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Batman Gambit: Batman Gambits Involving Batman
Batman: The shale held up by those sagging timbers has been shifting for decades. All we had to do was taunt [King] Tut with our silence. This caused him to raise his voice three decibels above high C, which caused the cave-in, [causing a shale boulder to drop on his head,] which, of course, returned him to normalcynote .
...
Robin: But suppose something went wrong. Suppose Tut didn't raise his voice, what then?
Batman: I prefer not to think about those things, Robin, they depress me.
— "I'll Be a Mummy's Uncle," Batman the TV Series

As both Trope Namer and a prolific practitioner, Batman gets an entire section to himself.

Comics
  • In The Man of Steel, Batman has one ready to keep Superman from immediately apprehending him for vigilantism before having a chance to see the good he does. It's brilliant, it's specifically tailored to Superman's strengths and weaknesses, and (especially the key detail revealed at the end of the issue) it says a lot about how Batman sees the world; Batman's Exact Words are that if Superman touches him, it will set off a bomb hidden "somewhere in Gotham City", which will kill "an innocent person."
    Batman: It's a touch Machiavellian, I admit. But my end justifies my means.
    • On the last page, Batman reveals that the bomb was in his utility belt the entire time. The only life at risk was his own.
    • In Infinite Crisis, a battle between the Modern Age (Kal-El) and Golden Age Superman (Kal-L) has Kal-L put through this scenario as he relieves Kal-El's history. He calls Batman's bluff and takes the bomb before getting Bats to start being friendly.
  • Since the mid-1990s in Comics, Batman's gambits seem to consistently get hijacked by other people — with disastrous consequences. The JLA arc "Tower of Babel" (the former page image) is an example of this. It's somewhat masterfully combined with a second Batman Gambit specifically designed to keep Batman diverted while his stolen contingencies are being used against the rest of the League: Ra's Al Ghul steals Bruce's parents' bodies from their graves and dangles them above a Lazarus Pit.

    While the League ultimately overcomes Batman's contingencies, they do so only by cooperating and remembering what they know about each other, something they probably wouldn't do under the kinds of circumstances Batman prepared the contingencies for. And the weakness in the hijack? All Batman had to do to stop it was to pick up the phone and listen to the rest of the League for more than two seconds. It's no wonder Ra's is grinning so much when he does The Reveal.
  • Mad Love. Harley actually manages to outsmart Batman — more than the Joker ever could — so he whips out a Batman Gambit and convinces her the Joker wouldn't believe she could pull it off. So to prove it she brings the Joker to Batman... right where he wants him, because Joker would never let anyone else kill Bats, making this a Batman Gambit that used Harley to pull a Batman Gambit on the Joker. All while chained upside-down and half-conscious. Batman then rubs it in by pointing out to the Joker that he never came as close to killing Bats as Harley just did.
    • This all started because Harley nailed a Batman Gambit on Batman. She pretended to be betraying Joker by giving his plans to his worst enemy, on the condition that Batman protect her from her boyfriend's wrath. Then she rigged a robotic Joker decoy to attack her and Batman at the rendezvous point. Batman did as he had promised - he tackled Harley to shield her from the bullets. If he had not done so, she would never have been able to get close enough to him that she could stick him in the back with a needle full of sedative. No wonder he was impressed.
  • An example of this failing spectacularly comes from Batman as well, in the Wargames arc. Spoiler, after being fired as the latest Robin, sets into motion a plan of Batman's which should, theoretically, end up with him in control of all of Gotham's gangs via a proxy, in order to show Batman that she is as good as any of his proteges. The whole plan hinged on the fact that he was supposed to be present at a meeting between all the heads of the gangs via one of his aliases, Matches Malone... and Batman never told Spoiler that he was Matches Malone. Spoiler went and set off the plan without telling him, and due to his absence, none of the gang leaders knew who called the meeting and all of them started to think the others were setting them up, making them paranoid and trigger happy and ultimately take each other out, leaving a power vacuum that sparked the out of control gang war.
    • This story arc in itself is the result of an earlier failed Batman Gambit backfiring spectacularly. The reason Bruce never told Spoiler he was Matches Malone, or other important information like that? Making her the new Robin in the first place was a Jerkass ploy to force her predecessor, her on-and-off boyfriend Tim Drake, into returning and taking the Robin mantle back from her, either out of jealousy or because he feared for her safety because she wasn't ready. Tim didn't take the bait, and Batman fired Spoiler because she wasn't good enough. Because Batman hasn't taken her seriously or trained her properly as the new Robin, as he never intended her to be in the first place.
  • In the "Hush" storyline, Batman finds himself facing off against a mind-controlled Superman, and is clearly physically outmatched. His solution is to have Catwoman dangle Lois Lane off a roof, and give Supes the choice of either saving her or continuing the fight. This trick would never work if he didn't know full well that even a brainwashed Clark would never let Lois die, and that Catwoman is just amoral enough to threaten an innocent woman without actually meaning it. He may even have predicted that Lois' struggles would cause her to fall, adding an element of urgency to the situation.
    • Batman even managed to set this up without hinting overtly at Superman's secret identity. He simply tells Catwoman that Supes cares about the people who work at the Daily Planet. There are three people there at the time, giving her three options; Lois, Perry White, or Jimmy Olsen, any of whom Clark would gladly lay down his life for. It was Catwoman herself that decided Lois would be the best target, so she had no idea she was dangling Superman's wife from a ledge.
  • Darkseid had one for when Batman attacked him: he predicted that Batman would succeed in finding his way back to his own time, so he set things up such that when it occurred, Batman would bring with him a weapon capable of killing the JLA. Batman eventually countered with a plan of his own, hence the fail condition.
  • This is how Bane was able to break Batman during Knightfall: by busting everyone out of Arkham, he knew that Batman would tear himself apart trying to recapture everyone. And while he didn't recapture everyonenote , it was more than enough to wear Batman to the point where he was helpless against Bane.

Fan Works
  • In Marvel/DC: After Hours, Batman shows once again why this trope is named after him. Despite naturally not knowing about the events of "One More Day", he is able to piece together enough clues to know how to use Peter's Deal with the Devil to convince the Joker he's given up and force Mephisto himself to save the day.
    • In another episode, Spider-Man and Reboot!Spider-Man are arguing inside Pete's head, threatening to tear his mind apart. Batman then has Professor X lay guilt onto both personae, knowing that they would blame themselves and then comfort each other, telling each other "it's not your fault", reconciling the personae.

Films - Animated
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood indicates that he taught this to his sidekicks as well. Red Hood hatches a plan that's dependent on the assumption that, when pressed hard enough, Black Mask would free The Joker from Arkham. Which is exactly what happens.

Films - Live Action
  • Ironically, it's Joker who 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.
  • From The Dark Knight Rises:
    • 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.
    • Additionally, Bane's robbery of the Stock Exchange and the escape; it is dependent on the police not blocking one route and also raising the vehicle barriers so that he and his men can use them to jump over a few police cars. Also, Bane himself escaping is dependent on the Batman showing up at a specific time and the police shifting their attention from him to Batman.

Video Games
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Joker scares a medic during the intro while 4-5 guards are pointing rifles at him. If a guard had panicked, Joker would've either died or been seriously injured. Later, Joker escapes after being put into handcuffs, his hands still in front of him no less, after he's removed from the gurney and Batman is told to stay behind.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Bane asks Batman for help with destroying all of the Titan containers in the city. They agree to take six each. Batman holds up his end of the deal but Bane tells Batman he will be keeping his six. Batman then locks Bane up and destroys the remaining containers, telling Bane that he knew he couldn't trust him so he used him to get all the Titan in the same place.
    • For Joker, it's poisoning Batman. Talia probably wouldn't have gotten involved, meaning Harley would've gotten the cure to him. Also, it's incredibly lucky that Batman started keeling over while underground and not while gliding through the air or dealing with enemies.
      • Ironically, this could've worked if Joker hadn't made one screw up: after he poisoned Batman, he knocked him through window, leaving him unconscious at least long enough for him to have the window boarded up. If Joker had just let Batman out through a door or something, he could've been cured.
    • Ra's Al Ghul wanted Batman to kill him and take over the League of Assassins, which the latter refuses to do. He could've suggested that Batman kill him and then place his corpse into the Lazarus pit that was right behind him.

Western Animation
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • The episode "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy" (based on an earlier comic story) had Wormwood, a Villain Of The Week with a penchant for death traps, abduct a businessman and force him to hand over bonds- Batman needs to find the bonds and figure out who hired the criminal, and to that end he attacks and threatens Josek, a known crime boss with ties to Wormwood. Josek seems to retaliate by hiring Wormwood to... steal Batman's cape and cowl. Wormwood agrees, but his curiosity is piqued, and he asks why Josek wanted Batman's cowl and cape in the first place. Josek says he'll tell if Wormwood explains what he did with the bonds and who hired Wormwood to do the job, a condition that Wormwood refuses. However, he goes through with the attempt to steal Batman's cape and cowl. After several attempts, Wormwood places Batman in an inescapable deathtrap and apparently outwits him when Batman is forced to concede. Batman turns out to be wearing another mask underneath his cowl, but since that has nothing to do with the contract Wormwood lets Batman live and flees. Upon handing the items over to Josek, Wormwood again asks him why he wanted Batman's cowl and cape, and again the crime boss insists that Wormwood tell him who hired him for the previous job first, and where the bonds are. Wormwood concedes - he was hired by an agent of a foreign government, and the bonds are in a secure locker which can only open with a key that Wormwood is carrying. And then...
    Wormwood: Now, what will you do with the cape and cowl?
    Josek:(chuckles) I am going...
    Batman: To wear them!
    Wormwood:(gasps) You're not...Josek?! You were playing...playing me for a fool!
    Batman: From the day you first walked in here.
    • He pulled another impressive one in the episode "Almost Got 'Im". Disguised as Killer Croc during a poker game with Joker, Poison Ivy, Penguin, and Two-Face, he brought up the subject of whose coming closest to killing him, knowing that Joker will talk about their last encounter and reveal what he did with Catwoman who had saved him.
    • Batman can't take full credit for the one in "The Joker's Favor" (he did help Charlie Collins pull it off, though, by simply doing nothing and watching as Charlie did it); Charlie told Batman that the Joker would just escape again, and invoke He Who Fights Monsters as a way to bully the Joker into giving up all the info he has on him and his family. Both Charlie and the Batman knew that the villain's pride would be too much to let a guy like Charlie do him in, so he panicked and complied.
  • Justice League:
    • Batman pulls a particularly brilliant one, outwitting what essentially amounts to the Injustice League and getting them to undermine their own plans and betray one another... all while immobilized in a full-body restraint system in the basement. He proceeds to tell The Joker that he could've escaped at any point he wanted, but only stayed around to keep an eye on him.
    • In "Wild Cards," when he talks to Harley Quinn suggesting that the Joker's likely more interested in the girl he's standing next to on TV while he sends Harley out to do the grunt work. She refuses to turn on the Joker and seemingly knocks out Batman then returns to the Joker to talk things out. Joker promptly slaps her aside, quickly realizing that it was all Batman's plan to get her to return to base and lead him to his headquarters, which is just what happened.
    • There's also a double Batman Gambitboth carried out by Bat...men! Justice Lord Batman tries to convince our Batman to join the cause, but Bats ends up reversing it.
    • During the same episode, The Flash is imprisoned with the rest of the good Justice League, and Justice Lord Batman is told to guard them. Batman says he can't think of an escape plan, because Justice Lord Batman has thought of everything he'd ever think of. So the Flash speeds up his own heart, faking a heart attack, knowing that something happened to this universe's Flash and that Justice Lord Batman wouldn't want to see him die. It works, and he knocks out Justice Lord Batman when he comes to help him. As he's freeing Batman, Batman explains that this was his plan all along: Justice Lord Batman would anticipate any plan he could come up with, so he left it to the Flash to think of something.

  • Batman Beyond: Though retired for the most part, Bruce can still pull off a few now and then.
    • When Paxton Powers, the co-President of Wayne-Powers (a rather incompetent replacement for his apparently deceased father) was kidnapped by the Royal Flush Gang (after he double crossed them) and they demanded a ransom from Wayne, Wayne refused to pay it, telling them that it was against his company policy to negotiate with kidnappers and terrorists (claiming that Paxton was the one who had written that policy). Of course, Bruce wasn't so cruel, even though he despised Paxton; this was, naturally, a plan aimed at exposing Paxton's criminal activities once and for all by forcing him to bargain further with his abductors, and it worked like a charm. (And Terry was able to apprehend both King and Queen in the process.)

  • The Batman:
    • In one episode, when the Joker has Detective Yin trapped somewhere, Batman entered his mind to find the answer. In the end, he made Joker think he had been woken up to reveal the location of Yin, only to reveal that he had pulled the Joker into his mind.
    • In "Ragdoll to Riches", Catwoman was in the middle of a very nasty rivalry with another thief named Ragdoll. After one confrontation ended with Catwoman victorious and Ragdoll angry, Batman thought of a way to set a trap for both of them. He reopened Gotham Clock Tower, a structure built by his grandfather, for a limited tourist showing; a local legend claimed that a mobster during the Prohibition had hidden the stolen Cat's Eye Emeralds there, but they were never recovered. Batman knew that this kind of rumored hidden treasure would attract Catwoman, and that Ragdoll knew she'd show up, and would show up too to get even. And it worked. While the hero only apprehended Ragdoll, there was one bonus: the myth was true after all, and the Emeralds were recovered.
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