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[[caption-width-right:350:Begins. Falls. Rises.]]

->''"A vigilante is just a man lost in the scramble for his own gratification; he can be destroyed, or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an [[YouCanNotKillAnIdea ideal]], and if they can't stop you, you become something else entirely... [[Franchise/{{Batman}} a legend]], Mr. Wayne."''
--> -- '''[[TheObiWan Henri Ducard]]'''

In 2005, eight years after ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' put the ''Film/{{Batman}}'' film franchise on [[JustForPun deep freeze]], Creator/ChristopherNolan and David S. Goyer [[ContinuityReboot rebooted]] the franchise with the first entry of a {{trilogy}} fans refer to as '''''The Dark Knight Saga''''', or '''''The Dark Knight Trilogy'''''.

All three films star Creator/ChristianBale as [[SpellMyNameWithAThe The]] {{Franchise/Batman}}, Creator/MichaelCaine as Alfred Pennyworth, Creator/GaryOldman as James Gordon, and Creator/MorganFreeman as Lucius Fox. Other stars in the saga include Katie Holmes (''Batman Begins'') and Creator/MaggieGyllenhaal (''The Dark Knight'') as Rachel Dawes, Creator/CillianMurphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane, Creator/LiamNeeson as Henri Ducard, Creator/HeathLedger as The Joker, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, Creator/AnneHathaway as Catwoman, Creator/TomHardy as Bane, Creator/MarionCotillard as Wayne Enterprises board member Miranda Tate and Creator/JosephGordonLevitt as GCPD officer John Blake.

The series consists of:
[[index]]
* ''Film/BatmanBegins'' (2005)
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' (2008)
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' (2012)
[[/index]]

A direct-to-DVD {{animesque}} anthology, ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight Batman: Gotham Knight]]'', helped to bridge the gap between ''Batman Begins'' and ''The Dark Knight'', though Christopher Nolan had no involvement in its production.

While the films feature original storylines, they borrow scenes and themes from multiple ''Batman'' comic book miniseries such as Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'', Creator/JephLoeb's ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' and ''ComicBook/DarkVictory'', and Frank Miller's ''[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne Batman: Year One]]'' and ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'', as well as maxi-series like ''ComicBook/{{Knightfall}}'' and ''[[ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]]''. Further, the films borrow heavily from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' in terms of style and character. And despite all the liberties taken by the trilogy to combine these disparate elements into a unified vision -- or perhaps [[PragmaticAdaptation because of them]] -- ''Batman'' fans widely consider the films some of the best adaptations of the franchise to date. Viewers outside the comicbook fandom agreed, and the series has been known widely for its critical and commercial success.

See also Creator/ZackSnyder's ''Film/ManOfSteel'', a reboot of the Franchise/{{Superman}} movie franchise produced by Nolan and written by Goyer.

----
!!The series as a whole provides examples of:

* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Used frequently and to great effect throughout.
* ActionPrologue: ''Batman Begins'' starts off with Bruce Wayne beating up prisoners in Asia. ''The Dark Knight'' starts with the Joker robbing a bank and picking off his accomplices one at a time. ''The Dark Knight Rises'' begins with Bane conducting a mid-air kidnapping.
* AdaptationDistillation: All three movies combine multiple stories:
** ''Begins'' - ''[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne Batman: Year One]]'' (Bruce's origin mirrors that particular version, Commissioner Loeb, Carmine Falcone, Detective Flass), ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' (the idea of Batman, the police, and the DA's office presenting a united front; Scarecrow's appearance; Carmine Falcone's downfall), and ''Contagion'' (Ra's Al Ghul tries to spread a plague across Gotham). ''The Man Who Falls'' was also cited as an influence.
** ''Dark Knight'' - ''ComicBook/TheKillingJoke'' (Joker tries to make someone go crazy, Joker's multiple origins), ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' (Dent gets disfigured and goes on a rampage, supervillains begin to take over the mob's place), ''ComicBook/DarkVictory'' (Commissioner Loeb dies, Gordon replaces him), ''[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne Batman: Year One]]'' (Gordon's family put at risk in the end), ''[[ComicBook/TheBatmanAdventures Batman and Robin Adventures #1 & 2]]'' (Joker instigates Two-Face to go on insane rampage) and Joker's original story from ''Batman #1[=/=]The Man Who Laughs'' (Joker arrives in Gotham and starts killing people). According to Steve Englehart, Nolan also cannibalised [[http://www.steveenglehart.com/Film/Dark%20Knight%20movie.html elements of Dark Detective and its unpublished sequel]]
** ''Rises'' - ''Vengeance of Bane'' (Bane's origin, King Snake is substituted for Ra's) ''{{Knightfall}}'' (Bane shows up and breaks Batman's back), ''TheDarkKnightReturns'' (an older Batman comes back to fight crime, Gotham is under a nuclear threat, [[spoiler:Batman fakes his death]]), ''Son of the Demon'' ([[spoiler:Batman gets involved with Talia Al Ghul]]), ''[[ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]]'' (Gotham gets blocked off from the rest of the US and declared a disaster area), ''Legacy'' ([[spoiler:Bane and Talia working together]]), ''[[ComicBook/BatmanTheCult The Cult]]'' (An underground group of criminals take over Gotham, Gordon is put in the hospital as a result of trying to confront them), again, ''[[ComicBook/BatmanYearOne Batman: Year One]]'' (Catwoman's origins) and ''Gotham Adventures #15'' (Bane robs financial district, recruits orphans, claims to be helping the poor while using them for his own ends. Nuclear weapons, Gotham's football team and Bane having a serious medical condition are also mentioned, but only in Robin's speculations about what Bane might be doing with the money he stole). There might also be a subtle inclusion of ''[[spoiler:WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond]]'' ([[spoiler:A younger man prepped to take Batman's mantle after he resigns towards the end]]).
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Bruce Wayne has bad luck when it comes to his homes. The League of Shadows burn Wayne Manor to the ground in the first film, the Joker and his henchmen invade his penthouse in the second, and in the third Bane steals all Batman's equipment inside Wayne Enterprises R&D. Wayne Manor, though, survives the third one.
* AnimatedAdaptation: ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight Batman: Gotham Knight]]'', a direct-to-DVD {{Animesque}} anthology that bridges the gap between the first two films.
* TheApprentice: Batman and to a lesser extent, Bane, were both apprentices of Ra's al Ghul.
* AppropriatedTitle: ''Batman Begins'' has two sequels, both under the ''Dark Knight'' name, in what has become known as ''The Dark Knight Saga''.
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Microwaves do not work that way! And neither do cell phones! Or [[spoiler: [[MadeOfExplodium fusion reactors]]!!]] ''Or sonar for that matter!''
* AwesomeButImpractical: Most of the cutting-edge technology Batman uses never went into mass production because it was prohibitively expensive.
* BadassInANiceSuit:
** In ''Begins'', Ducard can always been seen in a tailored suit when on an assignment and Scarecrow always wears a suit along with his mask.
** Joker in ''The Dark Knight'' also qualifies as an extremely warped version. He even lampshades the suit's quality as he mocks the assembled gangsters.
--->Oh, and the suit? It wasn't cheap. You should know, you bought it.
* BadassBeard: Bruce in both ''Batman Begins'' and ''The Dark Knight Rises'', and Ducard in ''Begins''.
* BadassCape: Not only is it stylish, but when an electric current is run through it, the shape-memory fibers it's made from can transform the entire cape into a hang glider, or fold it up into a form fitting backpack.
** Also, while not used in the movie, supplemental materials state that the gloves, which are used to apply the electrical current to the cape to allow it to become rigid, can also be used to administer high-voltage, non lethal shocks.
* BadassLongcoat: The Joker, Jim Gordon, and Bane. Bruce also sports one in ''Begins''.
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: Commissioner Loeb, Police Commissioner of Gotham City in the first two movies.
* BatmanGambit:
** Joker uses numerous Batman Gambits in ''The Dark Knight''. This is perhaps the most obvious when he is in prison and goads one police officer to try and beat him up, overpowers the officer, and uses him as leverage to get his phone call. The call he makes is to the cell phone that blows up the station. If, at any point along the line, the police had acted differently than he'd anticipated, none of this would have worked.
** Bane's plan to trap the police force in the sewers after he takes over Gotham City is entirely dependent on Commissioner Gordon reacting in the manner he does.
* BigApplesauce: While Gotham City is usually considered to be more of a Chicago than a New York, you can't miss the half-completed 1 WTC in the aerial shots of its skyline in ''The Dark Knight Rises''.
* BigBad[=/=]BigBadEnsemble: Ra's al Ghul [[spoiler:a.k.a Henri Ducard]] in ''Batman Begins'', The Joker in ''The Dark Knight'', Bane and [[spoiler:Talia al Ghul]] in ''The Dark Knight Rises''.
* BittersweetEnding: ''Batman Begins'' and ''[[PyrrhicVictory The Dark Knight]]'' both end with Batman triumphant, but at an extreme cost to both himself and Gotham. ''Dark Knight Rises'' has a more uplifting ending but not without its own bitterness.
* BodyMotifs: All three films put an emphasis on both faces and masks.
* BloodlessCarnage: Comes with the PG-13 territory. The trope itself gets some SequelEscalation; in ''Rises'' [[spoiler:we barely know that Gordon got shot by Bane's mooks until he's seen still in the hospital weeks later.]].
* BookEnds: Bruce Wayne both begins and ends the trilogy [[spoiler:out of Gotham and presumed dead, although his prospects at the end are considerably better]].
* BreakThemByTalking:
** Ra's al Ghul delivers a genocidal KnightTemplar harangue that leaves Bruce a complete mess in ''Begins''.
** The Joker's favorite tactic, using nearly every anecdote as an opportunity to get in someone's head.
** Bane attempts this, but it seems it didn't work as well.
* CallBack: A rather dark one combined with FreezeFrameBonus. In ''The Dark Knight'', the Joker claiming that humans will eat each other if they have to may be referencing the destruction of the Narrows. After the fear toxin was released, someone was seen savagely biting another person's face.
* CanonForeigner: Rachel Dawes for ''Batman Begins'' and ''The Dark Knight,'' Ramirez, Wuertz, Lau and all of the mobsters other than Sal Maroni for ''The Dark Knight''. ''The Dark Knight Rises'' includes city cop John Blake and a Wayne Enterprises executive Miranda Tate.
** [[spoiler:Both cases from ''Rises'' end up being subversions -- Miranda Tate is actually Talia al Ghul, while John Blake is a CompositeCharacter combining Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake]].
* CapeWings: Batman's hang glider cape, thanks to 'memory cloth', a special type of fabric that has bundled sections designed to take a specific shape when an electrical charge is applied. The Wayne Enterprise's version of memory cloth was originally designed to use in quick-pitch tents for soldiers, before Bruce repurposes the material to jump off rooftops.
* CentralTheme: According to Nolan; Fear, Chaos, and Pain, respectively. Note that these are all additive themes; each film includes the previous theme(s) in addition to its central one. A more detailed examination is [[CentralTheme/{{Film}} on the trope page]].
* ChekhovsArmory
* ChekhovsGun: Bruce's gauntlet blades play a role in the defeat of each BigBad. With them, he [[spoiler:breaks Ra's sword in the train fight, prevents the Joker from blowing up the two ferries, and slices open Bane's mask to defeat him]]. Pretty good for a costume design that Christopher Nolan felt needed an explanation.
* ChekhovsGunman: Ra's Al Ghul's wife.
* ClosedCircle: ''Twice'' (''Batman Begins'' and ''The Dark Knight Rises''), both times involving explosives with the BigBad holing up [[spoiler:most of the city's police department, civilians, and inmates of nearby prison]] out of the way so that the entire area will be driven to chaos. The former was Arkham, the latter was the entire city.
* CloseOnTitle: All three films end by showing their title.
* CombatPragmatist:
** Batman's fighting style for the movies, the Keysi Fighting Method, is set entirely around being as simple and damaging as possible.
** Joker is by far the least reserved fighter of the cast. One fight has him shove a mook at Batman and then try to kick the Dark Knight in the groin with a knife strapped to his shoe. In another, Joker sets three mad dogs on Batman and then attacks Batman with a crowbar.
** The Scarecrow in ''Begins'' is no slouch either. In his first confrontation with Batman, he hits the vigilante with a dose of [[BrownNote fear gas]] from behind, splashes him with kerosene, and then [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill lights him on fire]]. Yes, that's right; he brought ''experimental chemical weapons'' to a fistfight.
--->'''The Scarecrow''': You look like a man who takes himself too seriously. Do you want my opinion? [[PreMortemOneLiner You need to lighten up.]]
** Bane, oh so very much. The man's forehead should be considered a lethal weapon.
* ComicBookMoviesDontUseCodenames: The movies play with this trope.
** Selina never gets called ''Catwoman'' even though there are a lot of cat motifs surrounding her.
** Dent briefly discusses the nickname he had during his Internal Affairs days ("Harvey Two-Face") but he never goes by that name in either film.
** Crane goes by his real name through three movies except for one scene towards the end of ''Begins'' when he, hopped up on his own fear gas, calls himself Scarecrow.
** Bane, interestingly enough, never has his real name mentioned, averting this trope. In the comics, Bane did not have a real name, given his origins.
** Ra's Al Ghul is a real name and sort of a title in both the comics and the movies, so its usage makes sense.
** Joker's real name was never revealed in this franchise, nor the original comics.
** This version of the Batmobile is never actually called "The Batmobile". Its official name is "The Tumbler".
* CompositeCharacter:
** The movies' Flass resembled the dark-haired, unshaven, overweight Harvey Bullock more than the comics version of Flass, who was blonde, clean-shaven, and muscular, though movie Flass did retain his comic counterpart's corruption.
** Likewise, the movies' Loeb only shares the name of the comics' character, resembling Michael Akins in both looks and personality (African-American, young, and honest) more than the comics' Loeb (Caucasian, old, and extremely corrupt).
** Henri Ducard [[spoiler:has become an alias for Ra's al Ghul in this continuity.]]
** [[CanonForeigner John Blake]] in ''Rises'' [[spoiler:is a composite of the first three ComicBook/{{Robin}}s, having Jason Todd's back story, deducing Batman's true identity like Tim Drake, and like Dick Grayson has a brief stint as a police officer and in the end takes up the mantle of Gotham's protector.]]
** [[spoiler:Talia al Ghul combines elements of comic's Talia and her sister Nyssa Raatko, along with a bit of Bane's comic backstory.]]
* ContinuityNod:
** [[spoiler:Scarecrow]]'s appearance in the first act of ''The Dark Knight'' and his appearance in ''The Dark Knight Rises''.
** In ''Dark Knight'', Bruce at one point tries to contextualize the Joker using the same lessons Ducard taught him in ''Batman Begins''.
--->'''Bruce Wayne:''' Criminals aren't complicated, Alfred.
** Harvey Dent mentions Carmine Falcone's continuing incarceration in Arkham during Sal Maroni's trial.
** Ra's appears in ''Rises'' in a hallucination, and [[spoiler:his daughter is the BigBad]].
** During ''Rises'', Bruce remembers his father saving him from a well as a child along with the phrase, "Why do we fall?".
** Gordon gets a brief flashback to comforting Bruce as a child and Dent's actions as Two-Face.
** Also in ''Rises'', we get to see Bruce's makeshift Batcave from ''Dark Knight'' in one scene which also includes the gear he used to get Lau out of Hong Kong.
** Bane and his men steal Tumblers from Wayne Enterprise. Also, in ''Dark Knight'', we see the first Tumbler's blueprint at the same company.
** When seeing "The Bat", Lucious Fox remarks that "Yes, it does come in black", mirroring a similar question Bruce asked in ''Begins''.
* CoolBike: The Batpod, baby, oh yes.
* CoolCar: Bruce's Lamborghini Murciélago LP 640, bonus is the fact that [[BilingualBonus Murciélago is Spanish for "Bat".]]
** The Tumbler, of course.
* CoolPlane: "The Bat".
* CorruptPolitician: The trilogy isn't as bad as the comics. In addition to Gordon and Dent, there's an honest judge and an honest mayor, and the Commissioner before Gordon was honest as well, if incompetent. [[spoiler: All the above but Gordon bite the dust before the series is over, though.]]
* CrapsackWorld: Gotham is on the brink of economic collapse when Bruce is a child, under the thumb of the mob by the main events of ''Begins'', being terrorized by psychopaths and increasingly desperate gangsters by ''The Dark Knight'', and becomes a city without law and then a total war zone in ''Rises''. However, by the end of ''Rises'', Gotham shows steps towards becoming AWorldHalfFull.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Batman, as always. These films especially place a HUGE emphasis on how dark the character is, but also on how heroic and selfless he is.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The films in ''The Dark Knight Saga'' are arguably the darkest film adaptations of Batman to date.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Nolan's Batman films could arguably be seen as a deconstruction of Batman by showing the shortcomings and downsides to the kind of mentality one would have to have in order to become Batman. It is definitely '''NOT''' a romantic or romanticized view of Batman's lifestyle.
* DemotedToExtra:
** Crane goes from a major antagonist to a OneSceneWonder between the first, second, and third films.
** Alfred has very little screen time in ''The Dark Knight Rises''.
*** Though he does at least make the most of what he has, providing his usual insight, wisdom, and poignancy.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Who was the acting DA after Carl Finch's assassination? Rachel Dawes (as mentioned by the ''Batman Begins'' novelization), or Roger Garcetti (as mentioned by Gotham Tonight)?
* DiscretionShot: It's a rule. Anytime someone (e.g. [[spoiler:Rachel or Mayor Garcia]]) is incinerated by explosives, the viewer only gets to see the first explosion go off almost right behind the victim and his/her hair being blown forward before the picture cuts away from the all-consuming conflagration.
* DoingInTheWizard: The movies discard many supernatural and unrealistic elements of the comics, offering plausible [[TechnoBabble pseudo-scientific]] explanations instead. For example:
** Batman's equipment is re-purposed prototypes for the Department of Defense, and based on technology that given current research will likely be available within a decade or so (although the comics were sort of already going in this direction).
** Ra's al Ghul's apparent immortality [[spoiler:comes from a simple BodyDouble trick instead of a supernatural pit of primordial goo.]]
*** In the third film, [[spoiler:he shows up as a hallucination, and points out that there are many types of "immortality". Such as having a child willing to carry out his legacy.]]
** The Joker's deformed smile is just a GlasgowGrin, and his white skin is just face paint to unnerve opponents.
*** Similarly, instead of Joker Venom leaving his victims with deformed smiles and other Joker-like features, he instead carves {{Glasgow Grin}}s and then paints their faces himself.
** Bane only uses an anesthetic gas to help him cope with a severe injury, instead of a SuperSerum that lets him [[HulkingOut Hulk out]] to enormous size.
* TheDon: Carmine Falcone and his successor Salvatore Maroni are old-school [[TheMafia Italian mafiosi]] who are slowly put out of business both by The Caped Crusader and [[RoguesGallery his psychotic enemies]].
* DramaticIrony: Between the second and third films. In ''Dark Knight'', Rachel believed Bruce was incapable of living without Batman. And yet, ''Rises'' opens with Bruce having given up the cowl for 8 whole years, [[spoiler:making her choice of Harvey over Bruce and her sudden death because of it all the more tragic]].
** Technically Rachel was right, because although Bruce gives up being Batman, he also gives up being Bruce Wayne as well and is content to live in mental torment as a recluse.
*** That, and the fact that at the first major sign of trouble, he suits up again without a second thought.
*** Batman wasn't so much "given up" (indeed, Rises make a point about Bruce's inability to give the identity up), as forced into retirement due to a lack of organised crime in Gotham.
* TheDreaded: Each of the major villains to their own degree.
** Carmine Falcone is terrified by Ra's al Ghul, to the point where the mention he'll be in Gotham puts the mobster on edge.
** The Joker is feared by everyone from mob bosses to civilians to cops, and for [[AxCrazy good reasons]]. Even after being dropped off a building and having both his legs fractured, Maroni is still too scared of the Joker to give up any information about him to Batman.
** Everyone from CIA agents to Catwoman is afraid of Bane. Given what he does to Gotham, they're right to be.
** Batman's MO is to become this to the city's criminals: in most cases of crimefighting, he pulls off moves that seem designed to cause the maximum amount of fear in those he's chasing. In ''Dark Knight'', it's shown to be working, as the presence of the bat symbol in the night sky discourages a would-be thief from going out. However, he is eventually overshadowed by The Joker here.
* DroppedABridgeOnHer: Whether or not you liked Rachel, her death is quite ruthless.
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The Batcave.
** In the first movie, it's an underground cave network originally re-purposed by Bruce's ancestors for use in the UndergroundRailroad.
** In the second film, the Batcave is one big concrete room underneath an empty Wayne Enterprises lot with the Tumbler, an incinerator, some computer monitors and a massive collection of secondary equipment that pops out as needed from the floor and the walls.
*** In something of a ShoutOut to the Neil Adams-era Batman comics, Bruce's Wayne Tower penthouse also sports secret passages leading to spare costumes and equipment.
** In the third film, the Batcave has been expanded into an even more elaborate underground base that combines the giant cave of the first film with the simple geometric designs of the second.
* EmergencyAuthority: {{Discussed|Trope}} and applied to Batman's vigilante actions. The crisis is the mob families' control of Gotham City, and the corruption that prevents the police and the courts from opposing the mob. Bruce Wayne justifies his illegal and unethical acts (snooping, beating up criminals, etc.) by insisting that they're temporary measures to help the police do their jobs--once Gotham is able to protect itself, he'll retire the Batman persona. District Attorney Harvey Dent, initially one of Batman's biggest fans, favorably compares Batman to the first Roman dictators.
* EqualOpportunityEvil: The League of Shadows is multiracial in ''Begins''. Sal Maroni also employs gangsters of any nationality in ''Dark Knight''.
** TruthInTelevision for Maroni. It's possible for anyone to work for the "mafia" (they don't actually call themselves that) and become quite influential. The limitation is that only Italians (or half Italians) can become Made Men.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Both ''The Dark Knight'' and ''The Dark Knight Rises'' open with a [[BondColdOpen short prologue]] introducing the viewer to the BigBad, showing him doing something badass, and teaching us something about how he operates (e.g., the Joker manipulates his men into backstabbing each other, while Bane inspires such loyalty that his men would die for him).
* EveryoneHasStandards: Joker tries to {{def|iedTrope}}y this, but it turns into a DoubleSubversion [[spoiler:when he plants bombs on ferries and says both will blow up unless one boat uses a detonator on the other. One boat has convicts, and the other has innocent people. Neither can bring themselves to do it. For extra irony points, it's the convicted murderers, thieves, and rapists who take the moral route and actually discard their detonator]].
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: If Gotham truly was beyond saving as Ra's al Ghul believed, would Bruce Wayne even be ''trying'' to save it from the machinations of the League of Shadows?
* EvilIsHammy:
** The Joker in ''The Dark Knight''.
** Creator/CillianMurphy also starts chewing scenery after [[spoiler:being poisoned by [[HoistByHisOwnPetard his own fear toxin]]]].
** Bane isn't afraid to chew the scenery, either.
* EvilPlan:
** In ''Begins'', The League of Shadows' plot to destroy Gotham by covering the city in fear gas.
** Subverted in ''Dark Knight'', as the Joker has no real EvilPlan, just the thesis that all HumansAreBastards, and lots of increasingly complicated "experiments" to prove his point.
** In ''Rises'', Bane wants to break Batman, body and spirit, and completely destroy Gotham, [[spoiler:as Talia Al Ghul's right hand man, and co-leader of the League of Shadows, fulfilling her estranged father's plan and simultaneously avenging him on Batman]].
* EvilSoundsRaspy: Reversed: Bruce switches to a very hoarse rasp as Batman--probably for some combination of hiding his identity and making him more frightening to bad guys.
* ExpansionPackPast: Alfred's past in the British military and later as a freelance mercenary is often mentioned in anecedotes, but never fully explained.
* TheFaceless: In ''The Dark Knight'', Gordon's daughter [[Comicbook/{{Batgirl}} Barbara]] appears, but her face is never seen (she was on-screen briefly in ''Begins'', as well, but doesn't even get credited as her real name).
* {{Foil}}: Many characters serve as this for Batman.
** Ra's Al Ghul (AntiHero and AntiVillain)
** The Joker ({{Ubermensch}} and NietzscheWannabe)
** Harvey Dent (TheCowl and TheCape, later [[spoiler:TheCowl and VigilanteMan]])
** Alfred ({{Badass}} and RetiredBadass, later ThePowerOfLegacy)
** Lucius Fox (NecessarilyEvil and GodzillaThreshold)
** Bane (GeniusBruiser and DeceptiveDisciple)
** [[spoiler: Talia Al Ghul ([[AvengingTheVillain Avenging her father]] just as Batman is avenging his parents.)]]
* GeniusBruiser: Bane, as is tradition. However this is actually one of the few times where he's been portrayed as such outside of the comics, or at least emphasized as one.
* GenreShift: ''Film/BatmanBegins'' is equal parts crime drama and adventure film, with elements of mysticism figuring heavily into the plot. ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' abandons the mysticism in favor of a more straightforward crime thriller set completely in an urban environment. ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' then largely drops the crime drama and becomes more of a large-scale action epic, featuring a plot that wouldn't seem out of place in a ''Film/JamesBond'' film.
* HandyRemoteControl: A villain wields one in both the second and third films.
* HelloAttorney: Both Rachel Dawes and Harvey Dent.
* HighAltitudeInterrogation:
** ''Film/BatmanBegins'' features the title character dangling and dropping Det. Flass almost as if he were bungee jumping until Batman is satisfied with what information he's given.
** {{Subverted|Trope}} and {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''. Batman wasn't threatening to kill Maroni to get his information but to use the situation in a novel way that would actually make this JackBauerInterrogationTechnique. However, Maroni doesn't tell him anything ''anyway,'' because he's not going to rat out The Joker for anyone, least of all Batman. "We're on to you," he says. "You've got rules. The Joker ''has'' no rules."
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' {{double subver|sion}}ts and lampshades this in the opening scenes of the film. A CIA team has captured a group of Bane's minions and is trying to get Bane's location out of them on a plane; they have them all in hoods, bring one to the open door of the plane, and stick the mook's head out of it. The suspect refuses to talk, and the CIA interrogator ''pretends'' to have him killed (shooting his gun into open air before claiming to have thrown the mook from the plane) before moving him out of the way.
-->'''Interrogator:''' Lot of loyalty for a hired gun.\\
'''[[spoiler:Bane:]]''' Or perhaps he's wondering [[GenreSavvy why someone would shoot a man]] [[LampshadeHanging before throwing him out of a plane.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Bruce turning on The League of Shadows. Also everyone in Gotham who takes on the mob.
* HorrifyingHero: Invoked by Batman, who actively tries to cultivate the image of terrifying, elemental, and incorruptable symbol. Those unlucky enough to be exposed to fear toxins also see him as a giant demonic bat.
* IHaveTheHighGround: At least once each film, Batman observes the city like this. Combines with CueTheSun across the films: ''Film/BatmanBegins'' is at night, ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' is at dawn, and ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' is in morning twilight.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: A reoccurring theme in the series.
** Discussed in ''Begins''. Bruce Wayne gives this as his reason for refusing to kill defenseless criminals.
--->'''Bruce''': I'm no executioner.\\
'''[[KnightTemplar Ducard]]''': Your compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share.\\
'''Bruce''': That's why it's important. It separates us from them.
** Later subverted, as while Batman doesn't decide to kill [[spoiler:Ra]]'s, he still leaves the villain to die in a train crash.
** Also Inverted in ''Dark Knight'' by Joker, who tries to get both Batman and Harvey Dent to kill him so they'll go just as insane.
--->'''Joker''': Come on, come on, come on, I want you to do it, I want you to do it. Come on, hit me. Come on, hit me. Come on, hit me! ''HIT ME!''
* {{Interquel}}: ''WesternAnimation/BatmanGothamKnight'' is an AnimatedAnthology film consisting of six-interlocked short episodes that is ([[ContinuitySnarl theoretically]]) set between ''Batman Begins'' and ''The Dark Knight''
* IOwnThisTown: In each of the movies:
** Carmine Falcone in the typical mob lord sense.
** The Joker has a more disturbing version of it: Come nightfall this city is mine, and anyone left in it plays by my rules.
** Taken to the extreme with Bane, with isolates Gotham and establishes himself as the warlord of it.
* JerkassFacade: Bruce Wayne combines this with ObfuscatingStupidity to protect his Batman identity.
* KillItWithFire: Attempted [[spoiler:by Crane, on Batman,]] and done successfully [[spoiler:by Joker, on mob accountant Lau.]] It's horrifying both times.
* KnightInSourArmor: Jim Gordon, who's trying to be a good cop in what continues to be a very corrupt town.
* LovingAShadow: The entire basis for Bruce's infatuation with Rachel Dawes - he sees her as the only woman in the world who could possibly understand him and his angst and the most perfectly pure woman imaginable, even though they have very little in common beyond being childhood friends who would like to see Gotham become a better place. [[spoiler:Fortunately Selina Kyle eventually comes along and straightens him out.]]
* MasterOfTheMixedMessage: Rachel Dawes. She'll talk about how she admired Bruce when he was young and then rebuke him, or give Bruce a gift of a childhood memory and then rebuke him, or kiss him and then rebuke him.
* MeaningfulEcho: Aside from the echoes within the films, there's a number ''between'' them. We hear the following conversation between Batman and Gordon towards the end of Begins:
-->'''Gordon''': I never did say thank you.
-->'''Batman''': ... [[ThinkNothingOfIt and you'll never have to]].
** And then there is this, towards the end of ''Dark Knight'':
--->'''Gordon''': Thank you.
--->'''Batman''': [[ThinkNothingOfIt You don't have to thank me.]]
--->'''Gordon''': ... yes, I do.
*** Again in ''Dark Knight Rises'':
---->'''Batman''': Don't thank me yet.
---->'''Blake''': I might not get the chance later.
** There's also this quote Ducard says in Begins to his then-student Wayne:
--->'''Ducard''': You've traveled the world to understand the criminal mind and conquer your fears. But the criminal is not complicated.
** Wayne, having apparently internalized this lesson, paraphrases this in ''The Dark Knight'':
--->'''Wayne''': Criminals aren't complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he's after.
** In ''Dark Knight'', [[spoiler:the scene between Alfred and Bruce following Rachel's death mirrors the scene in ''Begins'' between Alfred and the child Bruce after the death of Bruce's parents.]]
** ''The Dark Knight'' has Harvey Dent's slogan, [[ComicBook/TheLongHalloween "I Believe In Harvey Dent"]], said by Bruce Wayne genuinely. Later, in the opening of ''The Dark Knight Rises'', Commissioner Gordon speaks reluctantly and wearily at the eighth annual Harvey Dent day: "I Believed In Harvey Dent".
* MessianicArchetype:
** The unselfish Bruce Wayne of this universe. Somehow, this doesn't stop him from maintaining the JerkassFacade of being a RichIdiotWithNoDayJob at the same time.
** Harvey Dent at first seems to be this, as everyone in Gotham seems to view him as a living saint. Ends up a subversion by the end of the film.
* MythologyGag: Several, mainly referencing the comics:
** Batman using a sonic device and summoning a swarm of bats to escape a police SWAT team is taken directly from ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne''.
** Mob hitman Zsasz carving marks into his arm with a knife during the climax of ''Batman Begins''.
** In ''The Dark Knight'', Bruce asks Mr. Fox if his new suit can withstand large dog attacks. Fox jokingly responds that it should do fine against [[ComicBook/{{Catwoman}} cats]].
** The Joker's constantly changing backstory is inspired by a similar mythology gag from Alan Moore's ''The Killing Joke'':
--->'''Joker:''' If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be {{multiple choice|Past}}!
*** Joker's monologue about having an abusive, alcoholic father is taken from a story Joker tells Dr. Harleen Qunizel in ''ComicBook/TheBatmanAdventures'' comic and later ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Batman: The Animated Series]]'' episode titled ''Mad Love''.
*** His third anecdote that was interrupted by Batman flinging blades in his face is a nod to ''Lovers and Madmen'', which shows the Joker getting his trademark smile from havinghis face cut open by batarangs.
** Joker's [[EyeScream disappearing pencil trick]] is inspired by a conversation between Batman and Joker in Grant Morrison's ''Comicbook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth''.
** Many scenes in ''The Dark Knight'' are adapted from ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'', though with very different contexts and outcomes:
*** Harvey Dent being attacked in court by his own witness (although this particular incident was not original to ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'', it is the best known recent version of it).
*** The campaign slogan "I Believe in Harvey Dent".
*** The ploy of transporting a target in police custody to draw out a would-be killer.
*** The mob's savings [[MoneyToBurn going up in flames]].
** The sonar lenses Batman uses in the finale of ''Dark Knight'' were designed to mirror the white slits for eyes seen in most comics depictions of the character.
*** Co-writer Jonathan Nolan confirmed in 2008 that the sonar technology used to assist Batman in capturing The Joker was based on Brother Eye, Batman's spy satellite, which was featured in ''The OMAC Project'', one of the build-up series to ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis''.
** The Tumbler was inspired by the hulked-out tank of a Batmobile featured in ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns''.
*** The copycat Batmen in the opening of ''Dark Knight'' are also a direct reference to the ''The Dark Knight Returns''' vigilante group the 'Sons of the Batman'.
** The name of Gordon's new division, the Major Crimes Unit, is taken from ''ComicBook/GothamCentral''.
** After giving a toast to Harvey at the fundraiser in ''Dark Knight'', we see Bruce throwing [[TheTeetotaler all the champagne in his glass out over the balcony]].
** Lucius Fox summing up Bruce's complaints about his original Batsuit with "You'd like to be able to turn your head". None of the Batsuits since the 1989 ''Film/{{Batman}}'' had allowed the actor wearing them to do this.
** During the press interview where Harvey Dent [[spoiler:claims he is Batman]], you can see a microphone for "News 26", the channel for all Gotham news in ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries Batman: The Animated Series]]''.
** When Batman returns to the streets in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', he chases down crooks who are fleeing from an OldCopYoungCop pair in a police cruiser, much like he did in ''The Dark Knight Returns''. Even the dialogue is very similar:
--->'''Old Cop''': You're in for a hell of a show tonight, kid.
** The Bat Cave being used by Wayne's ancestors in the UndergroundRailroad is from an old issue of ''Shadow of the Bat''.
** Bane hiring orphans for his operations in Gotham's sewer system is reminiscent of the "Sewer King" episode of ''BTAS''.
** The outfit Bane wears while robbing the stock exchange is a realistic take on Jason Todd's Red Hood costume.
** Batman's first fight with Bane mirrors their battle in ''Knightfall'' in many ways, but most of all, Bane's finishing blow. The back break.
** Bane cuts off Gotham from the world, its bridges are blown up, and its citizens left to fend for themselves on the streets, just in ''[[ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand No Man's Land]]''.
** When the League of Shadows gives Bruce a chance to evacuate his birthday party, he does it by calling all his guests TwoFaced sycophants.
** A joke is made about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killer_Croc alligators in the sewer]] after John Blake tries to start an investigation on Bane in the sewer.
** In ''Rises'', when Catwoman pulls a StealthHiBye on Batman, his quip of "So that's what that feels like" is from KingdomCome.
** The clown mask the Joker wears at the beginning of ''The Dark Knight'' is identical to a clown mask Cesar Romero's Joker wore in the classic Batman TV Series episode ''Batman is Riled.''
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Happens at least once per movie. Bruce saving Ducard, Batman saving Harvey, and [[spoiler:Bane saving young Talia]].
** The "rewards" for the above good deeds, respectively are [[spoiler:Ducard coming back and revealing he is Ra's al Ghul, and then burning down Bruce's home and trying to destroy Gotham]], [[spoiler:Harvey's botched rescue burns off half his face, which combined with the loss of Rachel Dawes, his LoveInterest, drives him into insanity and villainy as Two-Face]], and [[spoiler:Bane is heavily beaten by the other prisoners of [[HellholePrison the Pit]], forcing him to don his mask to feed himself anasthetic to dull his pain from the injuries]].
* NotHisSled: If we're to believe the subtle nods Christopher Nolan gave concerning not-too-obvious members of the traditional Rogues Gallery, Coleman Reese[[note]]or Mr. Reese (mysteries) for short[[/note]] manages to gain a sufficient sense of humility and avoids becoming the Nolanverse Riddler, and [[spoiler:Lau never becomes the Nolanverse Calculator]].
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Just like in the comics, Bruce Wayne downplays his intellect and behaves like a [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob stereotypical eccentric billionaire]] so that no one would suspect he is really Batman.
** After Bruce puts his lamborghini in between the big truck and the police SUV, he acts like this to Gordon.
---> '''Bruce Wayne''': You think I should go to the hospital?
---> '''Jim Gordon''': You don't watch a whole lot of news, do you, Mr. Wayne?
** Played with in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'': [[spoiler:Blake discovered Wayne was Batman upon recognizing the [[StepfordSmiler persona]] that Wayne often wore in public, as Blake himself had learnt to do the same to bottle his anger.]]
* TheObiWan: Henri Ducard [[spoiler:a.k.a Ra's al Ghul]] was this to Bruce in ''Begins'' [[spoiler:at least, until you discover [[EvilMentor his true nature]] with his plans to eradicate Gotham]].
** Bruce sometimes looks to Alfred for guidance.
* OmnidisciplinaryScientist: Lucius Fox appears to be an expert in toxicology, ballistics, computer technology, sonar, radio communications, and personal protective equipment, to name a few.
** {{Justified|Trope}} in that he used to be the head of a highly prolific multi-national corporation's R&D department. A working knowledge of the science behind most projects is generally required in such positions.
* [[OnceAnEpisode Once A Movie]]: There are multiple uses of this trope:
** Batman's signature interrogation tactic, screaming 'WHERE?' while beating people up, used on Flass, The Joker, and Bane in each film respectively. It only really worked the way he expected it to in the first one, but either way he did get the information, [[spoiler:although the second and third times did not end as well for him, with TheJoker manipulating him and tricking him into saving Harvey not Rachel and later, Bruce found out his new LoveInterest was EvilAllAlong and that she had the trigger for the nuclear bomb that he was looking for.]]
** Batman surveys the city from high up every movie, each time at a different time of day (See IHaveTheHighGround above).
** There is a party in each movie as well; Bruce's birthday party, Harvey Dent's fundraiser, and a masquerade ball held by Miranda Tate.
*** In each of these movies, when Bruce hosts a party, a villain crashes it. [[spoiler: Ras al ghul]] in ''Begins'', The Joker in ''The Dark Knight'', and Selina Kyle in ''Rises''.
** Batman's bladed gauntlets help him defeat Ducard, Joker and Bane.
** Batman's vanishing act. First, Batman manages to startle Gordon with it during some of their initial meetings. Then, Batman pulls the same thing on Harvey during their first encounter, and Gordon, who by this point is used to Batman doing that to him after six months of it, simply tells Harvey, "He does that." Finally, Batman himself is on the receiving end courtesy of Selina Kyle. "So that's what it feels like..."
** Each movie has a line about thanking Batman (the first two times from Gordon and the last time from John Blake).
** There is a different location from Gotham in each movie (a prison in Bhutan and the nearby League of Shadows base in ''Film/BatmanBegins''), Hong Kong in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' and [[HellholePrison the]] [[TheAlcatraz Pit]] some unidentified place far from Gotham in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''.
** The only villain to appear in every movie in the trilogy is [[spoiler:Doctor Jonathan Crane, AKA Scarecrow.]]
** There is a funeral in every movie. First Bruce's parents, then [[spoiler:Commissioner Loeb's]] and finally, [[spoiler:Bruce Wayne's own funeral, though he is FakingTheDead.]]
* PoliceAreUseless: All of them, save Jim Gordon. The Gotham police can't stop the League of Shadows in ''Begins'' and get regularly played by ''The Joker'' in ''Dark Knight'', to the point Batman has to take out a SWAT team to stop them from killing hostages due to [[DisguisedHostageGambit misdirection]].
** The police in Hong Kong are little better. Though quick on the scene, they just watch in stunned confusion as Lau is taken away by Batman.
** Deconstructed with their inability to do their job in the beginning and reconstructed with their willingness when given the chance in the third film. The police did not have the equipment, ability, or number to take on Bane and his army [[spoiler:after nearly all the Gotham police are trapped underground for three months in Bane's trap, becoming malnourished on the little food and water they could get]] and thus could only do recon on Bane's movements. Reconstructed after [[spoiler:Batman blows open a way for the police to leave the underground and Batman gives the hesitant ones the hope to actually make a difference]] as they are shown that given the right chance and equipment they WILL do their best to protect society, even with low odds. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that the police were shown to be huge heroes, especially with the impact of [[spoiler:Foley being too afraid to act during Bane's reign of terror, but deciding to fight after Batman comes back, and then being killed during the war against Bane's army]].
* PornStache: Sported by Jim Gordon.
* RaceLift:
** Commissioner Loeb (Caucasian in the comics, African-American in the films).
** Bane was originally of mixed Hispanic and English heritage (the former part being more obvious). He appears to be white and English in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', but isn't mentioned to identify with any race.
** Ra's al Ghul looks Arab in the comics while he is Japanese in ''Batman Begins''. [[spoiler: It turns out the real Ra's is played by Liam Neeson, who is Irish. His daughter is played by French actress Marillon Cotillard.]]
* RealityEnsues: It's the order of the day in this trilogy. In fact, the trilogy goes so far as to pay attention to even the most minute and the most [[RealityIsUnrealistic ludicrous]] details about how things work in real life.
* RealityIsUnrealistic: Nolan's penchant for having special effects done in-camera tends to garner this reaction. The Tumbler and the Batpod were both thought to be too unwieldy to operate in real life, when each has at least one drivable model. In ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the eighteen-wheeler truck flipping over was at first deemed CGI or a scale model. It was a real semi in a real street.
** Batman's cape was designed to fold into a backpack for ''The Dark Knight'' because the costume designers thought it would get caught in the Batpod's wheel. After a test run in which nothing actually happened, Nolan was happy to let it billow dramatically in the wind (though people still complained).
** The police force is not obligated to provide a phone call for anyone and tend to comply if the suspect is being ''cooperative''. However, this is [[OnePhoneCall such a pervasive occurrence in media]] that people brought it up.
** After the initial snipe on the clowns failed, some reviewers were confused as to why the SWAT team would state their identities and refrain from opening fire for so long during close combat. As mentioned on the page for ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', this is actual operating procedure.
** As well, people questioned why the Hong Kong police wouldn't just shoot Batman, when basic gun safety informs people that you shouldn't shoot when your view is obstructed by low lighting or a hostage being used as a human shield.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: The villains deliver some of the best ones ever. Like the one that Carmine Falcone gives to Bruce at the beginning of ''Batman Begins''. Bruce realizes that Falcone is 100% right about him, and his efforts to remedy that eventually enable him to become Batman.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Gordon in both films. Also Commissioner Loeb, Mayor Garcia, and Harvey Dent [[spoiler:before he loses it]].
* {{Reconstruction}}: The trilogy [[DeconReconSwitch takes apart and then puts back together]] many of the unrealistic and potentially negative elements of the Franchise/{{Batman}} mythos while staying true to the character’s identity as the quintessential [[TheCowl Cowl]]. For example, the [[Film/TheDarkKnight second movie]] is the darkest Batman movie since ''Film/BatmanReturns'', but it is placed right on the Idealist side of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. "What are [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker you]] trying to prove? That deep down, [[HumansAreBastards everyone is as ugly as you?]] You're [[ShutUpHannibal ALONE!]]"
* RetCanon:
** When [[ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} Dick Grayson]] became Batman during ''ComicBook/GrantMorrisonsBatman'', he and Daiman Wayne was ComicBook/{{Robin}} used glider capes similar to the ones Bruce used here. This was also employed on ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', the ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'', ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', and ''WesternAnimation/BewareTheBatman''.
** Starting with ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}'':
*** Commissioner Gordon starting retaining red hair, even into the present day.
*** Zsasz's look matched the one he sported in ''Batman Begins''.
*** ComicBook/{{Bane}}'s look, already an example of this, given it was based on his costume in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum'' and ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', was modified to give him a simlar vest and cargo pants to what he wore in ''The Dark Knight Rises''.
*** ''[[Creator/DCComics Detective Comics]]'' saw The Tumbler ported over.
* RichIdiotWithNoDayJob: Bruce Wayne [[InvokedTrope actively cultivates]] this image, to cover his activities as Batman.
* RuleOfCool: Hang gliding, microwave weapons, ninjas, sonar mapping, fingerprints, fourth degree burns, and anesthesia, among other things, do not work that way. But it all looks awesome, so who cares?
* RuleOfSymbolism:
** All over the place. One of the core points in this iteration of Batman is the ''idea'' of Batman, the very being transcending something physical and becoming a symbol of justice against those for whom the normal means are not enough.
** In a more basic sense, Bats. In the beginning they are one of the sources of Bruce's greatest phobias, but over time he copes with them and eventually in a sense, becomes one of them- a creature of the night. By the final leg of his journey, they are seen again when he symbolically has to feel fear once more [[spoiler: to make the jump needed to escape the Pit]] as opposed to simply welcoming it, and [[spoiler:when Blake accepts his place as Bruce's successor and receive the same swarming he did, akin to a test]].
** The logo for ''Batman Begins'' is raw and unfinished metal. The logo for ''The Dark Knight'' is burned into the side of a building. The teaser poster for ''Rises'' has the logo as a gaping hole in the sky.
* SaveTheDayTurnAway:
** Inverted Type 1 at the end of ''Begins''. Rachel tells ''Bruce'' the man she loved is gone, and for now, only the Batman remains.
** Followed by a straight Type 2 at the end of ''Dark Knight''. Batman's stopped the Joker and saved Gordon's family, but instead takes the blame for Dent's murder spree to [[ThePowerOfLegacy protect Harvey's legacy]].
* SaveTheVillain: Played straight with Ducard, then [[TheDogShotFirst subverted]]. Played straight with [[spoiler:The Joker]]. Later subverted again with [[spoiler:Two-Face]].
* ScienceHero: Nolan's version of Batman relies on his company's cutting-edge technology to create his superhero persona, provide himself with useful gadgets and find criminals. Also applies to the OmnidisciplinaryScientist responsible for creating Batman's gizmos, Lucius Fox.
* SecretIdentity: Deconstructed; although Bruce has a SecretIdentity, it’s practically impossible for him to hide it from everyone else, even when they are not {{Secret Chaser}}s actively looking to know who the Batman is. The ones who find out all decide to be {{Secret Keeper}}s, or even {{Secret Secret Keeper}}s:
** ''Film/BatmanBegins'':
*** The BigBad immediately knows Batman is Bruce Wayne because he was his EvilMentor.
*** Alfred, Bruce's Butler, helps Batman every step of the way.
*** Lucius Fox, the OmnidisciplinaryScientist that provides Batman with his gadgets.
---->''If you don't want to tell me exactly what you're doing - when I'm asked, I don't have to lie. But don't think of me as an idiot.''
*** Batman reveals his identity to his LoveInterest. She becomes another SecretKeeper.
** ''Film/TheDarkKnight'':
*** Accountant Coleman Reese discovers [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys Where He Gets All Those Wonderful Toys]] and intends to {{Blackmail}} Bruce Wayne, but is dissuaded by the GenreSavvy OmnidisciplinaryScientist Lucius Fox. When he tries to sell Batman's SecretIdentity, he discovers that SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker is not happy with the secret being made public. He is saved by Batman and might be ashamed enough to become a SecretKeeper.
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'':
*** John Blake, another orphan, recognizes Bruce Wayne's StepfordSmiler façade, and figures out that the billionaire with the DarkAndTroubledPast must be the Batman. He is a SecretSecretKeeper.
*** The villains know exactly who Batman is because they are AvengingTheVillain of the first movie, making them {{Secret Secret Keeper}}s.
*** Selina Kyle, the new LoveInterest, discovers Batman's identity during a fight.
* SequelHook: Joker's calling card at the end of ''Batman Begins'', Batman riding off into the night [[spoiler:as a wanted criminal]] at the end of ''The Dark Knight'', and while [[spoiler:Bruce and Selina live the rest of their lives together, with the rest of Gotham believing that Bruce Wayne died during Bane's occupation]], the last shot of the trilogy has [[spoiler:John Blake, or rather, Robin John Blake discovering the Batcave, and, like Bruce before him, bats begin to circle him as he prepares himself to become the newest Batman]].
** Alas, DC have announced that they plan to reboot the Batman franchise to allow it to fit into the greater multiverse, with a particular eye towards a ''Justice League'' movie.
* ShoutOut:
** Creator/GaryOldman's whole look in the films is a ShoutOut to FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne''.
** The series also contains shout-outs to ''ComicBook/TheLongHalloween'' like he rooftop scene where Dent, Gordon, and Batman meet to discuss the mob problem, especially Batman's StealthHiBye.
** The colour tones for the movie posters are all based on Batman's colour palette in the comics:
*** ''Batman Begins'' used a sepia tone (his belt and occasionally chest logo)
*** ''The Dark Knight'' used blue (occasionally his cape, cowl, boots and gloves)
*** ''The Dark Knight Rises'' used grey (his body glove)
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The whole trilogy is a poster child for swinging from one end to the other and back again.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: Arguably ''the'' most serious superhero movies.
* SoLastSeason: The batsuit from ''Begins'' quickly proves inadequate for Bruce's needs in ''The Dark Knight''. At least now he can move his neck for the first time in twenty years. Averted in ''Rises'', as even though 8 years pass in the story, he uses the same suit that debuted in ''The Dark Knight''.
** Played straight with the vehicles, however. Each film has the previous film's vehicle show up and then be discarded for something better.
* SortingAlgorithmOfEvil: Crane, one of the main villains from ''Batman Begins'', was reassigned in the sequel to the head Mook of the BatmanColdOpen. SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker meanwhile ends up being worse than ''the entire mob'' put together. To top that off, Bane [[spoiler:takes over Gotham as a warlord for months and holds the city hostage with a nuclear bomb.]]
* StatusQuoIsGod: Averted with Wayne Manor. After being burnt to the ground in ''Begins'', the new mansion is still years away from completion in ''The Dark Knight'', leaving Bruce and Batman to set up in a penthouse at Wayne Tower.
* StealingFromTheTill: A sympathetic example. Lucius and Bruce are [[http://lawandthemultiverse.com/2012/07/16/the-dark-knight-embezzlement/ technically embezzling]] assets from Wayne Enterprises, and they are discovered by an auditor (technically again), but it is limited to failed experimental gear collecting dust in the archives rather than things which people actually need on a daily basis.
-->'''Lucius Fox:''' Mr. Wayne, the way I see it, all [[WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys this stuff]] is yours anyway.
* StealthExpert: Batman.
* StealthHiBye: Used regularly
** Played with in ''Begins'', where Bruce's first attempt to do the iconic move on Gordon results in an epic failure.
** Also used regularly and lampshaded in ''The Dark Knight''
--->'''Gordon:''' He does that.
** And again in ''Rises'' when Catwoman is the one doing that to him.
---> '''Batman:''' [[MythologyGag So that's what that feels like]].
* AStormIsComing: Batman greets Sergeant Gordon with this line after appearing suddenly on his back porch in ''Begins''. Selina Kyle warns Bruce of this while they dance at the MasqueradeBall in ''Rises''.
* SuperheroParadox: Subtly applied throughout the series, as it isn't often talked about. Ra's al Ghul would have destroyed Gotham if Bruce hadn't become Batman, but TheJoker seems to find Batman an inspiration and tells him how he changed things. Bruce does discuss with Alfred how Batman was supposed to inspire good, not madness and evil; something that TheJoker goes on to inspire [[spoiler:in Harvey "Two-Face" Dent]]. On top of that, Batman saved [[spoiler:Harvey Dent]] from certain death but didn't manage to [[spoiler:save half his face and more importantly, his LoveInterest who also happened to be Bruce's]], which let TheJoker visit him and [[spoiler:convince him to give into insanity]]. Dr. Jonathan Crane was already evil before Batman came around, but it probably didn't help that Batman [[spoiler:drove Crane insane with Crane's own fear toxin.]] Finally, if Batman did not [[spoiler:leave Ra's to die]]; Bane [[spoiler:and Talia]] would not have sought [[spoiler:{{revenge}} on Bruce by torturing Bruce and Gotham, then [[NukeEm nuking]] Gotham.]] Pretty much every main villain in the series with the exception of Ra's al Ghul is somehow linked to Batman in relation to why they're insane and/or evil and why they want to torment others or Gotham.
* TakeMyHand
* TerrorHero: Largely averted, throughout the movies it's shown that hardened criminals AREN'T cowardly and superstitious. The Batman's shock and awe tactics fail to impress especially against the non-mook villains. Justified as one crime boss mentioned that he ain't that scary if he's not willing to go all the way and kill especially in comparison to the Joker's atrocities. Even when the boss gets dropped from high up and breaks a leg, he's more angry than scared.
* TheTeetotaler: Bruce is never seen drinking any alcoholic beverage during the series, save for the scene in Begins where he kicks all his party guests out of Wayne Manor. In ''The Dark Knight'', he's even shown emptying the glass of champagne he took for his toast to Harvey off the balcony of his penthouse. In such situations in the comics, where Bruce had to be seen drinking, he usually switched champagne for ginger beer or some other variant, and in the former situation Bruce had plenty of chances to switch his drink.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Consistent with the character's meta portrayal. It's handled somewhat realistically in that, while Batman makes it clear he's completely against straight-up executing criminals under his power, and goes out of his way to use non-lethal takedown methods, he's shown to be willing to use potentially lethal force in a crisis situation (throwing Maroni off a three story ledge (dude could have landed on his head), [[spoiler:doing the same to Dent (who did land on his head), and shooting at Talia al Ghul with an anti-tank gun to stop her from blowing up Gotham]], and virtually anyone he beat up ''could'' have died from internal bleedings, concussions, etc.).
* ToCreateAPlaygroundForEvil: The Joker's apparent goal.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** The first half of ''Begins'' chronicles Bruce Wayne's transformation from frightened child to badass vigilante over the course of 20 odd years.
** Jim Gordon goes from being Batman's sidekick in ''Film/BatmanBegins'' to being a force of his own in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty: Aside from the Joker, it helps to remember that Batman almost always jumps enemies by surprise, and Crane uses ''chemical warfare in fist fights''. And then there was that trick with the rappelling cable on the SWAT team in ''The Dark Knight''...
* TwoPartTrilogy: Double subverted. The second movie is a standalone adventure, and the first and third are closely tied together.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: A recurring theme throughout the series - Falcone underestimates Bruce ([[spoiler:who comes back and trashes him years later]]), Batman underestimates pretty much all his villains and then his villains in turn underestimate him, Gordon is underestimated a few times, Selina Kyle is underestimated once or twice, etc.
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend:
** Rachel Dawes in ''Begins''.
** Bruce Wayne himself in ''The Dark Knight''.
* UnwittingPawn: Every BigBad has his/her pawns.
** To Ra's al Ghul: Jonathan Crane[[note]]He thought Ra's wanted to hold the city to ransom[[/note]], William Earle, Rachel Dawes, Mrs. Delane, Carl Finch, and even the Batman himself.
** To SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker: Harvey Dent, James Gordon, Rachel Dawes, Sal Maroni[[note]]at least until he grows the balls to report the Joker to Gordon[[/note]], the Chechen, Mike Engel, Anna Ramirez, Coleman Reese, Grumpy, Chuckles, Happy, Dopey, the bus driver, the Gotham National Bank manager... and the Batman again.
** To Bane [[spoiler:and Talia al Ghul]]: James Gordon, John Daggett, Phillip Stryver, Lucius Fox, Peter Foley, Simon Jansen, Dr. Leonid Pavel, Agent Bill Wilson, Selina Kyle, and... [[RuleOfThree you guessed it.]]
* ViceCity: Gotham, especially in ''Begins''. As Gordon puts it to Flass:
-->'''Gordon:''' In a town this bent, who's there to rat to anyway?
* TheVillainMakesThePlot
* VillainOpeningScene: Both ''The Dark Knight'' and ''The Dark Knight Rises'' have an opening action sequence centered around Joker and Bane respectively.
* VillainousLegacy: Ra's Al Ghul, leader of the League of Shadows, is killed after he tries to [[KnightTemplar annihilate Gotham and all its citizens to rid the world of its corruption]]. In ''The Dark Knight Rises'' his influence continues to be felt since the League was not actually destroyed, and Ra's student Bane sets out to fulfill his dead master's plans [[spoiler:along with Rha's daughter Talia]], but wants Gotham to suffer first.
* VillainTeamUp: Each of the three films has two major Batman villains cooperating in some way or another. With ''Batman Begins'' it was Ra's al Ghul and Scarecrow. In ''The Dark Knight'', The Joker shares the movie with Two-Face, but while Two-Face is pushing the Joker's plans forward, he doesn't team up with him, making it a BigBadEnsemble rather than a BigBadDuumvirate. This was seemingly subverted with ''The Dark Knight Rises'' as Bane appeared be the singular Big Bad right up until TheReveal [[spoiler:where it turns out he's just TheDragon for Talia al Ghul]].
* WarriorPoet: Alfred, though his warrior days are past.
* WeaponizedCar: The Batmobile and the Batpod.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The League Of Shadows, which ''genuinely'' wants to make the world a better place... by burning it to the ground and building a new one over the ashes of corruption.
* WesternTerrorists: Played with. Ra's al Ghul is played by [[spoiler:Liam Neeson]], though his group is fairly multi-cultural. [[TerroristsWithoutACause The Joker]] and his group are all Americans from Gotham. Finally, Bane is played by Creator/TomHardy, though like Ra's he has an organization consisting of mercenaries from all over the world.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: A recurring theme in the series.
** Bruce always believes [[RousseauWasRight the people of Gotham are inherently good when freed from consequences]], and his enemies always think the people are inherently evil.
** [[WellIntentionedExtremist Ra's al Ghul]] and The League of Shadows believe the entirety of Gotham is corrupt, and it must be destroyed to allow the rest of the world to regain some semblance of balance.
** [[ForTheEvulz Joker]] believes all humans are nothing but animals that will eat each other the second society breaks down. [[spoiler:But only Harvey Dent gives in to his base desires, with Batman and those on the ferries showing they're not so ugly on the inside as Joker is.]]
* WhereDoesHeGetAllThoseWonderfulToys: Bruce appropriates most of his equipment from Wayne Enterprises R&D.
** Deconstructed in the second movie, when an accountant realizes millions of dollars of equipment have disappeared, including an experimental car that looks exactly like the Batmobile. Then [[DeconReconSwitch reconstructed]] when he tries {{Blackmail}}ing Lucius Fox using the information, only to realize how stupid [[BullyingADragon trying to commit a crime against a billionaire vigilante who beats up criminals with his fists]] really is. He almost reveals who the Batman is on national television instead, but then stops trying altogether after the Joker tries to have him killed for it.
* TheWindyCity: The entire trilogy was partially shot Chicago, and as such many Chicago landmarks and features can be picked out:
** The car chase with the Joker takes place on Lower Wacker Drive.
** Maroni's car wrecks in the Amtrak yards at 18th Street
** Gotham General is actually a touched up Brach's candy factory.
** As the blaze at the hospital is being extinguished, a CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) bus can be seen, only with a decal saying GTA (Gotham Transit Authority).
** 'L' trains are frequently visible in the background.
** Part of the first Batpod chase scene shows Batman driving through the Millennium Station. Signs for Metra, South Shore, Pedway and Randolph Street are also visible.
** Bruce Wayne's Illinois license plates, only with "Gotham" where it normally says "Illinois".
** Averted in the third film, where Gotham starts looking just like New York City, being an island surrounded by rivers that empty into the ocean. One World Trade Center, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge also make cameos.
** The LA skyline is also visible when The Bat takes off the roof during its first night of action.
* WorldOfSnark: So very, very much. You could make a drinking game out of it, if you feel like drinking yourself into a coma.
* WouldNotShootAGoodGuy: Played with. Batman will attack police officers with swarms of bats and endanger their lives in high speed chases, but all to try and avoid direct confrontation. It's only when he has to stop a DisguisedHostageGambit that he's willing to take them head-on.
* {{Wuxia}}: Albeit a very modern (and western) take on a traditionally Chinese genre of Martial Arts story. ''Begins'' in particular is filled with an extended TrainingMontage in Asia, QuicklyDemotedLeader, mystical initiations and philosophical introspection. The whole series, American setting notwithstanding, asks the classic ''Wuxia'' question; ''"What does it mean to be a Martial Artist?"'' and ''"What is a Warrior's duty to society?"''
* YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre: A rare example of the protagonist reassuring his colleagues. Batman reminds Selina that she is less selfish than she lets on, and tells Gordon that heroes don't need to dress up like giant bats.

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