sometimes retires from crime and uses his skills for puzzle solving to do detective work. Though inevitably never for long.
* HumiliationConga: Had a big one post-''Hush''.
%% * {{Idiosyncrazy}}
* InsufferableGenius: He's the smartest man in Gotham (or so he thinks, anyway) and doesn't mind lording it over that big dumb Bat at every opportunity.
* LargeHam: The Gorshin version especially had a tendency towards giggling, manic monologues. And Jim Carrey's one had the [[FashionVictimVillain outrageous clothes]] to help.
%% * LinkedListClueMethodology
%% * MasterOfIllusion
* NiceHat: It started with Frank Gorshin, but even in the comics, the Riddler's now often found wearing a snazzy green bowler hat.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain:
** "Dark Knight, Dark City" shows that if Riddler ever stepped up his game, he would actually ''beat'' Batman.
** The reaction many had on the Riddler's appearance in the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' can be summarized as "they actually managed to make the Riddler scary".
%% * As ''Hush'' proved.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:During ''Catwoman: When in Rome''.]]
* OffingTheOffspring: Implied to have killed his daughter, Enigma.
* PsychoticSmirk: A trademark of his.
* PunnyName: Edward Nygma. Really, what are the odds?
** The writers tried to give him the more normal "Edward Nashton" for a while. It didn't stick, and Nashton became one of Edward's aliases.
** The idea was that Nashton was his birth name, from his [[AbusiveParents father]], which would explain why he changed it.
* ReluctantPsycho: He's crushed at how his insanity renders him incapable of not leaving Batman riddles that lead to his defeat.
* RiddleMeThis: He's the TropeNamer.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: His reaction to the earthquake that created the ''[[ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]]'' arc. He's the ''only'' Arkhamite to even consider making a break for it. Which he does.
** In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'', he does the same. He doesn't seem very concerned with escaping from [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity Arkham City]], though.
* ShadowArchetype: He's a reflection of Batman's nature as a intellectual.
* SmartPeopleWearGlasses: When he's not wearing the DominoMask, which has been a lot lately.
* SmugSnake: One of his trademarks.
--> [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity And as you lie blubbering on the floor like an ignorant child, you'll know...]] ''[[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity that the Riddler is better than you]]''!
* [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Spell My Surname With An S]]: Is it "Nigma" with an "I" or "Nygma" with a "Y"?
%% * SpiritedCompetitor
* SymbolMotifClothing: His outfits are adorned with question marks, the amount of which depends on the outfit.
* TakeAThirdOption: Batman often gets past his riddles by doing this, beating them in ways Riddler didn't anticipate.
* TongueTied:
** He knows Batman's identity, but he can't reveal it due to his psyche; as Batman says, "A riddle that everybody knows the answer to is useless."
** Also, Batman hints to Riddler that Ra's al Ghul might find out he used a Lazarus Pit if he bragged about it.
%% * TheTrickster
* VillainousBreakdown: He's had a lot of these over the years.
* WillNotTellALie: He'll just coat the truth in an enigma, wrap it in a riddle, and stuff the whole thing into a Chinese puzzle box.
* WorthyOpponent: Considers Batman this, due to him being the only one smart enough to solve his riddles.
----

...what? How did you...you CHEATED! You MUST have cheated! I'LL GET YOU F▓R THIS! You HEAR me?! I, E▓▓ARD N▓GMA, WILL▓▓▓▓▓▓▓