[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/batman-1989.jpg]]

->''"I'm not going to kill you. I want you to do me a favor: I want you to tell all your friends about me."''\\
'''''"WHAT ARE YOU?!"'''''\\
''"... I'm Batman."''

Creator/TimBurton's blockbuster film that, in regards to pop culture, took the world by storm in [[TheEighties 1989]].

Bruce Wayne (Creator/MichaelKeaton) has been fighting crime in Gotham as Batman for some time when this film starts, but is an enigma to a city unsure of what he is. The plot here chronicles his battles with Jack Napier/The Joker (Creator/JackNicholson). In terms of popularity, this film is the best regarded of this film series.

An AcademyAward deservedly went to Anton Furst's amazing set design, which was partly inspired by ''Film/BladeRunner'' and ''{{Film/Metropolis}}'', and became just as influential as those films in dystopic set design.

Sequels included ''Film/BatmanReturns'', ''Film/BatmanForever'' and ''Film/BatmanAndRobin''.

See also ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', which took some cues from the Burton films and actually launched the same year as ''Returns'', and went on to produce a few movies of its own. The notorious ''Film/{{Catwoman}}'' film in 2004 has no continuity connection with these, but it's worth noting that the whole idea of doing a film about her alone was inspired by Pfeiffer's performance in '92.

See also ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'', the Creator/ChristopherNolan ContinuityReboot of the ''{{Franchise/Batman}}'' movies.

Not to be confused with ''Film/BatmanTheMovie'' based on the [[Series/{{Batman}} Television Series]] with Creator/AdamWest.

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!!This film provides examples of:
* AdaptedOut: [[spoiler: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is the killer of Bruce Wayne's parents, rather than Joe Chill, the man who shot them in the original comic books. Though some think Jack's partner in the flashback was Chill (it's probably Bob, given that the guy looks and sounds like him).]]
* AluminumChristmasTrees: There really have been cases of people being killed by laughter. Perhaps the most well-documented cases are from Papua New Guinea, where until the 1970s a rare disease known as ''kuru'' was relatively common. Spread by the consumption of raw brains (certain tribes were cannibalistic), the disease was eradicated by Western missionaries and doctors. The word ''kuru'' translated to "laughing sickness", presumably because the victims died laughing. ''Kuru'' is now known as a spongiform encephalopathy, a close relative of the Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and the mad cow disease.
* AmbiguousTimePeriod: Reporters use very old fashioned cameras and a lot of the film's elements seem to be from TheForties, and yet Batman himself has very modern technology; far better than anything that existed when the movie was made!
* AntiHero:
** Batman is not a stranger to this trope, but unlike most other incarnations, Burton's Batman has no problem with ''killing'' a mook.
** The Joker also comes across as this at first, since his first three victims (four if you count his shooting Lieutenant Eckhardt as Jack Napier) are all unrepentant mobsters or Mob-sympathizers whom nobody is going to miss. If the Joker hadn't poisoned all those innocent people throughout the rest of the film, Gotham's citizens would have had a very good reason to trust him at the anniversary festival.
* ArmedLegs: Towards the climax Batman faces one of the Joker's mooks, who tries to drop-kick him while blades extend from his boots. Batman instead just [[GroinAttack punches him in the nuts]] and moves on.
* ArtAttacker: The Joker describes himself as this: "I make art until someone dies. I am the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist. "
* AssholeVictim: Lieutenant Eckhardt and Carl Grissom.
* AssShove / ToiletHumor: "This town needs an enema!"
* AttackOfTheTownFestival: The Gotham 200th Anniversary Festival is in trouble because people are scared of high crime in the city, and the conflict between the Joker and the gangsters and the Joker's poisoning of the population make it worse. Despite all this, the mayor insists that the Festival must occur so businesses will come back to the city.
** Eventually, the mayor does give in when it becomes obvious that it's simply too dangerous to hold a festival... which is The Joker's cue to pick up the slack. And he's giving out free money! Why, how could ''that'' hurt anyone?
* ATeamFiring: When Batman in the Batplane fires MoreDakka at the Joker. It strafes the ground up to him and riddles the parade float behind him. It ''could'' be [[ImprobableAimingSkills Improbable Missing Skills]] since Bats avoids killing, but the bullets hit spots on the float that would be physically impossible reach without going through the Joker's body first.
** [[WordOfGod The tie-in book to the film]] shows that the Joker was initially supposed to literally ''dance around'' the bullets and rockets.
* AwardBaitSong: [[http://video.yandex.ru/users/crow-jane/view/10/ Scandalous!]] by Prince may be considered this.
* AxCrazy: The Joker, as usual. Though the film implies that Jack Napier was crazy to begin with.
* BadassGrandpa: Commissioner Gordon, although in subsequent films he suffers BadassDecay.
* BadassMustache: One of Joker's mobsters sports one.
* BadassNormal: Knox, of all people, manages to get rid of one Smilex balloon ''all by himself''.
* BadBoss: The Joker, even moreso than usual. [[TearJerker Rest in peace, Bob...]]
* BangFlagGun: Naturally, the Joker has one.
* BatmanGrabsAGun: In the beginning Batman seemed pretty straightforward on his ThouShaltNotKill ethics. Sparing 2 mooks to spread the legend. However upon finding out the Joker killed his parents, he not only starts killing; He equips firearms to his Batmobile and Batwing.
* BerserkButton: '''''"HE STOLE MY BALLOONS!!!!!"'''''
* BigBad: The Joker
* BigElectricSwitch: After Batman drives into the Batcave with Vicki Vale, he turns on the lights by throwing a switch.
* BillingDisplacement: JackNicholson is the top billed actor, not MichaelKeaton. [[EnsembleDarkhorse And with danged good reason.]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: Anton Furst's Gotham practically exemplifies this.
* BloodstainedGlassWindows: Batman's final confrontation against The Joker takes place on top of Gotham Cathedral.
* BoardToDeath: The Joker does this to his crime bosses.
* {{Bookends}}: When Batman takes on his first on screen mooks, the first words that come out of his mouth are [[ThouShaltNotKill "I'm not gonna kill you."]] When he finds out the Joker killed his parents, after saying Joker's [[MeaningfulEcho own line to his face.]] He flat out tells him [[BatmanGrabsAGun "I'm gonna kill you."]]
* BondOneLiner: The Joker gets a few ("Antoine got a little hot under the collar", "The pen is truly mightier than the sword").
* BrandX: In the Joker's [[DoNotAdjustYourSet Smilex]] commercial, at the "blind taste test", a man who is tied to a chair and gagged (with a disclaimer reading "Not An Actor") is said to have been using BrandX ("Oh No!").
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Alicia.
* BringIt: Batman to Bob, the Joker's chief henchman, and the Joker to Batman while he was about to attack in the Bat Jet.
* BrokenHeel: Subverted than inverted quite neatly, when the Joker takes Vicki hostage and then takes off her high heels to subvert this as they both ascend to the eventual ClimbingClimax at the top of the very, very tall Gotham Cathedral. The inversion is that because her heels were slowing her down until the Joker got rid of them, it allowed the hero (rather than the villain, as usual for this trope) to gain ground. The other reason she's constantly taking off her heels is that Basinger is only 1.5" shorter than Keaton. With the heels on, Vicki is ''taller'' than Batman.
* BrooklynRage: The Joker's goons flash some of this on occasion.
* TheBrute
** Lawrence, Joker's only other named goon, who is also BaldOfEvil and never seen without his CoolShades. He frequently carries around a ghetto blaster to provide the background music.
** The guy Batman fights in the bell tower at the end.
* BuffySpeak: After Batsy foils his scheme to poison the entire city with the Batplane, the usually eloquent Joker splutters: "Why didn't somebody tell me he had one of those... things?!"
* ButForMeItWasTuesday: Played with.
-->'''Batman:''' [[YouKilledMyFather You killed my parents.]]\\
'''Joker:''' What? ''[chuckles]'' What are you talking about?\\
'''Batman:''' [[CreateYourOwnVillain I made you.]] But [[DarkAndTroubledPast you made me first]].\\
'''Joker:''' I was a kid when I killed your parents. When I said "I made you", you gotta say "you made me"! How childish can you get?
* CameraSniper: When Vicki spots Bruce visiting the spot where his parents died, the camera goes into this style.
* CaptainObvious: Vicki Vale. "Bats", she points out, upon seeing the animals in the Batcave, "His parents were murdered in that alley. That's why he went there" while checking Bruce Wayne's newspaper files motivated by having seen him going to the alley, and then when she sees Joker's Smylex gas flowing out of a balloon, she comments "Smylex gas". In the first and third example, the referred items are in plain sight not only to her but to the audience as well.
* CaptiveDate: The Joker and Vicki Vale.
* TheCastShowoff: Nicholson's Jack Palance impression. It's pretty good, too.
* CelebrityParadox: Just ''barely'' averted in the museum scene, when the Joker and his men are playing Prince's "Partyman" on their boombox. As anyone who saw the music video for that song could tell you, there's a break in the lyrics in which a Kim Basinger lookalike lip-syncs the Vicki Vale line [[ItMakesSenseInContext "Oh, I]] ''[[ItMakesSenseInContext love]]'' [[ItMakesSenseInContext purple!"]] The tape player is switched to Percy Faith's "A Summer Place" as the Joker sits down across from Vicki; if it had been left on the Prince song just a few seconds longer, Vicki would have heard herself delivering a line from the movie that (in-universe) she has yet to speak!
* CharityBall: The Casino Night variant to obtain money to bail out the Gotham City Festival.
* ChekhovsGun: The Joker's helicopter, which first appears after Batman uses the Batmobile to blow up Axis Chemicals and again later as the Joker's means of escape from the top of a building.
* ClimbingClimax: The Joker is [[Main/GenreSavvy savvy enough]] to call ahead for a helicopter to pick him (and Vicki) up, but his escape fails big time. (The funny thing is that he pretty clearly made it up the cathedral in about five minutes - if he hadn't adjusted the time for when the helicopter should show up, he'd have made a clean getaway.)
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The Joker.
** When addressing the public about Boss Grissom's death: "Yes, he was a thief. And a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice." That, and his boast about being a homicidal artist ("I make art until somebody dies.") His conversation with a charcoaled Rotelli is definite ''proof'' of Cloud [=CuckooInsanity=]:
--->'''Joker:''' Your pals, uh, they're not bad people. Maybe we, uh, outta give them a couple of days to think it over. ''(shakes head)'' No? ''(gasps in shock at the corpse)'' [[StatingTheSimpleSolution Grease 'em now?]] Well... okay. You are a vicious bastard Rotelli. ''(tightens Rotelli's tie)'' I'm glad you're dead! ''([[LaughingMad laughs maniacally at own joke]])'' "I'm glad you're dead!" Hee hee hee!
** Then there's this exchange, when Vicki asks Joker what he wants. The scariest aspect is that, no, he isn't joking. He even makes reference to it when defacing the famous portrait of UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington.
--->'''Joker:''' My face on the one dollar bill.
--->'''Vicki:''' You must be joking.
--->'''Joker:''' ''(absolutely serious)'' Do I ''look'' like I'm joking?
** Bruce Wayne himself indulges in this trope somewhat to strengthen his RichIdiotWithNoDayJob persona:
--->'''Knox''': You know why they're so odd? Because they can afford to be.
** Vicki accuses Batman as one.
--->'''Vicki:''' A lot of people think you're as dangerous as the Joker.\\
'''Batman:''' ''He's'' psychotic.\\
'''Vicki:''' Some people say the same thing about ''you''.\\
'''Batman:''' What people?\\
'''Vicki:''' Well, I mean let's face it, you're not exactly... normal. Are you?\\
'''Batman:''' ''(confronts her)'' It's [[CrapsackWorld not exactly a normal world]] is it?
* CompanionCube: The Batmobile, which gets several AwesomeMoments whilst being remote controlled.
* CompositeCharacter
** Vicki Vale resembles her comic counterpart in name and occupation only, as her characterization is much closer to another of Bruce Wayne's love interests from the comics named Silver St. Cloud, a blonde woman who learns about Bruce's secret identity as Batman. An early draft of the script featured Silver St. Cloud, but the character was renamed since the producers thought the name sounded too cheesy.
** The film forgoes Joe Chill and makes [[spoiler:a young Jack Napier into the murderer of Bruce Wayne's parents.]]
* CoolCar: The Batmobile.
* TheCoronerDothProtestTooMuch: The Joker sadly informs Vicki that his girlfriend Alicia "threw herself out of a window".
* {{Corpsing}}: InUniverse - One unfortunate news reporter does it before ''[[DieLaughing becoming]]'' [[DieLaughing a corpse]] due to Joker's deadly Smilex.
* TheCorrupter
** The Joker showers $20 million in cash on the people at the parade as poisoned gas-filled balloons loom over their heads - thus trying to lure them into DeathByMaterialism. While not shown in the film, the comic and novelization show the cash was actually SchmuckBait. It was not only counterfeit, it had the Joker's face on the bill. It ties in with the foreshadowing when the Joker says he wants his face on the one dollar bill and Jack Napier's aptitude in art (as well as chemistry).
*** To drive the point home, the crowd is chanting "Money! Money! Money!" - in time with Prince's music, of course.
** The Joker also tries to tempt Vicki into becoming his girlfriend on [[RuleOfThree three]] [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything occasions]] - first appealing to her pride ("We're not like regular people. We're artists."), then using the WoundedGazelleGambit in reciting a tragic poem, and finally outright trying to seduce her with [[DanceOfRomance a "romantic" waltz]]. He outright fails on the first two tries, and then ''seems'' to have succeeded on the third try when Vicki starts returning his kisses, but it's just a HoneyTrap.
* CounterfeitCash: Though it doesn't appear in the film itself, the comic book and novel adaptations of this film have the people of Gotham City find out that the "free cash" that the Joker was giving away at the city's 200th birthday celebration parade he was throwing was all counterfeit bills with the Joker's face on them.
* CrapsackWorld: What Bruce thinks the world is, and its that world that killed his parents and the reason he's Batman.
-->'''Bruce:''' I tried to avoid all this but I can't. This is how it is. It's not a perfect world.\\
'''Vicki:''' It doesn't have to be a perfect world.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: Despite changing the Joker into being the mugger who killed the Waynes, a lot of people really enjoyed the exchange Batman and the Joker had at the end where they wonder who really created who.
* CreatorCameo: Bob Kane's signature can be seen on the opinion cartoon handed to Knox; Kane himself was originally supposed to play the cartoonist but had to drop out at the last minute. A more literal example is Burton playing one of the Joker's goons during the museum scene (or so rumor has it).
* CreepyCathedral: [[http://batman.wikia.com/wiki/Gotham_Cathedral_%28Burton_Films%29 Gotham City Cathedral]].
* DamselInDistress: Vicki Vale.
* DeadlineNews: Some news anchors are discussing the Joker's act of chemical terrorism on Gotham, when suddenly a female anchor starts laughing uncontrollably, and then falls over dead with the victims' characteristic grin on her face.
* DeadlyGas: This was the Joker's favorite method of killing people. He did it twice, once in the museum where Bruce was supposed to meet Vicki, and once in the big parade scene with big parade-float balloons full of the DeadlyGas. Batman took the balloons away in the Batwing and sent them well away from the city in order to stop him.
* DeadpanSnarker
** Jack Napier is a good example of this before his "Jokerization."
** Bruce Wayne is no slouch himself.
-->'''Knox''': ''*referring to a samurai-style armor*'' Where did this come from?
-->'''Vicki''': I have no idea.
-->'''Bruce''': It's Japanese.
-->'''Knox''': And how do you know?
-->'''Bruce''': ''*beat*'' Because I bought it in Japan.
** Knox bests both. When Vinnie claims that Jack Napier and he were good enough friends to sign over his organization to him, Knox asks if they shared a jail cell as kids.
* DeathByDisfigurement: The Joker burns his girlfriend Alicia's face with acid to make her a "work of art". She later commits suicide by throwing herself out a window... or so he says. Knowing the Joker, anything's possible.
* DeathByOriginStory: As usual.
* DecoyProtagonist: If you're seeing this movie for the first time and are familiar with its comic-book origins, you might be forgiven for thinking that [[LittleJimmy Jimmy]] (the boy with the map whose parents are mugged in the opening sequence) is the child Bruce Wayne when you first see him. Only when his father calls him by name (telling him to put away the map) is the truth revealed - and then it becomes clear that the scene is ''not'' a flashback when Batman swoops down to avenge the mugging.
* DeliberatelyMonochrome: Pretty close at times.
* DemotedToExtra: Commissioner Gordon. Understandable in the first, since Batman isn't working with the police, but he just keeps vanishing into the background as the films go on.
* DieselPunk
* DirtyCop: Lt. Eckhardt, who is on Grissom's payroll.
* DisneyVillainDeath
** Happens to one of the Joker's goons during the battle in the top floor of Gotham Cathedral. Batman bangs his head against a giant bell and sends him hurtling to his death down a shaft.
** [[spoiler:The Joker.]] We even see exactly how far down he has to fall, as well as a close-up of his crushed corpse.
* DisproportionateRetribution: In the opening, the criminal who assaults the father and turns a gun on the mother and child gets a little fright, while the other bum who merely tagged along and chastised the former for turning the gun on the kid gets kicked through a door and has to be taken away on a stretcher.
** The Joker of all people calls Grissom out for this, as the entire reason that the Axis Chemical espionage job was botched, was because Carl deliberately set Jack up to be killed over Alicia.
--> '''Joker:''' [[LampshadeHanging You set me up over a woman....]][[SuddenlyShouting A WOMAN!!!!]] [[YoureInsane You must be insane.]]
* DoNotAdjustYourSet: The Joker does this twice.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Justified, as Vicki is wearing high heels and the situation she was in made ditching them prudent. She also winds up shoeless at the film's climax, and also removes her shoes while on her date with Bruce. The RealLife reason for this was that Kim Basinger is only a little shorter than Michael Keaton. Combined with the fact that her character continually wears high heels throughout the film, Batman would end up looking comically short when standing next to her, hence it was necessary to have her lose the heels in certain scenes. (However, see TheissTitillationTheory for another take on this.)
* TheDogBitesBack: The very first thing Jack Napier does after becoming SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker was kill Grissom as revenge for setting him up to be killed due to his sleeping with Grissom's wife.
* TheDragon: Bob, the Joker's right-hand man, who seldom speaks but is actually quite good at his job. You could say that he's the perfect henchman, which makes the Joker eventually shooting him just plain wrong, even for supervillainy.
* DullSurprise: Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale, especially when [[spoiler: she meets Bruce in the Batcave, and later when the Batplane gets shot down]]. RogerEbert chided the former sequence, asking why Vicki's reaction was so mundane. Could be justified if you subscribe to the theory that Vicki had already figured out Bruce Wayne's secret while reading about his parents' murders with Allie at the office, and had obviously given herself time to come to terms with the truth before heading for Wayne Manor. (Indeed, sharp-eyed viewers will notice that Vicki is wearing a different outfit in the Batcave than at the office, proving that she at least took time out to change her clothes.)
* DutchAngle: A few instances. This ''is'' Batman, after all.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Well, it's not ''[[BittersweetEnding completely]]'' [[BittersweetEnding happy]], since Batman, as the next movie reveals, is once again alone and ''nobody'' gets the girl - but everything still ends on a pretty high note for a story otherwise [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism so firmly on the cynical end of the spectrum]].
* ElectricJoybuzzer: "Antoine got a little hot under the collar!"
* {{Elite Mook|s}}: The mook at the top of the bell tower smacks Batman around pretty well for a little while.
* EnemyMime: The Joker's goons masquerade as mimes at the courthouse.
* EnemyRisingBehind: The Joker's goons shoot Batman while he's on the ground, then turn away. He rises up from the ground behind them, then proceeds to beat them up.
* EurekaMoment: Vicki may have had one after seeing the news clipping of the murder of Bruce's parents.
-->'''Knox:''' ''(to Vicki)'' What do you suppose something like this does to a kid?
* EvenEvilHasStandards
** Before Bats takes out the muggers at the beginning, one chastises his partner for pointing his gun at the kid.
** The mob was legitimately horrified about Jack Napier/Joker's actions during the mob meeting.
** Jack's partner didn't anticipate him shooting at Bruce's parents.
* EvilIsPetty: To the Joker, anything can be countenanced by society -- or, at least, ''should'' be countenanced -- as long as it is [[RuleOfFunny funny]]; and if it is what one would presumably call a "misdeed," the question of whether it results in great suffering or mere irritation is simply irrelevant. So the Joker goes about doing every "naughty" thing he can think of, just to see what will happen as a result. For example: He electrocutes a fellow gangster just so he can make a bad pun and "comically" talk to the corpse. He hijacks a television broadcast with an irreverent "commercial" taunting Gothamites for having unwittingly bought poisoned household items. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking He sends the girl he lusts after a jack-in-the-box that pops up with a handful of dead flowers, which causes her to faint because she was expecting something far more deadly.]]
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The Anton Furst-designed Gotham City was a ''city'' full of these. Carl Grissom's penthouse suite definitely qualifies, though.
* ExactWords: The Joker during the climax says to Vicki Vale, while she and Batman are hanging for dear life, "Here: let me lend you a hand.". He really meant lending her a hand. Unfortunately, he meant it literally (as in, supplying her with a fake hand that snaps off upon contact), and only Batman's intervention prevents her from falling to her death.
* {{Expy}}: The overweight, gruff, corrupt Lt. Eckhardt appears to be based on either Detective Flass or Pre-Crisis Harvey Bullock.
** Jack Napier is not only the Joker, but an Expy of [[spoiler:Joe Chill, the mugger who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne]].
* FailingATaxi: The tourist family in the opening scene has things especially bad. They had succeeded in hailing a cab, but as the father was giving directions to the hotel they were planning on staying at, someone else butted in and boarded the cab before he could finish, even though they were there first. [[WretchedHive Gotham, huh?]]
* {{Fainting}}: The Joker causes both Alicia Hunt and Vicki Vale to do the Emotional version.
* FakeOutOpening: The movie begins with a guy mugging a couple and their young son and, the parents live? Then Batman shows up and beats up the mugger.
* FamousLastWords: When Joker is about to make his escape via the chopper, he says "Sometimes I just kill myself!" A few seconds later, his leg is attached to a Gargoyle, that promptly breaks off, and then he falls to his doom.
* {{Fanfare}}: A dark one for the opening, and a triumphant one at the end.
* FatBastard: Lt. Eckhardt. Napier hands him the bribe money in a sandwich!
* FatSlob: Lt Max Eckhart. May have been [[{{Expy}} inspired]] by Harvey Bullock.
* FauxAffablyEvil[=/=]PutTheLaughterInSlaughter: The Joker (a given with this character in any incarnation). This version of the character takes the FauxAffablyEvil trope so far that he seems to look like a funny MonsterClown. Being portrayed by Creator/JackNicholson certainly helps. The film actually has to remind us with a flashback toward the end exactly why Jack Napier is a ''very'' bad man.
* AFeteWorseThanDeath: The 200th Anniversary celebration, where the Joker hosts the party—and then releases the Smilex gas.
* FiringInTheAirALot: Some of the Joker's goons fire into the air during a chase for no particular reason.
* FiveBadBand:
** The Grissom gang in the first part of the movie:
*** BigBad: Carl Grissom
*** TheDragon: Vinnie Ricorso (or so he'd like to believe)
*** TheBrute: Jack Napier
*** EvilGenius: Grissom's accountant
*** DarkChick: Alicia
*** SixthRangerTraitor: Eckhardt
* FlashMobCoverup: Joker appears among some mimes in order to perform a murder with a deadly quill pen, and he arranges a parade with balloons full of poisonous Smilex gas.
* FlatEarthAtheist: It takes a great many characters quite a while to acknowledge that Batman ''might'' exist, and they're not willing to say so publicly. Alexander Knox (the only halfway-credible person who believes in Batman from the beginning) points out early on that, for the past month, there has been at least one sighting of Batman every week. But Harvey Dent dismisses the stories of Batman sightings as tales of "ghosts and goblins," and Eckhardt the police lieutenant insists that the slum dwellers who claim to have seen a bat-creature are "drinkin' Drano." Vicki Vale does ''pretend'' to believe, but this is only to convince Knox to join her in an official investigation of the sightings, which [[ItsAllAboutMe Vale hopes will advance her career and maybe even win her a Pulitzer Prize]]. Commissioner Gordon is the second major character to catch a glimpse of Batman...but he'd rather just sweep the truth under the rug, partly because it would embarrass Gotham City's police and partly because, since [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Batman was directly responsible for Jack Napier's near-death when the police needed Napier alive as a mob informant]], Gordon frankly would rather believe that Batman does ''not'' exist.
* FlatScare: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker pulls this on Vicki Vale. [[TheDreaded Understandably,]] Vicki screams.
* FollowTheLeader: A spate of non-powered superhero movies followed, including ''Film/{{Darkman}}'' and ''Film/DickTracy'', both of which were scored by Danny Elfman.
* {{Foreshadowing}}
** "Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?" [[spoiler: The Joker and Vicki Vale do so on top of the church. The Joker and Batman have their own "dance" later, though who the "devil" is is up to debate.]]
** The card Jack pulls from his "lucky deck"? The Joker.
** A subtler one comes from Vicki having to climb the "many" stairs of Wayne Mansion, having to remove her heels. Same thing happens in the church with SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker.
** When The Joker breathes in Grissom's voice, "You... are my number one... guy!" to Bob, Bob should have realized it was a threat.
* FormFittingWardrobe: The batsuit was made to look like it.
* FreezeFrameBonus: Of sorts. When Bruce turns away from The Joker at the fireplace, watch carefully - he's putting the metal tray in his jacket.
* FreudianExcuse
** Averted with Jack Napier. Bruce Wayne reviews Napier's personal history and learns that he was a complete psycho even before he made it to ''junior high''. At best, Bruce muses that he might have a ''Darwinian'' excuse ("He had a head full of bad wiring, I guess....").
** The film is one of the earliest examples of a work that tries to subvert the idea that the Joker is [[InsanityDefence criminally insane]] and isn't responsible for his actions, an idea that only really emerged in the 70's itself. Like ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', it does so by making him a violent criminal even before he had his toxic bath, though in this one he is killed before we find out if he would have been thrown in an insane asylum rather than prison (the animated one gets the asylum, but WordOfGod is that it's only because he's managed to ''convince'' people that he's crazy, rather than actually being as crazy as he pretends).
--->'''Bruce Wayne''': (reading profile) ''"Jack Napier, assault with a deadly weapon, age fifteen. Results of psychological profile: Violent mood swings, highly intelligent, emotionally unstable. Aptitudes include science, chemistry, and art."''
* FruitCart: Well, fruit ''truck''. Full of cabbage.
* FullMoonSilhouette: Batman does it in the Batwing.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** The Joker keeps [[SomethingElseAlsoRises a ridiculously long gun in his pants]]. Not his pocket - his ''pants''.
** And try these quotes on for size:
-->''[The Joker sees a photo of Vicki for the first time.]''
-->'''Joker:''' A lovely young beast like that running around could put [[RagingStiffie steel in a man's strides]].
-->''[The Joker sees Bruce in Vicki's apartment.]''
-->'''Joker:''' Well, Miss Vale...another ''rooster'' [i.e., "cock"] in the henhouse...
** Finally, there's the climactic (pun sort of intended) scene involving Vicki slutting it up for the Joker on the cathedral roof to [[WeNeedADistraction distract him from Batman sneaking up behind him]]. Right after "I looove purple", she sinks to her knees directly facing the Joker...and the only possible explanation is that she's trying to make him think she's about to pull down his pants and blow him. The look of what can only be called pre-coital ecstasy on the Joker's face all but confirms this.
* GoodIsNotNice
** The earliest example is the muggers at the beginning. One isn't pleased his buddy turned a gun on the kid. Guess which one gets put through a wall.
** Batman, natch. He kills henchmen left and right, sends Vicki mixed signals about what's going to become of their relationship (and, it is implied, entertains the temptation of [[MoralEventHorizon raping her]]), and overall, seems to be more obsessed with enforcing the law and getting vengeance on The Joker than actually doing good.
*** With Vicki, though, it's not so much him being a dick, it's that he himself is unsure exactly where their relationship might go, or if it has a future at all, and he does, in the end, try to tell her the truth about him after decided they just might have a chance.
* GoOutWithASmile: The Joker's Smilex poison is [[DieLaughing all about this]], and as the trope entry reminds us, he goes out this way himself. (Though considering his smile is a scar, he didn't have any real choice in the matter.)
* GoingForTheBigScoop: This was Vicki Vale's role in the first film.
* GroinAttack: When Batman makes his way into the cathedral, the first of the Joker's goons tries a flying jump kick attack with spikes attached to his boots, but Batman subdues the goon by shooting something that vaguely resembles a spatula out of his gauntlet which strikes the goon right in his groin, causing him to let out an audible "Uh!" just before he falls and grimaces. Later when the giant mook who resembles Ray Charles is giving Batman a humiliating beating, his last two moves appear to be punching Batman in the groin and then shoving his knee into his groin. Right before Batman kills him. Shortly after that when Batman is beating up the Joker the Dark Knight apparently goes for a nut shot as he seemingly hits the Joker right in the groin (closely resembling a panel from Alan Moore's ''The Killing Joke'' wherein Batman punched Joker in the groin during the climactic fist fight).
* HeroicBSOD: During Joker's "pen is mightier" scene, Bruce is so shocked to see Jack Napier is still alive he even gets winged by a bullet in the suit and does not even notice it. (To make matters worse, during the massacre he is ''standing directly behind'' one of the assassins and does nothing to stop him.)
* HeyYouHaymaker:
--> '''Batman''' ''[to Joker]:'' Excuse me. [[IronicEcho You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?]]
--> ''[Batman smiles, then punches Joker in the face.]''
* HighAltitudeInterrogation: Batman does this to a [[BitPartBadGuys Bit Part Bad Guy]] at the beginning of the film. Interestingly for a trope that's generally used as a death threat, just before Batman holds the guy over the edge of the building, he tells the mook, "I'm not going to kill you."
-->'''Batman:''' I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.
-->'''Nic:''' What are you?
-->'''Batman:''' I'm Batman.
* HorrifyingHero: This film is the first (and only) one to ''truly'' invoke this trope: A flawless combination of Bob Ringwood's theatrical costume design, Michael Keaton's performance and the visceral musical score of DannyElfman, Bruce Wayne becomes a mythical, demonic figure that struck such raw terror into the heart of evil that the average petty thug could only incoherently scream to the police: "I'm telling ya man: '''A Giant Bat!'''"
* HumanoidAbomination / MonstrousHumanoid: Jack Napier is something like this in Bruce Wayne's imagination, if his [[EvilSoundsDeep Satanic tone of voice]] during Wayne's reminiscence about his parents' murders is anything to go by. Ironically, averted when he becomes the Joker, since he's not ''[[FailPolish excessively]]'' [[FailPolish disfigured]] and just looks like a guy in clown makeup (and the people of Gotham City believe him to be exactly that).
* TheHyena: Joker
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: Joker's got to get Vicki to the church on time.
* ImMelting: When Vicki throws a glass of water into the Joker's face, he pretends that this is happening in a ShoutOut to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: Batman apparently trains there as he fires several machinegun rounds and mini-missiles at a completely still and in-the-open Joker, with intent to kill as he'd done a few seconds before, and misses every shot. [[RefugeInAudacity Then, Joker pulls a pistol with what looks like a five-foot-long barrel out of his pants]] [[ImprobableAimingSkills and shoots down the Batplane barrelling at him]].
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: In the fight at the cathedral, Batman apparently has a gadget that was designed for the sole-purpose of crushing an opponents nuts. ''And he does that to one of the Joker's mooks.''
** The previously mentioned five foot revolver probably counts too, not least of which for the barrel's apparent ''collapsibility''.
* InstantArmor: A push of a button on the Batmobile covers it in armor.
* InsultMisfire
--> Joker (to Vicki Vale): We're like Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast. 'Course, if anyone else calls you "Beast", I'll rip their lungs out!
* IntimidationDemonstration: The Joker's sword-wielding {{mook|s}} gives a display in sword swinging before attacking Batman.
* IronicEcho[=/=] PreMortemOneLiner
** "Eckhardt! Think about the future!"
** "Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?"
* ItsGoingDown: Axis Chemicals.
* JokerImmunity: Averted with the TropeNamer's ''death'' -- just as he was about to escape.
* JustBetweenYouAndMe:
-->'''Bruce:''' ''(whispers to Joker)'' [[IKnowYourTrueName I know who you are.]]
* KickTheDog
** Losing your balloons is a sad thing. We'll give you that, Joker, but shooting Bob afterwards was still a dick move. It was also an IronicEcho. Joker gave Bob a warning/death sentence earlier in the film when he imitated his own treacherous boss, calling Bob his "Number one guy". Now that's the Joker's kind of punchline.
** It could be argued that Joker wasn't without regret over it, as he somberly told his remaining mooks that he needed some time alone, walking sadly away from the loud gunshots and yelling to get the crowd away.
** Back in the beginning of the movie, Nic, one of the two BitPartBadGuys that get their asses kicked by Batman, turns his gun on little Jimmy to intimidate the others into silence, a move that disturbs his partner.
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Joker's murder of Lt. Eckhart, Grissom, Rotelli, and Ricorso.
* KitschyLocalCommercial: The Joker makes one of these to announce "Joker Brand Cosmetics, with Smilex", complete with him posing with carboard cutout models, shopping in a fake grocery store, and doing a side-by-side comparison with a "Brand-X".
* KungFuProofMook: One of the Joker's mooks actually gives as good as he gets from Batman. Then Batman kills him.
* LackOfEmpathy: [[spoiler:When Batman revealed to The Joker that he murdered his parents, thus meaning that The Joker made him first, The Joker mocks Batman for the way he explained it, culminating in "How childish can you get!?"]]
* LargeHam: The Joker, and also Grissom.
-->'''The Joker:''' We've got a flying mouse to kill, and I want to clean my claws!
* LaughingMad: It's ''SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker'', for Chrissakes!
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: In several scenes, what appeared to be background music turns out to be emanating from a boombox that the Joker has a mook follow him around with.
* LetsGetDangerous: Two examples, one right after the other, during the scene in Vicki's apartment. The first is when Bruce, challenging the Joker, picks up a poker and bellows "COME ON! LET'S GET NUTS!" Then, after a long stretch of acting like a deluded fool following his transformation, the Joker retaliates by unexpectedly switching back to the persona of Jack Napier for an in-universe CallBack, in a refreshingly chilling moment that contrasts how he (as the Joker) has been acting for much of the film. Then ''blam''.
-->'''The Joker''': Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance will the devil in the pale moonlight?\\
'''Bruce''': ''[{{beat}}]'' What?\\
'''The Joker''': I always ask that of ''all'' my prey. ''[beat]'' I just like the sound of it. ''[shoots him as Vicki screams]''
** When the Smilex gas is released in the streets of Gotham City, Alexander Knox immediately grabs a mask and baseball bat from the trunk of his car and goes after the Joker's goons, managing to scatter away one of the balloons.
* LicensedPinballTable: Released by Creator/DataEast in 1991; [[Pinball/BatmanDataEast click here for details.]]
* LittleNo: Batman said it after Vicki Vale asked that all products are poisoned.
* LuredIntoATrap: Boss Grissom sends Jack Napier to retrieve the incriminating information from Axis Chemical so Lieutenant Eckhardt and his team of corrupt cops can kill him.
* LosingAShoeInTheStruggle: Happens to Vicki while being forced to climb the the bell tower of Gotham Cathedral by her captor the Joker. She falls and loses one of her high heels. The Joker then throws away the offending shoe, seemingly to taunt the pursuing Batman and/or make Vicki move faster. Her other shoe is later seen discarded further up the stairs.
* MadArtist: The Joker describes himself as "the worlds first, fully functioning homicidal artist", he disfigured his girlfriend Alicia Hunt and failed in his attempt to disfigure Vicki Vale.
* MadScientist: The Joker has shades of this as it is implied that he created the binary compound (CIA files on a nerve agent classified DDID) for the Smilex poison.
* MalevolentMugshot: Done a lot with the Joker's face.
* MonsterClown: Who do ''you'' think?
* MovieSuperheroesWearBlack: The UrExample, if not, the TropeMaker. This movie was perhaps the first to turn superhero costumes black. Batman started off with a black and grey costume but quickly switched to blue and grey in the 40's and remained that way until this movie. Eventually, Batman began wearing an all-black costume to match the films.
* MultipleChoicePast: Notably averted in this film with the {{Trope Namer|s}}, where they actually did give The Joker an undeniable backstory in the film.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: The reason Grissom tries to get Jack killed or jailed.
-->'''The Joker:''' You set me up over a woman. '''''A woman!''''' ''(darkly)'' [[{{Irony}} You must]] [[YoureInsane be insane.]]
* MythologyGag: In the first film, Vicki Vale had covered a conflict in Corto Maltese, the name of the disputed territory in ''The Dark Knight Returns''. The Joker card in Jack Napier's "lucky deck" is patterned after the card the villain left to mark his crimes in his first comic book appearance.
** The Joker's real surname, "Napier," is a reference to the late Alan Napier, who played Alfred in the 1960s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series.
* NeutralFemale: Played with Vicki Vale. She does manage to save Batman from getting unmasked in the alley, and successfully distracts Joker while Batman is sneaking up on him. In all other cases, though, she's as useless as a snorkel in the Sahara.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Batman dishes a pretty brutal one to the Joker in the final climax, complete with PunchPunchPunchUhOh from the latter. However, Joker manages to escape further wrath by using his own PlayingPossum technique against him (which Batman had used only two minutes ago to evade a similarly nasty beatdown from one of his goons).
* NoodleIncident: During Bruce and Vicki's first date, Alfred entertains them with a tale about when he gave Bruce a horseback riding lesson and ends up injuring his ankle and getting covered in mud.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Averted. When Batman takes on half-a-dozen of the Joker's goons in the alley, a sequence was filmed where Bob is actually able to hold his own in a knife-fight one-on-one with the Bat. For whatever reason, this was cut to Bob just abandoning the others and running.
* OffhandBackhand: Multiple examples
* OffingTheAnnoyance: The Joker kills Bob for standing there while Joker was upset about Batman.
* OhCrap
** Those two muggers in the opening sequence, when they realize that Batman is, to say the least, NotQuiteDead.
** Jack Napier, when he finds himself in Batman's clutches at the factory.
---> Jack Napier: ''"Jesus!"''
** Vinnie Ricorso on the steps of the courthouse. ("Hello, Vinnie. It's your Uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check!")
** Bob, when Batman calls him out with a "come here" finger-wiggle beckoning.
** Gordon gets two. The first is when he realises there's going to be a shootout at Axis.
--> '''Roberts''' Anonymous tip: Napier's cleaning out Axis chemicals.
--> '''Gordan''' Why wasn't I told about this? Who's in charge?
--> '''Roberts''' Eckhardt, Sir.
--> '''Gordan''' Oh, my God...
*** In the second one it becomes clear the shit's ''really'' hit the fan, as Gordan's seeing Batman in the flesh for the first time, on the scene of an already dangerous situation, and had until now, believed him to be a rumor.
---> '''Gordan''' Oh... My... ''God''!
** Joker himself though does not really express his fear, this little dialogue, sums it all up when he finds out who Batman is.
--> '''Batman:''' You killed my parents.
--> '''Joker:''' *confused* Heh? What are you talking about?
--> '''Batman:''' I made you, but you made me first.
--> '''Joker:''' *scared* Come on Bat-brain, I was a kid when I killed your parents. When I say I made you, you gotta say you made me! How childish can you get? [''puts on glasses''] [[YouWouldntHitAGuyWithGlasses You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses on]], would ya? Huh?
--> [''Batman does'']
* OminousLatinChanting: Some of this can be heard a little more than midway through the film, as the Batmobile is speeding away from the city and toward the Batcave, as part of Danny Elfman's "Descent Into Mystery" suite. It is very hard to make out ''what'' is being chanted, but one of the first words heard sounds a bit like ''sanctus'' - a common enough term heard in Catholic Church music, as it means "holy." (A MythologyGag, perhaps?)
* TheOneThingIDontHateAboutYou:
-->'''The Joker:''' Now you fellows have said some pretty mean things, some of which ''were'' true, under that fiend Boss Grissom. He ''was'' a thief and a terrorist. But on the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice. He's dead now, and he's left me in charge.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping:
** John Dair (Vinnie Ricorso) was a British actor playing an Italian-American character. He lapses into his natural accent during his very last scene (when he is talking to the newspaper reporters on the steps of City Hall): [[FunetikAksent "Mistuh Grissom asked me, as a pussonal favuh, to take care of all his businesses until he retuhns."]]
** Alicia (the Joker's moll) is played by Jerry Hall, whose natural accent is an unlikely mixture of Texas (where she was born) and British. She skews toward "educated Texan" as Alicia until her very last scene, when she shifts into British for no particular reason ("Jack, you said you'd let me watch you improve the paintings"). Could be justified in-story by the fact that Alicia [[AllThereInTheScript (as the script makes clear)]] is heavily into drugs by this point, and British accents can sometimes sound stereotypically narcoleptic to American ears.
* OriginStory: Infamously gave a solid one to ''SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker'', which caused a good bit of [[BrokenBase Base Breaking]] (since all other sources treat his origin as a total mystery).
* ParodyCommercial: After the Deadline News incident listed above, the Joker hijacks the airwaves with this to reveal himself as responsible for the Smilex deaths, and to cheerily inform Gotham that more people are doomed because they're already unknowingly using the tainted products. ("And hair color so natural only your undertaker knows for sure!") He even spoofs the Main/BrandX trope to prove his point.
* [[ThePenIsMightier "The Pen Is Truly Mightier Than the Sword."]]
* PistolWhipping: The father who's knocked out by a mugger's pistol while leading his family through the back alleys of Gotham City.
* PluckyComicRelief: Alexander Knox, a newspaper reporter who collaborates with Vicki Vale, in the first film. He serves as a Main/HeroicBystander at one point, though he gets sidelined quickly. Accidentally. [[WhatAnIdiot By Vicki.]]
* PlummetPerspective: Used to horrifying effect, with the Joker's point of view shot of how '''far''' he has to fall to his bone-shattering death on the pavement of Gotham in the first film. His blood-chilling scream made it all the more nightmarish. Almost makes you feel sorry for the bastard. And it was also used when the Joker and Vicki are climbing up the bell-towers interior: Joker throws one of Vicki's high heels over the side, and we get a shot showing it plummeting down the tower.
* PocketProtector: The metal tray Bruce Wayne puts under his coat before confronting the Joker at Vicki Vale's apartment, which ends up saving him when the Joker shoots him.
* PoliceAreUseless: Despite Joker being a known murderer and psychopath, and publicly broadcasting the time and place of his whereabouts for the evening, the police force take absolutely no measures to respond to this until ''after'' he has already killed ''dozens'' of Gothamites and proceeded with his escape plan. Sure certain Gotham police are corrupt, but surely that can't mean the entire force is so incompetent? This was explained in the shooting script and the novelization, both of which make clear that Joker had laced the police department's coffee with a paralytic (but non-lethal) toxin that physically incapacitated most of Gotham's finest.
* PopCultureOsmosis
* PragmaticAdaptation: Having The Joker (rather than Joe Chill) kill Batman's parents arguably makes this the most personal the grudge between the two has ever been. Also, Batman uses much more violent methods, and doesn't hew to the comic version's ThouShaltNotKill stance - but come ''Film/BatmanForever'', and he gives Dick Grayson a powerful yet understated speech about why using lethal force on villains is morally wrong, speaking from experience.
* PsychoForHire: Before he became a MonsterClown, Jack Napier had already been a sadistic killer for decades who loved to make children into orphans [[ForTheEvulz just for kicks.]]
* PsychoticSmirk: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, and surprisingly, Batman too. Two examples: when he says, "I'm Batman" to the initial mook, then when Jack Napier comments "Nice outfit".
* ThePurge: The Joker murders all the other crime bosses in Gotham, acting on the "advice" of a victim's corpse:
-->'''Joker:''' Maybe we, uh, oughtta give 'em a couple of days to think it over. What? Grease 'em ''now''? Well... OK!
* RaceLift: Harvey Dent. Burton changed him from the brown-haired Caucasian he was in the comics to.... Billy Dee Williams.
* RageAgainstTheReflection: As part of the buildup to the reveal of the Joker's face, he asks for a (hand) mirror to see the results of the surgery he got from a BackAlleyDoctor. The audience doesn't see the reflection, but when he does, he [[EvilLaugh evilly laughs]] [[LaughingMad for the first time]] as he smashes the mirror. (This was later parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode that was the former trope namer for [[BracesOfOrthodonticOverkill Lisa Needs Braces]], when she got the ridiculously old-fashioned ones.)
* RailingKill: Jack Napier fires at Batman, who is intervening in the botched Axis Chemicals job. Batman deflects the bullet with his armored gloves; Napier gets hit by the deflected bullet (which goes through his face and ostensibly results in the nerve damage to his mouth that causes [[SlasherSmile his permanent "smile"]]), tumbles over the railing in the typical way (taking '''a lot''' of steps to do so), and falls into a vat of acid (which permanently bleaches his skin). One quick trip to a back-alley plastic surgeon later, and Jack's dead...but The Joker lives.
* RealMenWearPink: PlayedForLaughs with the Joker and his goons imitating the poses of the ballerina paintings and sculptures they pass by as they vandalize the museum.
* RealTime: The climax. The Joker tells his crew to meet him with their helicopter on the top of the cathedral in ten minutes. They arrive during the fight in the bell tower, which is almost exactly ten minutes later.
* RecycledSet: The alien nest and colony from ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' was reused as the set for the Axis Chemicals facility
* RedHerring: At the beginning, we see a couple of crooks mugging a couple and their child. We're led to think this is the young Bruce Wayne and his parents Thomas and Martha, and we're about to see the murder of his parents, but suddenly, Batman swoops in and beats up the crooks.
* RetCanon: The [[GrapplingHookPistol Grapple Gun]] from the film has since been adopted into the comic book canon and other Batman media, including ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
* TheRevealPromptsRomance: There was an exchange like this between Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale towards the end, when Vale is shown into the Batcave.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: While touring Bruce Wayne's mansion with Vicki during a charity party, Alexander Knox voices his opinion that Wayne is nothing but a vain, pompous fool. He does not know that at that very moment, Bruce is preparing to transform into Batman in order to go stop the mob from sanitizing its front company paper trail.
* RooftopConfrontation: At the top of a cathedral no less.
* RunningGag: A minor one: the news reporters look increasingly unkempt as the plot with the poisoned hygiene products unravels.
* ScaryBlackMan: The last of the goons Batman has to fight before getting to Joker himself. He actually manages to beat the living piss out of Bats at first, although to be fair our hero had already been seriously injured.
* SceneryPorn: Anton Furst won a AcademyAward for his set design, which along with ''Film/BladeRunner'' re-invented the German Expressionist set.
** It went a step further when a visiting Bob Kane remarked that Furst had built Gotham City.
* SchizoTech: Photographers rely on flash-bulb cameras, while Batman has a jet plane and a rocket car. Though this might explain why the Bat-Plane couldn't hit an unmoving target with no obstacles in between from about 500 meters away in ideal conditions with automatic fire.
* ScreamingWarrior: Joker has 2-4 guys like this. One of them fights Batman in an alley with dual swords, and the other three fight in succession in the belfry scene at the end. The last guy, a ScaryBlackMan, provides the only real threat.
* ScrewTheWarWerePartying: The Joker, big time. Prince's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxySK01v1os "Batdance" video]] takes it to a new extreme.
* SecondHandStorytelling: The beginning has two {{Mooks}} telling stories about the rumor of the Batman. Since Batman dresses up as a bat to play on criminals' fears, this scene [[JustifiedTrope is very effective]] at showing that it's working.
* ShesGotLegs: Vicki Vale. They're the first thing Knox sees.
* ShockAndAwe: Joker's lethal joy buzzer.
* ShootTheTelevision: Done twice by the Joker. The first is when he takes a boxing glove gun to the TV for mention of Batman in connection to an assassination that Joker pulled off on one of Grissom's underbosses, demanding to know, "What kind of a world we live in where a man dressed up as a bat gets all of my press?!" The second time, Joker shoots the television screen with a real gun after learning on the news that his poisoning scheme involving beauty products has been foiled by the Batman.
* ShoutOut
** Those ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors'' dentist tools sure get around a lot, since last appearing in ''Dead Ringers''.
** The Corto Maltese War, mentioned here as being Vicki's last big photography project, is the name of the conflict Superman puts an end to in Frank Miller's ''The Dark Knight Returns'' (which was, in tun, a shout out to the ''CortoMaltese'' comic book).
** The Joker's "ImMelting" from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' after Vicki Vale throws water on him.
** In addition to the general architecture of Gotham, the ClimbingClimax bears a striking resemblance to the cathedral fight in ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''.
** The ClimbingClimax with the shots of the stairwell looking downward as well as elements of first scene strongly resemble ''Film/{{Vertigo}}''
** The cartoon of the Joker's face on his helicopters looks like the classic comic book [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker Joker]].
* SillySong: "Partyman"
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Surprisingly the movie fits on the idealistic side, although not quite to the point of ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', but for Batman's actions, he becomes publicly loved and gets the girl, and SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is dead. Although he had to take the cynical route to get there. It is mostly cynical, but it too is a case of EarnYourHappyEnding
* SmallNameBigEgo: Alexander Knox is set up as one, but he's mostly an aversion (if not an outright ''in''version). He fancies himself a great investigative reporter, even though he famously has a "useless reputation" and though [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer his coworkers at the Gotham Globe offices relentlessly mock him for being one of the few people in Gotham City who actually believes in Batman]]. In addition, when he meets Vicki Vale and is instantly smitten with her, he arrogantly asks if she has come to photograph him nude, and boasts that in that case she will need a long lens. But Vicki actually ends up ''liking'' Allie despite his more annoying qualities, and in the end he is vindicated when the people of Gotham come to realize that he was right about Batman after all.
* SomethingOnlyTheyWouldSay: This is how Bruce realizes the Joker is the thug who killed his parents. He repeats the phrase to Joker at the beginning of their final confrontation just before decking him.
--->'''Jack Napier/Joker:''' You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
** Also:
---> '''Batman:''' You killed my parents.
---> '''Joker:''' What are you talking about?
---> '''Batman:''' I made you, but you made me first.
* SoundtrackDissonance: Happens in a strange way with this series; the first movie was a dark, serious gothic film that featured a Prince pop number as its' soundtrack's main single, apparently because [[ExecutiveMeddling it was the song the executives wanted]]. ''Film/BatmanForever'' and ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'', on the other hand, are much, much LighterAndSofter but have songs like U2's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" and Smashing Pumpkins' "The End is the Beginning is the End" as the major soundtrack songs, both of which sound like they should be on the soundtrack of much darker, deeper, better movies. Indeed, a remixed version of the latter song was on the soundtrack of the ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' movie. (''Film/BatmanReturns'' averts this; see the page for more information.)
** In a straighter example, during TheReveal of the TheJoker during the ThatManIsDead scene, which he starts shooting Grissom, a circus calliope breaks out.
* SpontaneousCrowdFormation: The Joker announces he will be giving away free money at a parade. Despite knowing he's a murderer, [[TooDumbToLive the crowd shows up on schedule and he almost kills them]].
* StairwellChase: Batman chases the Joker up a bell tower in its finale.
* StalkerWithACrush: The Joker becomes this due to twisted [[LoveAtFirstSight infatuation]] when he sees a picture of Vicki Vale.
** Vicki Vale has a little bit of this towards Bruce Wayne as well when he avoids her after what was really just a one night stand.
* StandardHollywoodStrafingProcedure: Batman does this to the Joker using the Batplane.
* TheStarscream: Ostensibly Jack Napier, though it's hard to tell if it's a straight example or a subversion. While he was the one who killed Carl Grissom, he did not do so as part of a plot to take over. He killed Grissom ''out of revenge'', and then decided to take over his empire as an afterthought. Then again, comments Napier made in passing to both Alicia and Lieutenant Eckhardt suggest that he ''may'' have been plotting Grissom's murder sometime in the future, or at the very least was waiting for the old man to die.
* StealthHiBye: Batman does the Bye and Hi a few seconds apart while facing Jack Napier (before he became the Joker).
* StreetPerformer: The Joker disguises himself and his {{Mook}}s as [[EnemyMime street mimes]] to kill one of the dissenting mob bosses.
* StrippedToTheBone: Mobster Antoine Rotelli gets incinerated into a charred black skeleton by the Joker's buzzer.
* StupidStatementDanceMix: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxySK01v1os Batdance]]" does this with much of the film's dialogue.
--> "And where -- And where -- ''*doom doom doom*'' -- is the ''Batman''?!"
* SuperheroMovieVillainsDie: The Joker doesn't have the same death-defying abilities of his comic counterpart.
* SynchroVox: Used to mask the lips of the recent victims of Joker's toxin in order to "advertise" his BrandX. [[spoiler: Which, in turn, was the Joker toxin that he was going to release at the Bicentennial celebration of Gotham City's foundation.]]
* TableSpace: The dinner scene between Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale provide the image and quote line for this trope
* TalkingToTheDead: The Joker does this to Antoine Rotelli's fried corpse shortly after dismissing the mob summit (He was the one who murdered Rotelli with a joy buzzer.), and he apparently is "told" by Rotellei's corpse to "grease" the mob bosses immediately, to which Joker complies and responds "You are such a vicious bastard, Rotelli, and I'm glad you're dead" before laughing hysterically.
* TechnicallyASmile: Batman smiles a couple of times. It's easily the scariest expression he's got.
* TemptingFate: A crooked police lieutenant to Jack Napier near the film's beginning: "The future? You mean when you run the show? You ain't got no future, Jack!" (This culminates in an IronicEcho at the factory, [[spoiler:when Napier kills the lieutenant with a single shot]].)
* ThatManIsDead: Used in the reveal of the Joker's face. "Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me... Joker. And as you can see, I'm a whole lot happier." The original line was a lot more blunt and angrier, with the Joker stepping out of the shadows and shouting, [[PrecisionFStrike "DO I LOOK LIKE FUCKING JACK?!"]]
* ThisJustIn: Said when the Joker's tainted products come to light (just before the female reporter [[NeverSayDie signs off]]).
* ThouShaltNotKill: Averted, which may come as quite a shock to younger tropers more used to the modern ''Batman'' films where this trope is enforced. In fact, this movie is an attempt to return to the [[CharacterizationMarchesOn earliest version]] of Batman's character, where he did kill.
** He didn't start killing until after he found out the Joker killed his Parents. His first scene plays the trope straight. Any mentions of him killing prior, borderlined on UrbanLegend.
-->'''Mook:''' DON'T KILL ME MAN!!!
-->'''Batman:''' I'm not gonna kill you, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.
-->'''Mook:''' [[WhoAreYou What are you!?]]
-->'''Batman:''' I'm Batman.
* TooDumbToLive
** Half of Gotham seems to be this way. It was already common knowledge that the Joker had murdered many people, but that didn't stop them from diving at the cash he offered in public. He even said into a microphone, "Now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives," but they're too engrossed to listen. A minute later, many are dead. And some who aren't dead yet still grab for cash.
** Also, poor Bob, after Joker has just been decisively pissed off and now wants to blow off some steam. He's had his little outburst, but there's a TranquilFury brewing under his crackpot exterior -- something his loyal lackey fails to notice.
--> '''Joker:''' Bob? Gun.
--> '''Bob:''' ''(unquestioningly hands his boss his gun, not realizing Joker's in a killing mood; Joker coldly pops a bullet in his chest)''
** The Ray Charles thug who thoroughly kicked Batman's ass was actually ''dumb enough'' to look down into the tower shaft after sending the Dark Knight presumably falling to his death with what may have been a GroinAttack - only to have Batman throw his legs around his neck and, somehow suddenly too weak to break free, the Ray Charles thug is suddenly helpless as Batman pulls him forward, bangs his head into the bell and then sends him falling to his well deserved to death.
* TookALevelInBadass: While working for decayed old-fogey crime boss Carl Grissom, Jack Napier's colleagues are forced to dress in the kind of extremely frumpy "old-man" clothes that even your grandfather wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Once Napier becomes the Joker and assumes control, they undergo a startling sartorial metamorphosis: everything form-fitting and in a sexy dark shade, including dark purple leather jackets, tight black pants, [[NiceHat stylish black hats]], and the CoolShades. Oh, and some of them have apparently learned kung fu.
* TrashcanBonfire: One in two different scenes of people watching the Joker's TV broadcast outdoors. The first was members of a motorcycle gang, the other was a construction site.
* TropeCodifier: This was not the first SuperheroMovie, but it was the one that showed that superheroes were very profitable. It also altered the archetype of the SummerBlockbuster: changed it "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets" to "huge mass-marketing machines that were as much made to sell merchandise as they were to sell tickets, and are based on an existing property that the audience already has an attachment to".
* TwinkleSmile: In the Joker's first broadcast warning about his Smylex products there are cut-outs of the two models he murdered. Each cut-out has a twinkle appear on its mouth.
* UnConfession: Bruce Wayne tries to tell Vicki Vale that he's Batman, but he's interrupted by the arrival of the Joker.
* UnflinchingFaithInTheBrakes: Batman tells the Batmobile to stop, and it does... JUST in time.
* UndyingLoyalty: Bob is the kind of staunchly loyal henchman that most any villain would be grateful to have, which makes Joker's shooting of him a major KickTheDog moment.
* UriahGambit: Involves crime boss Carl Grissom manipulating his lieutenant Jack Napier into being killed as punishment for sleeping with Grissom's girlfriend, a plot that drastically backfires.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: [[StealthPun Vicky]] Vale unsuccessfully tries to hide the photo of Batman in her blouse.
* VillainousBreakdown
** When Jack Napier first looks into the plastic surgeon's mirror and sees his "clown face," for a brief moment we hear - very softly - the sound of his sobbing. A moment later, he goes into hysterical denial, starts laughing.... and doesn't ever stop.
-->'''Joker:''' That wasn't easy to get over! And don't think I didn't try.
** He also has another one at the near end when Batman steals his gas balloons that have been unleashed on Gotham.
* VillainousCrush: Joker to Vicky Vale.
* VillainyDiscretionShot: This is obvious in the first film with the Joker.
* WeaponizedCar: The Batmobile.
* WelcomeToTheBigCity: Gotham City is shown to be a WretchedHive by showing a hapless tourist family getting accosted by beggars, prostitutes, and finally, a pair of armed robbers.
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: True of every incarnation of Franchise/{{Batman}}, but Creator/JackNicholson's Joker is the TropeNamer. Sadly, we never got to see the second part of this. The Joker turns to his goons and says, "Well, don't just stand there -- go ''ask'' him!!"
* WhiteMaskOfDoom: Alicia wears one after the Joker transforms her into a living "artistic masterpiece" (he [[FacialHorror corrodes half of her face]]).
* WickedCultured: The Joker enjoys classical (or at least orchestral) music, and he plays it on three "romantic" occasions: Percy Faith's "A Summer Place" while meeting Vicki in a museum café; Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer" while bringing some flowers (which, in a vile twist, are already wilted) to Vicki's apartment; and a sentimental waltz while he is, uh, ravishing Vicki on the roof of the city's Gothic cathedral. Interestingly, the latter piece - Danny Elfman's "Waltz to the Death" - is actually quite beautiful and grand, and [[LightIsNotGood would be completely innocent were it not exclusively associated with a disfigured mass murderer]]. He also quotes Edgar Allan Poe to Vicki in one scene - and, fittingly, it is a line from "The Raven," which is about a deceased sweetheart (Joker had murdered his previous love interest, Alicia, in order to free himself up for Vicki). He's also a fan of Francis Bacon, it seems. He is also mentioned in his police file as having an apititude for art, which puts an interesting perspective when he and his goons vandalise most of the works at the Gotham Museum of Art (or when he dismisses most of Vicki's photography... except the ones of war and death). Presumably, he fully appreciates and understands all of this stuff on an artistic level, but ''still'' felt like smashing it up to bring it up to his own twisted sense of aesthetic standard. When he brings Alicia in, she says "Jack, you said I could watch you improve the paintings."
* WomanInWhite: Vicki wears a white dress, jacket and shoes at the climax of the 1989 film. By the end of the scene, she's lost the jacket and the shoes, and the dress is noticeably dirtied. Coincidence? The white dress also makes sense if you [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory interpret the climactic cathedral scene from a religious perspective]]. In the dress, Vicki looks a lot like a bride - an association that is only strengthened when the Joker tells her, "I've got to get you to the church on time." Some sects of Christianity refer to the human race as the "Bride of Christ." Could Vicki Vale represent all of us, and are Batman and the Joker fighting for her soul? Almost certainly, if you take into account the excellent Music/{{Prince}} song, "Dance With the Devil", that was (unfortunately) cut from one of the movie's two soundtracks ("Dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight... He wants your soul and he wants it tonight").
* WouldHurtAChild: Jack Napier attempted to murder Bruce Wayne shortly after [[YouKilledMyFather he murdered his parents]]. Although he ultimately didn't go through with it due to his accomplice, the mere fact that he attempted to do so, and gave a nightmarish grin while doing so indicates that Jack Napier had absolutely no problem hurting or murdering children.
* WrongGenreSavvy: The Joker often behaves as if he's the protagonist of a wild romantic comedy, and that Vicki is the DefrostingIceQueen. This fails to explain why he's also cast himself as the RomanticFalseLead!
--> '''Bob''': She's ''[Vicki]'' dating some guy named Wayne.
--> '''Joker''': ''[smug]'' [[{{Jerkass}} She's about to trade up.]]
* YouHaveFailedMe: After Batman foils the Joker's balloon plan with his Bat Jet, the Joker kills Bob because Bob didn't tell him that Batman had it (as if he could have possibly known!).
** He probably just shot him out of anger.
* [[YouKilledMyFather You Killed My Parents]]: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker, while he was still Jack Napier, murdered young Bruce Wayne's parents while he was a child, and came very close to murdering Bruce Wayne himself as well that same time. The experience, just like in the comics (minus the Joker's involvement), turned Bruce Wayne into Batman, and during the final confrontation between himself and the Joker, he flat out tells Joker that Joker murdered his parents, meaning they created each other.
* YouWouldntHitAGuyWithGlasses: SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker actually [[RefugeInAudacity puts on glasses and says this to Batman]] during their final confrontation. Batman promptly punches the glasses and his face.
* YoureInsane
** Ironically, the Joker invokes this on Carl Grissom. Judging by Grissom's behavior, it's easy to point out Grissom was crazier than Jack pre-Joker.
** Vinnie says this quietly to The Joker while he's "disguised" as Jack. Jack smoothly replies, "Haven't you heard of the healing power of laughter?"
** When Vicky says it to him in the museum, his response is "I thought I was a Pisces."
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