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->"''There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there's no real me, only an entity, something illusory.''"
-->-- '''Patrick Bateman'''

A book and movie, ''American Psycho'' by Creator/BretEastonEllis is the story of a true [[TheEighties '80s]] businessman: rich, shallow, unhappy, self-absorbed--and a serial killer.

Patrick Bateman is a yuppie's yuppie. He works on Wall Street, has a pretty girlfriend, and spends most of his life in restaurants. However, he is also a psychotic serial killer who often hallucinates and murders people in increasingly horrific ways, for no reason. Most of the people in Pat's life don't really know anything about him, but then, he doesn't know anything about them either. Most of the people he knows can't even be bothered to remember his name--but he isn't so sure about their names either, so it all evens out. There is no one who listens to him; he confesses at least once a week, but no one seems to notice or indeed care. And Ellis [[WordOfGod explains]] that Patrick may not ''really'' be a serial killer. Patrick may just be harmlessly insane. Or bored. But Patrick may also be speaking the absolute truth. [[{{Applicability}} It's up to the reader to decide]].

There is no true plot to the story. It ends as it begins; with Pat sitting in a restaurant, making boring small talk with boring people. Above him is a sign reading "This is Not an Exit". His confession, his telling this to us, has meant nothing. (The book also crosses over with ''Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction'', but like everything else, it's of [[RedSkiesCrossover no consequence]] whatsoever.)

The book has a sort-of sequel, ''Literature/LunarPark'', which was published in 2005. ''Lunar Park'' blurs the lines between fiction and reality, and features various literary representations of Patrick Bateman haunting a very fictionalized version of Creator/BretEastonEllis. The book mixes cheesy horror with advanced literature theory, MindScrew and RecursiveCanon.

A movie sequel InNameOnly is described [[Film/AmericanPsycho2AllAmericanGirl on another page]].

There was also [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Psycho_%28musical%29 a musical version]] that ran in 2013 at London's Almeida Theatre. What's notable about it is that ''Creator/MattSmith'', who never sung or danced prior to this, starred as Bateman. Wrap your head around ''that''.

Not to be confused with a rather catchy song by Canadian rock band TrebleCharger.
----
!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Tropes Present in Both Versions]]
* AllJustADream: Both novel and film allow for the possibility that all the murders only took place inside Bateman's head. {{Word of God}} for the movie version has it, on a DVD commentary track, that when the two co-writers were writing the film they thought of it as having every single murder in the story really taking place in some fashion or other [[UnreliableNarrator but never in exactly the way Bateman hallucinates/lies about/misremembers it.]]
** This is hinted at even more so in the movie, in several different places. In the business card scene, you can see that on Patrick's business card there is a punctuation error that is not present on the other business cards. In addition, the phone number on each person's business card is exactly the same. During the scene at the dry cleaners, where he is trying to have sheets cleaned the morning after he supposedly killed a woman he met on the street, the audience is supposed to infer that the red substance on the sheets is blood. The substance on the sheets looks nothing like dried blood (which is very dark, almost black, when dried). In fact, the sheets appear to have been stained with cranberry juice, which is exactly what Patrick is insisting caused the stain.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: Peanut butter soup is actually a real thing (nkatenkwan, the national dish of Ghana), although it's usually made with chicken and yam, rather than duck and squash.[[note]] Given that the book was written before the internet, it's unlikely Ellis would have known about it at the time. [[/note]] Mud soup and charcoal arugula are still just plain ridiculous, though.
* AssholeVictim: Paul Owen/Allen was a colossal prick and Evelyn (not killed but definitely emotionally devastated) was a pretty horrid individual.
* AnAxeToGrind: Patrick uses an axe to kill Paul Owen/Allen.
* BeneathTheMask: Publicly, Patrick is charming, mild-mannered, and likeable to those in his circle of friends. Privately, Patrick is a violent sadist incapable of empathy, remorse, or compassion. In the book, he explicitly refers to his friendly facade as his "{{mask of sanity}}".
* BerserkButton: Anything that gives Bateman the idea that he has/gets less than the absolute best or that there is someone in his social circles that might be better than him. For instance, the very thought that Patrick will not get a good table at a restaurant is enough to put him "on the verge of tears". Also, as much as he despises Luis, it's the fact that Luis had business cards that Patrick thinks are better than his own that drives him to [[spoiler: attempt to]] murder Luis almost immediately.
* BlackComedy: Verges on DeadBabyComedy.
* BlatantLies: "I have to return some videotapes."
* CantGetInTroubleForNuthin: No one suspects Patrick of anything, even after he confesses everything.
* CassandraTruth: There are times when Bateman openly confesses his crimes to people, who either don't believe him, mishear him, or think he's joking.
* CatchPhrase: "I have to return some videotapes".
* CrapsackWorld: So very much. Almost every character, with the exception of Luis, Jean, and maybe Courtney, is an absolutely odious individual, completely lacking in anything even remotely like a redeeming feature.
* DisposableSexWorker: "Christie" in the movie, and Bateman murders several more prostitutes in the book.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Several of Bateman's victims. The ones he has "motives" for are considerably worse, since the ones he has no real motives for can be explained by saying he's just crazy.
* DumbBlonde: Evelyn and Courtney, primarily. Also, three models (Libby, Daisy and Caron) Patrick and his associates mingle with in a nightclub. In the book, when they're asked to name any of the planets, two guess the Moon, and the third one guesses Comet. In the film at least, this is deconstructed with one of the models lamenting this and saddened by how Bateman sees her as nothing but a brainless squeeze, suggesting [[HiddenDepths there is more to her character]], but she doesn't mind because [[HorribleJudgeOfCharacter she thinks Patrick is actually a nice person]].
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Three characters who Bateman does not kill are Evelyn, his fiancee; Jean, his secretary; and Luis, his gay associate, all of whom are in love with him. Notable, as Bateman finds Evelyn incredibly annoying, but never considers murdering her, and he was actually about to kill Luis, until he revealed he was gay and in love with Bateman. Even though Bateman is disgusted by this he still does not kill Luis.
* ExtraStrengthMasquerade: Bateman ''could'' be caught, but no one cares to catch him.
* GainaxEnding
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: Patrick seems to think so. But it's hard to see it as sexy when the girls are often paid/forced to do it by a misogynistic mass murderer. In the film he roofies a couple of them first, before eating them later on.
* HookersAndBlow: Part of Patrick's exceptionally decadent lifestyle.
* IHaveToGoIronMyDog: "I have to return some videotapes." Patrick uses other, more outlandish excuses too; in the book, for example, he once tells to Courtney that "I'm going to... Noj's. I'm buying coke from Noj". She protests that Noj is not a drug dealer but the chef at the Deck Chairs.
* ImAHumanitarian: In the book, Bateman eats the brain and part of the insides of one of his victims, and later bursts into tears while cooking another... because he thinks he's doing it wrong and can't cook. In the movie, eating people's brains is one of the things Patrick confesses to his lawyer.
* IncompatibleOrientation: Luis Carruters is in love with Bateman, who is not only straight but a virulent homophobe as well.
* IronicHell: Assuming Patrick really is a murderer, he'll likely never be caught. But that doesn't matter, because his life is already punishment enough. He's surrounded by people he hates, but doesn't know how to live away from them; he can't get anyone to stop him, because nobody hears what he says; even killing people isn't any fun, because everyone is so interchangeable that when one of them dies, nobody notices - and what's the point of a murder nobody knows about?
* ItWasHereISwear: Inverted with Bateman's return to the torture chamber he set up in Paul Owen/Allen's apartment, which has inexplicably been repainted from top to bottom, erasing any trace that he was ever there.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Bateman says he attended Harvard.
* JerkAss: Pretty much everyone except Jean and maybe Luis
* KarmaHoudini: Patrick actually confesses (earnestly) all the horrible things he's done to his lawyer, and still nothing comes of it. Of course, that's assuming he did do all the things he describes.
* KickTheDog: In both the movie and the book, Patrick very literally kicks a dog belonging to a homeless man he stabs to death. In a chapter in the book, he disembowels another dog, then shoots its owner; in a chapter set at a zoo, he throws nickel coins to the seals, just because he saw a table asking people not to do so (because they can choke on them).
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Patrick's very cold dumping of Evelyn was cruel, no doubt about that, but its difficult to imagine anyone wanting to commit to a lifetime of Evelyn's company.
* KillThePoor: Patrick feels nothing but ill will and contempt for the lower classes, as do his friends, although they, unlike Patrick, don't go out and stab them for fun.
* MasterOfDelusion: Most everybody.
* MindScrew: Since he's an UnreliableNarrator, it's very hard to tell just how much of Patrick's actions were real, if any.
* MistakenForGay: Bateman is about to kill his associate, Luis, by strangling him from behind, but Luis mistakes this as Bateman coming onto him, causing him to reveal that he's gay and in love with Bateman.
* MistakenIdentity: Throughout the book and the movie, characters address each other by the wrong name. Bateman himself is called Marcus Halberstam, [=MacLoy=], Davis, Smith and Paul Owen/Allen, among others. Craig [=McDermott=] is addressed as Baxter at one point. This is a part of the social commentary in the story; these yuppies are so self-centered they can't even remember each others' names. Or, more to the point, they all look exactly like one another and engage in the exact same activities to a point where everyone is interchangeable, no one else can tell anybody apart from anybody else, and no one can even realize when one of their own associates and so-called "friends" is murdered...maybe.
* MyCard: Early on, there's a scene where several stockbrokers compare business cards.
* {{Nepotism}}: Bateman's father "practically owns" P&P. See OneHourWorkWeek.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Patrick and his associates are absolutely horrible to waiters and other people who do services for them (dry cleaners, housemaids, etc.).
--> '''Waiter:''' Would you like to hear today's specials?
--> '''Patrick:''' Not if you want to keep your spleen.
* NoEnding: The novel ends with the words "This is not an exit" (on a sign that Patrick reads). The chapters also often end abruptly, and one even ends in mid-sentence. The movie shows a sign with those words above and behind Patrick's head in the last shot.
* NotListeningToMeAreYou: Used repeatedly. Patrick often confesses his sociopathic tendencies to friends and associates. They are either not listening or don't care.
* NotSoDifferent: The way Bateman's murderous sociopathy is juxtaposed with the casual sociopathy of Reagan-era America.
* OneHourWorkWeek: Patrick's job is very high-paying, with a cushy office, but he doesn't actually seem to ''do'' anything there and [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob has a lot of free time on his hands]] - when his secretary looks through his diary it's almost empty save for lunch dates. Which helps with his... hobbies. It's mentioned both in the book and the film that [[{{Nepotism}} it's his dad's company]]. In his review of the film, Creator/RogerEbert mused that Patrick's spree might have been averted if he'd been put to work hitting nails with a hammer, which is about the only task he's qualified for.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Apart from being a sadistic {{serial killer}}, Patrick is also racist, antisemitic, sexist, elitist and homophobic (though so are most of his associates, except the serial killer part).
* PyrrhicVillainy: By the end of the book, it's clear that [[spoiler: all of Patrick's evil and depravity have afforded him nothing. He's still as lonely and miserable and empty as he was at the beginning, and no one gives a shit about him.]]
* PluckyOfficeGirl: Jean.
* PrettyInMink: Evelyn wears a lynx coat.
* RunningGag:
** [[BlatantLies "I have to return some videotapes."]]
** Bateman can never get that reservation at Dorsia.
* SarcasticConfession: Bateman confesses his murders openly to a lot of people, but nobody takes him seriously. Sometimes, his confessions aren't really sarcastic; he actually wants people to believe him, but they never do. More to the point, all the Stepford Yuppies he reveals himself to are too self-involved to hear him correctly. They aren't even hearing or caring enough to not take him seriously. When he declares himself to work in "murders and executions", the conversation goes on about mergers and acquisitions. And when he tries to break up with Evelyn over lunch, his declaration that his need to commit murder on a massive scale was out of control zings right through her hair. Of course, as noted, it's possible that [[UnreliableNarrator this might not all be real]].
* SerialKiller: Go on. Guess who.
* SeriousBusiness: Things that most people would find irrelevant or trivial are blown out of proportion all over; for example, Paul Owen/Allen is murdered over a business deal that nobody even knows the details of (as well as for having a better business card than Bateman's and for being able to get a reservation at a popular restaurant).
* SexySecretary: Jean, who constantly tries to get Patrick's attention. Patrick notes in the book that the clothes she wears are "improbably expensive and completely inappropriate".
* ShaggyDogStory: "There has been no reason for me to tell you any of this. This confession has meant nothing..."
* ShoutOut: The book and the movie end with Bateman reading a sign that says "This is not an Exit" a reference to ''NoExit''.
* SlashersPreferBlondes: So do Patrick's presumably non-murderous friends.
* TheyLookJustLikeEveryoneElse: While Patrick is superficial and phony, no one notices how facile his persona is. Even his obsessive grooming habits go unnoticed, since he blends right in with the rest of the self-absorbed yuppie crowd. In fact, Patrick is constantly mistaken for other people in his circle.
* ThreeWaySex: Patrick does it with call girls several times.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: One possible and very likely interpretation of the book and movie. See UnreliableNarrator below.
* TooDumbToLive: Nobody seems to realize how dangerous Patrick really is, even when he blatantly confesses his sociopathy.
* TortureCellar
* TorturePorn: In-universe example, Patrick is particularly fond of these sorts of movies.
* UnreliableNarrator: Patrick Bateman is clearly insane and has bizarre hallucinations (i.e. a Cheerio interviewed on a talk show, himself stalked by a park bench in the book; an ATM machine ordering him, "FEED ME A STRAY CAT" in both book and film) which he believes to be true. It's also ambiguous whether he committed the brutal (and, occasionally, ''preposterous'') murders that occur. Right at the end, another character insists that Paul Owen/Allen is alive.
* UpperClassTwit: Everyone in Bateman's social circle.
* VillainProtagonist: With a capital V.
* WateringDown: Tim Price (Bryce in the movie) complains to Patrick about how the cocaine they've been sold is "a fucking milligram of ... ''Sweet 'n' Low''." (Brand name omitted in the movie.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tropes Present in the Book]]
* AnachronicOrder: For much of the book, scenes alternate between early summer and right around Christmas. The lack of chronological order is almost easy to miss, and has almost no effect on the book's narrative structure, since the book has no real narrative.
* ArcWords: "This is not an exit"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
** At the beginning, Tim Price (one of Bateman's associates) reads a newspaper: "In one issue... in one issue... let's see here... strangled models, babies thrown from tenement rooftops, kids killed in the subway, a Communist rally, Mafia boss wiped out, Nazis, baseball players with AIDS, more Mafia shit, gridlock, the homeless, various maniacs, faggots dropping like flies in the streets, surrogate mothers, the cancellation of a soap opera..."
** In one chapter, after murdering a dog and its owner in a typically gruesome fashion, Patrick goes to the supermarket and gets a rush out of [[PokeThePoodle buying a bran muffin with an expired coupon]].
* BloodIsTheNewBlack
* BookEnds: The story begins with Bateman reading graffiti sprayed in red. The story ends with him reading a bar sign in red flanked by red curtains. As well as allusions to Hell: the book begins with a quote from [[Literature/TheDivineComedy Dante's Inferno]] and the quote in the summary, "This is not an exit," is probably a reference to Sartre's play ''NoExit''.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: Patrick, several times. It always goes unnoticed, by characters and, possibly, the reader.
** "I sprinted over to Sixth Avenue, decided to be late for the office and took a cab back to my apartment where I put on a new suit (by Cerruti 1881), gave myself a pedicure and tortured to death a small dog I had bought earlier this week in a pet store on Lexington."
** "My priorities before Christmas include the following: (1) to get an eight o'clock reservation on a Friday night at Dorsia with Courtney, (2) to get myself invited to the Trump Christmas party aboard their yacht, (3) to find out as much as humanly possible about Paul Owen's mysterious Fisher account, (4) to saw a hardbody's head off and [[FingerInTheMail Federal Express it to Robin Barker]] � the dumb bastard � over at Salomon Brothers and (5) to apologize to Evelyn without making it look like an apology."
* BuxomIsBetter: Patrick certainly thinks that; every time he finds a woman attractive, he mentions that she has "big tits". When his favorite talk show features a woman who had breast reduction surgery, he calls one of his associates (who is also watching), and they spend the rest of the segment with ridiculing her.
* TheCameo: Patrick meets his brother Sean, who was one of the three main characters in Bret Easton Ellis's previous novel, ''Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction'', for dinner in one chapter. They do not get along well with each other.
* CharacterFilibuster: There are entire chapters where Patrick stops telling the story altogether, in order to launch into long essay-like rants about pop singers he likes, such as Phil Collins and Whitney Houston. His interminably long word diarrhea about banal pop acts like Huey Lewis and the News demonstrate how shallow a person he is.
* ContinuityNod: Taking place in the same universe as most of Bret Easton Ellis's novels, there are subtle references to events and characters from other books. Most humorously, Patrick, when buying a tie for his brother Sean, pleases himself my imagining Sean attempting to hang himself with it. Sean actually does try to hang himself using a tie from Patrick in Ellis's earlier novel, ''Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction''. Patrick also notes that Sean, who was occasionally described as having a unibrow in the previous book, must be plucking his eyebrows, seeing that "he no longer has only one".
* ChekhovsGunman: Done in a deliberately annoying fashion; characters that were mentioned once 200 pages ago are suddenly mentioned again just to give you the same confused who-are-these-people feeling that Patrick must have all the time.
* CostumePorn: Bateman frequently discusses what he and his colleagues/friends are wearing, and their brand names. The author, Bret Easton Ellis, actually subverted this, albeit very covertly. Apparently he knew that the readers of the book would almost certainly be unable to accurately picture the outfits that Patrick describes and would assume the men just look like GQ models and the women look like celebrities doing publicity but in fact the clothes they were described as wearing would actually look "clownish" in real life.
* DecoyProtagonist: It's only for a very short time, but if you'd read only the first few pages of the novel, you'd think the protagonist is Tim Price.
* DudeNotFunny: An in-universe example. Patrick pretends to be offended by a racist joke one of his associates tells, [[StrawHypocrite though he's actually a virulent racist]].
* EveryoneHatesMimes: Patrick, while looking for someone to kill, passes a street juggler and mentions that if he had been a mime, he would already have been dead.
* FanHater: In-story example. Patrick mentions that no one should feel sympathy for Jeanette whom he's forcing into getting an abortion due to the fact that her favorite movie is ''Film/PrettyInPink'' and "she thinks [[Music/ThePolice Sting]] is cool."[[invoked]]
* FingerInTheMail: In the novel, when Patrick Bateman is listing his priorities before Christmas, one of them is "saw a hardbody's head off and Federal Express it to Robin Barker � the dumb bastard � over at Salomon Brothers".
* FoodPorn: As with the CostumePorn, subverted: the food ranges from bizarre (peanut butter soup) to inedible (brioche with maple syrup and ''cotton''), and the plating is wacky enough to kill Patrick's appetite.
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: Patrick goes to a Halloween party dressed as a mass murderer, complete with real human blood on his suit. He comes in 2nd in the party's costume contest, which really upsets him.
* GoMadFromTheIsolation: Ellis has stated that long before he came up with the "serial killer on Wall Street" concept, the novel was inspired by his own sense of isolation, disaffection and loneliness while living in New York in the 1980s. A significant theme of the novel is how it is partly Bateman's isolation from other people that drives him to insanity.
* {{Gorn}}: Just like clothes, food, sex, and everything else that's important in Patrick's life, violence and bloodshed is described in lengthy (and, occasionally, ''absurd'') detail. The horrific violence was the subject of much debate when the novel was published.
%% Mod Note: Do not describe the Gorn in detail. It is a violation of wiki rules.
* HarassingPhoneCall: Patrick makes a bunch of obscene phone calls to women to amuse himself:
-->"I'm a corporate raider," I whispered lasciviously into the cordless phone. "I orchestrate hostile takeovers. What do you think of that?" and I would pause before making sucking noises, freakish piglike grunts, and then ask, "Huh, bitch?"
* HypocriticalHumor:
** At one point Patrick and several of his guy friends are appalled that their dates only seem to be able to meaningfully converse about clothes.
** And then there's this little gem (context for their misunderstanding [[http://backspace.com/notes/2003/04/silence-death.php here]]):
-->"What are all these T-shirts I've been seeing?" she asks. "All over the city? Have you seen them? Silkience Equals Death? Are people having problems with their conditioners or something? Am I missing something? What were we talking about?"
-->"No, that's absolutely wrong. It's ''Science'' Equals Death." I sigh, close my eyes. "Jesus, Evelyn. Only you could confuse ''that'' and a hair product."
** And:
-->If she likes me only for my muscles, the heft of my cock, then she's a shallow bitch. ''But'' a physically superior, near-perfect-looking shallow bitch, and ''that'' can override anything, except maybe bad breath or yellow teeth, either of which is a real deal-breaker.
* ICallHimMisterHappy: When a private investigator asks Patrick about Paul Owen, Patrick thinks to himself: "How could I describe Paul Owen to this guy? Boasting, arrogant, cheerful dickhead who constantly weaseled his way out of checks at Nell's? That I'm heir to the unfortunate information that his penis had a name and that name was ''Michael''?"
* InfantImmortality: Averted. Patrick stabs a small boy when he's at the zoo, just to see whether he enjoys it. He doesn't... because he doesn't find it ''evil enough'':
--> ''"How useless, how extraordinarily painless, it is to take a child's life... It's so much worse (and more pleasurable) taking the life of someone who has hit his or her prime, who has the beginnings of a full history, a spouse, a network of friends, a career, whose death will upset far more people whose capacity for grief is limitless than a child's would, perhaps ruin many more lives than just the meaningless, puny death of this boy."''
* InsistentTerminology: For the first half of the novel, he can never call his secretary 'Jean.' No, it's always 'Jean, my secretary, who is in love with me.'
* LameComeback: When someone calls Patrick a "fucking yuppie", all he can come up with is: "Hey... You may think I'm a really disgusting yuppie but I'm not, ''really''."
* MinorFlawMajorBreakup: A variant - at one point in the novel Bateman and several of his colleagues are sitting in a restaurant checking out a hot girl at another table. Tim Price uninterestedly points out that one of her knees is bigger than the other. All three of them notice this and promptly lose all interest in her.
* MultipleNarrativeModes: Some chapters are told in the third person, as opposed to the first-person narrative of the rest of the novel.
* PetTheDog: Patrick almost has a moment like this, but then it's ruined. At one point, he notices a pretty homeless girl sitting on the steps of a building with a coffee cup. As he states, his nastiness vanishes, and he honestly wants to do something kind, so he drops a dollar into the cup. Then he realizes that the girl wasn't homeless but a college student, and the cup was full of coffee.
* RuleOfThree: The three chapters in which Bateman describes an 80s pop act in minute detail. Emphasized by WordOfGod: in an interview Ellis mentioned that the novel's editor wanted to cut out two of these chapters, as he was of the opinion that they'd lose their impact through repetition. Ellis countered that the fact that the motif is repeated is what makes them work: one such chapter sounds merely like the writings of a slightly obsessive fan, but ''three'' sounds downright psychotic.
* RunningGag: Patrick's obsession with "The Patty Winters Show" and the bizarre subjects of the episodes he watches. The frequent (often unimportant) detail he gives of clothes, decor, and food also becomes a gag in and of itself as it seems to manifest out of a compulsive desire to do so; for instance, after describing the "dumpy girl" behind the counter at his video store and her non-designer clothes from the waist up, Patrick starts to have a panic attack as he realizes he has not seen what shoes she is wearing.
* SanitySlippage: As the book goes on, Patrick's descriptions of the mundane parts of his life become peppered with increasingly bizarre details.
* SawStarWarsTwentySevenTimes: In the novel, Patrick mentions that he has rented ''Body Double'' 37 times. One chapter follows his train of thought at a video rental store as he picks the movie out "as if he'd been programmed." He also pretends to ignore "the horrified reaction" of a store employee who recognizes Bateman upon being handed the movie box when renting it out for what would be the 38th time. He sometimes likes to describe some of the film's more violent moments to both the reader and other characters throughout the story. "The power drill scene" is Patrick's favorite part.
* SceneryPorn: Although they manifest themselves as dryly written WallsOfText, Patrick's descriptions of his lavish surroundings, including everything from the furniture in his apartment to the clothing of every character in the book counts as this, to a point. {{Deconstructed|Trope}}, in that rather than being appealing to the reader, the lengthy, detailed descriptions make both Patrick and the world that surrounds him seem shallow and materialistic.
* ShowWithinAShow: In the book, frequent references are made to a daytime talk show called ''The Patty Winters Show''. Patrick often brings up the show's topic of the day which ranges from more straight-forward things, such as "Autism" or "Salad Bars," to more bizarre subjects, like a new sport called "Dwarf Tossing," "a boy who fell in love with a box of soap," and "[=UFOs=] That Kill." Later interviewees, such as [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti Bigfoot]], whom Patrick found to "surprisingly articulate and charming" and a Cheerio again makes us question Patrick's sanity.
* SnuffFilm: Patrick sometimes films himself torturing women to death. He once shows one of these videos to a woman before killing her.
* SocietyMarchesOn: Once upon a time, children, restaurants in New York had smoking and non-smoking sections...
* StrawNihilist: Patrick believes that ultimately, everything is meaningless. "everything I have been taught: principles, distinctions, choices, morals, compromises, knowledge, unity, prayer � all of it was wrong, without any final purpose. All it came down to was: die or adapt."
* TakeThat:
-->Earlier in the night after dropping Jeanette off I stopped at M.K. for a fund-raiser that had something to do with UsefulNotes/DanQuayle, who [[EveryoneHasStandards even]] ''[[EveryoneHasStandards I]]'' don't like.
** TakeThatMe:
-->"Oh god," Timothy moans. "I am so sick of hearing ''Camden''-girl problems. [[Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction Oh my boyfriend, I love him but he loves someone else and oh how I]] ''[[Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction longed]]'' [[Literature/TheRulesOfAttraction for him and he ignored me and blahblah blahblahblah]]--god, how ''bor''ing. ..."
* ThoseWackyNazis: In the book, the topic of one episode of ''The Patty Winters Show'' is Nazis, which Patrick says he "got a real charge out of." One of the Nazi guests is described by as having juggled grapefruits "in a rare display of humor." Patrick, delighted by this, "sat up in bed and clapped."
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness
* ToiletHumor: At one point Patrick tricks Evelyn into eating part of a chocolate-covered urinal cake by passing it off as a fancy treat from Godiva.
* TotallyRadical: In a club, after doing coke in the bathroom, Patrick comes out to see that quite a few young punks have come in, and a few black people. He attempts to convince them that he's "hip" and not just some boring yuppie. HilarityEnsues.
--> [[CrowningMomentOfFunny I stick out my hand at a crooked angle, trying to mimic a rapper. "Hey," I say. "I'm fresh. The freshest, y'know� like, uh, def� the deffest." I take a sip of champagne. "You know� def."\\
To prove this I spot a black guy with dreadlocks and I walk up to him and exclaim "Rasta Man!" and hold out my hand, anticipating a high-five]].
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Bateman orders several dozen scotches, always J&B, through the course of the book.
* UncomfortableElevatorMoment: Bateman gets in the elevator with Creator/TomCruise, and attempts to make small talk with him after spending a while debating with himself as to whether he should play it cool and say nothing. The conversation is extremely awkward. This is based on a real event: Ellis lived in the same apartment building as Tom Cruise for some time. It's HilariousInHindsight (or possibly FridgeHorror) when you consider that Christian Bale [[http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/22/christian-bales-american_n_329874.html used Tom Cruise as inspiration for his portrayal of Bateman.]]
* {{Understatement}}: When Bateman calls his lawyer and confesses his murders to the lawyer's answering machine, he concludes it with:
-->"Uh, I'm a pretty sick guy".
* WallOfText: Whilst such excessive description in a novel is normally unnecessary and undesirable, the fact that the novel is from Bateman's perspective [[FridgeLogic actually serves to exaggerate his consumerist nature and his obsession over minimal, insignificant details.]]
* WouldHurtAChild: Patrick stabs a small boy to death just to see if he'd enjoy it.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: Bateman despises his friends because they represent parts of himself that he hates and remind him of what he doesn't have.
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[[folder: Tropes Present in the Film]]
* AdaptationNameChange: Paul Owen and Timothy Price in the novel become Paul Allen and Timothy Bryce in the film.
* AllThereInTheManual: As part of an advertising campaign for the film, there were several e-mails written from Patrick Bateman to his therapist. These emails depict several events after the film/book, acting as a sequel (such as Patrick being married, then divorcing Jean). These were written by one of the film's writers and approved by Ellis.
* AsceticAesthetic: Patrick's apartment. The production notes asked for the surfaces in Bateman's kitchen to be covered in stainless steel, like a morgue.
* BlackDudeDiesFirst: Patrick Bateman's first on-screen victim in the film is a homeless black man.
* BloodyHorror: Patrick Bateman kills an annoying coworker which results in his face being covered in blood. Then he takes off his raincoat that was keeping his suit clean, sits down at the desk facing the coworker's corpse, and smokes a cigar.
* BreakTheCutie: Jean, who seems to have a crush on Patrick, is subjected to his cold personality and a sour date. [[spoiler: In the end of the film, she also finds his journal depicting murder and rape of women.]]
* ConversationCasualty: Patrick Bateman certainly ''contemplates'' taking a cordless drill to the head of a lady he's chatting up.
* CostumePorn: Played straight, unlike the novel.
* DistractedByMyOwnSexy: During the porn film he's making with two prostitutes, Patrick Bateman spends more time looking at himself in a mirror, flexing his biceps.
* EnvironmentalSymbolism: In the film, the door to Paul Allen's apartment (where Bateman accumulates most of his kills) is lettered "B".
* FanDisservice: When Bateman is running around with nothing but shoes and socks on... [[ChainsawGood and a chainsaw]], while cackling insanely. Also the sex scenes really aren't that sexy, and very intentionally so. (The scene with the streetwalker and the call girl should be sexy, since all three actors are very attractive, but Bateman's overwhelming egoism and gross instructions to the girls make it most unsexy indeed.)
* {{Fanservice}}: Christian Bale + ShowerScene = [[EatingTheEyeCandy Most of the women on the set showing up to watch them film that one scene]].
* GoryDiscretionShot: One scene ends with a vapid model accompanying Bateman back to his home. Her apparent murder takes place offscreen, but in the next scene Bateman is quietly passing the time in his office, clutching a piece of hair which he apparently pulled from the model's head.
* HighConcept: "A serial killer on Wall Street". WordOfGod has stated that this premise was arrived at relatively late in the process of writing the novel, and the earlier chapters are more about Bateman's vanity and isolation.
* FullFrontalAssault: With a {{chainsaw|Good}}.
* JerkAss: Every single character apart from Christie and Jean.
* LighterAndSofter: The film is much, ''much'' tamer than the book, featuring only [[GoryDiscretionShot Gory Discretion Shots]] instead of the chapter-long, extreme {{Squick}}-inducing graphic descriptions of what Bateman does to his victims.
* MoodWhiplash: Done quite brilliantly-- the film opens with an extremely dark monologue by Patrick describing his sociopathic tendencies, only for the scene to switch to the sounds of "Walking On Sunshine".
* MrFanservice: The entire cast. Intentional to highlight their vanity and the complete lack of identity among them.
* MythologyGag:
** Many of the pictures in [[spoiler: Patrick's journal]] are illustrations of murders from the book that were cut.
** He also mentions some victims that are only present in the book during his confession scene.
* NoodleImplements: Bateman's drawer full of "sex toys" which he uses on the prostitutes. This is one of those times when you really ''don't'' want to picture how they're used. There's a hole puncher, for one. What did he ''do'' with that? The fact that Christie says she had to go to the emergency room and might need surgery gives you some clue.
* NotInTheFace: At one point in the film, Patrick Bateman chases a hooker through an apartment and tries to eat her leg. She kicks him in the face and, being a self-absorbed yuppie, he screams at her, "Not the ''face''! Not the fucking face, you piece of bitch trash graagh (''unintelligible'')!"
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat: Patrick does this a lot when under pressure or when coming close to getting caught in a lie. According to WordOfGod, Christian Bale was so talented an actor that when doing repeated takes of the famous business card scene, he was capable of sweating on cue.
* PragmaticAdaptation: If you watch the film without reading the book, it's obvious that a lot of the content has been excised without detriment to the narrative. The horrible {{Gorn}} is reduced to quick cuts and off-screen violence (especially the nigh-unfilmable rat scene, which is removed altogether - thankfully). Bateman's interminable lectures about boring '80s pop music is rendered on-screen as him babbling to guests at his apartment.
* PreMortemOneLiner:
-->"Hey Paul!"
** The speech Patrick gives about Huey Lewis just before would count, though it's not precisely a one-liner.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: In the film, the goriest room in Bateman's lair is decorated with the words "DIE YUPPIE SCUM" on the wall.
* SignificantSketchbook: [[spoiler:At the end of the film, Patrick Bateman's secretary finds his planner, which is filled with horrifying sketches of women being tortured, maimed and dismembered.]]
* SleepMask: The ever-posh Courtney Rawlinson is seen wearing one in the movie.
* SoundtrackDissonance
* StabTheSalad:
** During Bateman's last killing spree, he seems certain to pull a gun on the security guard in his office -- but whips out a pen instead.
** The opening credits have what seems to be blood dripping all over, but then is turns out to be some sort of red sauce being drizzled on a plate.
* TheUnsmile: Bale's used car salesman grin becomes even more comical when he's agitated.
* WhamLine: Two instances (film wise), all within a span of a couple of minutes:
--> '''Real estate agent''': There was no ad in the Times. I think you should go now.
** Then a little later...
--> '''Bateman''': There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. [[spoiler:But even after admitting this, there is no catharsis; my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself. No new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.]]
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