* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: It's entirely possible that the Batman we're seeing on page is not in fact the real Batman. [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Some have theorized that he's actually a crazy hobo named Steve who found a Batman costume and won the lottery, becoming inspired to be Batman.]]
** The fact that Batman keeps laughing like a maniac while Joker never even smiles makes you wonder if the two have swapped costumes before the story started.
** Similarly Wonder Woman's insanely out-of-character behavior has caused some to declare that she's actually a deranged mental patient who's found a Wonder Woman costume and is impersonating her.
* ArcFatigue: With [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters all the characters]], sideplots that may or may not have anything to do with the narrative, confusing time frame, and [[ScheduleSlip fairly bad schedule]], it took a while for Dick Grayson, age 12, to even ''become'' Robin.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeArt: Say what you want to about the writing, but the art is ''amazing'', both Lee's interiors and Miller's covers. The art is what's been selling the book. All the critics who absolutely hated the writing said DC could do the fans a better service by reprinting the books with blank speech bubbles.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: Neo-Nazi woman with swastika pasties standing guard outside a motel door. It's ''supposed'' to be a ContinuityNod to an extra that appeared in ''The Dark Knight Returns'' but [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight ...Yeah, it's just too weird to work.]]
* BileFascination: The whole reason the book continued selling: once word about it began to spread, people who haven't read it yet just can't believe it's ''that'' bad.
* CanonSue: Batman. By all logical reasoning, he should not be able to roam free the way he is, and other super heroes exist only to be incompetent and make him look better.
** JerkSue: Anybody who calls Batman out for his actions is treated as an idiot.
* CrackPairing: Batman and Black Canary
* CrazyAwesome: What a lot of Batman's actions appear to be intended as.
* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy: When both your protagonists are at best sociopathic jerks without sincere empathy for other human beings, it's hard to feel genuine sympathy.
* DesignatedHero: Batman. He's psychotic, unstable, an all round {{Jerkass}}, who kidnaps the twelve year old Dick Grayson, age twelve, gleefully commits murder (a lot of the victims being ''innocent policemen''), and barely does anything heroic, and yet somehow the reader is supposed to side with him.
* FanonDiscontinuity: Many fans like to believe that this story (and ''TheDarkKnightStrikesAgain'') is in no way connected to ''Batman: Year One'' and ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''.
* FauxSymbolism: The close up on Vicki Vale's panties reveal that the design is that of a Bat.
* FountainOfMemes: It is, after all, Batman TurnedUpToEleven -- now with extra crazy flakes.
* HarsherInHindsight: The 1994 ''Batman/Spawn''[[note]]also written by Frank Miller[[/note]] crossover had Batman riled up at Spawn's lethal methods, vexing him to the point where he chucked a batarang in Spawn's face when Spawn asked to shake hands. At the time it was understandable; in ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' and ''ComicBook/BatmanYearOne'' he never used lethal force. After his child abusing, cop-killing antics in ''All Star Batman'' his attitude towards Spawn killing seems flat out hypocritical.
** Likewise, a lot of scenes from ''Year One''. Especially the scene early on where Bruce breaks out of a cop car but winds up crashing it and ''still'' goes out of his way to save the two unconscious cops inside, even one of which is shown to be somewhat of a dick because of his willingness to let Bruce bleed to death, in light of the cop-killing scene early on in ASBAR.
* HilariousInHindsight:
-->'''Robin''': [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga "It's like [Batman's] doing some lameass Clint Eastwood impersonation."]]
** The love scene between Batman and Black Canary also count. In the story, they have make out while keeping their mask on. The scene might be Squick, sexy, or even outright funny to some people. Fast forward three years later, Batman and Catwoman have SEX with their mask on. The scene is [[http://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/3372244.html?#cutid1 here]] if you want to check it out (NSFW)
** Although the "I'm the Goddamn Batman" is the most remembered part of the quote, right before it, he says "[[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Who the hell do you think I am?]]"
** As [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] pointed out, FrankMiller once said he considered Batman the most pure and good of all DC superheroes. Fast forward to this comic and suddenly we have the Goddamn Batman [[SlasherSmile smirking gleefully]] as he slams the Batmobile into cops, abducts Dick Grayson, [[RunningGag Age Twelve]], and generally runs around acting so brutally out of character Linkara dubs him 'Crazy Steve' because even Batman In Name Only is still ''too much'' like Batman.
** When 12-year-old Dick Grayson initially creates his costume with a hood, Batman cynically tells him to drop it, since according to him, this would be impractical in a fight. Flash-forward to Creator/GrantMorrison's run, when Damian Wayne becomes the new Robin. His costume includes a hood. Linkara has theorized Morrison might have done this on purpose as a TakeThat to this comic.
* IdiotPlot: A lot of the story would be over fast if Superman or Green Lantern didn't act like morons.
* MemeticMolester: It's often been pointed out that the way Batman treats Robin can get ''really'' uncomfortable. Says he's been watching him ''before'' Robin was orphaned, takes him away without the kid's consent, ''smiles'' as he thinks about putting the kid through hell...
-->"Fast hands, my little Robin. Fast hands, big mouth."[[note]]He's talking about how quickly Robin painted a house yellow while complaining all the while, but still...[[/note]]
* MemeticMutation: Several lines in the series, as well as the series itself.
--> "I'm the Goddamn Batman."
** ''[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Dick Grayson]], [[OverlyLongGag age 12]]''.
** And then Miller had exactly the wrong reaction to the Goddamn Batman meme, as he threw the word more and more into Batman's lines until it's practically a VerbalTic.
** "Damn you and your lemonade!"
* NightmareFuel: Batman, when he isn't being completely ridiculous.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Some readers take exception to the Joker being emotionless and grim, a far cry from his usual depictions. However his early Golden Age appearances did have the Joker as a more morose character compared to how he would later become known.
* {{Padding}}: The series suffers from this. One critic noted the book felt like Miller was spreading 4 issues of story across 20. To put it in perspective, Batman meets Dick Grayson, age twelve, in Issue 1. They arrive at the Batcave in Issue 4. The time in between (the entirety of Issues 2 and 3) is focused on either inner monologue which repeats itself or scenes focusing on other characters (despite this being a book about Batman and Robin). Black Canary's introductory scene takes up half of Issue 3, but all that happens is her getting harassed and her beating up a room full of people.
* SignatureScene: Guess. Come on. ''Guess.''
* SoBadItsGood: The fact is that most people think this is a bad Batman story; that doesn't stop them from finding it ''absolutely hilarious''.
* SnarkBait: Virtually every other panel has some.
* StealthParody: Some people speculate the comic is intended as this. Though debatable, once you read the comic it is possible to see where they're coming from. Everything is so over the top, edgy, dark, etc. that it's kind of hard to take seriously. The fact that Frank Miller has proven long ago [[ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns that he can write the caped crusader very well]] also leads people to think he was trying to write a parody. The fact that he's also wrote stuff like ''ComicBook/HolyTerror'' just blurs things further.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: When Green Lantern confronts Batman, he points out that Batman is hospitalizing people with his excessive violence and endangering a boy as young as Dick Grayson, age 12.
* TheyJustDidntCare: Frank Miller has become so obsessed with making Batman "better" than the police or any other superhero, that he's stopped caring about making Batman actually do anything [[DesignatedHero heroic]].
** During the story, 12 year old Dick Grayson's face is on a Milk Carton... While he's ''still being driven to the Batcave'', meaning that either the trip takes several days, or Batman's car drove into a time warp.
** The Batcave has a wall of weapons that Batman in any normal story would never use, including guns in it. That's all.
*** The axe that [[RunningGag Dick Grayson Age 12]] picks up has a blade shaped like Batman's logo. This means that it wasn't just seized from another criminal or even bought off the shelf, ''Batman had it custom made.''
** Other superheroes such as Black Canary, Plastic Man, and Wonder Woman appear in the comic, and Frank Miller writes them all as psychotic murderers with no regard for who their mainstream counterparts are.
* TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot: This series was part of DC's [[ComicBook/AllStarDCComics All-Star line of comics]], which was meant to encapsulate everything good about specific DC characters and their mythology. To say this comic failed spectacularly at it (''especially'' compared to ComicBook/AllStarSuperman) is an {{Understatement}}.
* WatchItForTheMeme: Many fans just read it to see Batman declare "I'm the goddamn Batman!"
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