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Bruce Wayne / Batman
- "I'm Batman."
- 10-Minute Retirement: In Forever after Chase tells him (when he's dressed as Batman) she's in love with someone else (Bruce Wayne).
- Actually, I Am Him: In the first movie, Vicki Vale corners a man at a swish party at Wayne Manor and asks whether he's seen elusive billionaire Bruce Wayne; he says he hasn't. Later, as she and Alex Knox are in one of Wayne's rooms, making fun of the statues, the man appears behind them and informs them that the statue they're currently laughing at is Japanese. How does he know? "Because I bought it in Japan. Bruce Wayne."
- Anti-Hero: Batman is not a stranger to this trope, but unlike most other incarnations, Burton's Batman kills two mooks, making him a Type III.
- The Anti-Nihilist: As stated by Alfred in Batman & Robin.Alfred: Death and chance stole your parents, but rather than become a victim, you've done everything in your power to control the Fates. For what is Batman but an effort to master the chaos that sweeps our world? To beat back death itself?
- Big Brother Instinct: Develops one towards Dick starting in Forever.
- Big Brother Mentor: Becomes one to Dick starting in Forever.
- Big Damn Heroes: Every single time he smashes through a window involves a Big Damn Hero entrance. The classic example is the scene in the first movie where he smashes through a skylight to save Vicki Vale who is being menaced by the Joker in the museum.
- Bring It: To Bob, the Joker's chief henchman, in the first movie.
- Broken Ace: Bruce Wayne is this. Everyone wants to be with him and Ed Nygma wants to be him. Deep down, he is an emotional train wreck.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: In the first film as Bruce Wayne.
- Cool Car: The Batmobile, naturally.
- The Cowl: It's Batman.
- Crazy-Prepared: To the point where he has a Bat Credit Card that lasts forever, as shown in Batman & Robin.Never leave the cave without it.
- Dark is Not Evil: The darkest incarnation of the character on film at the time of the release of the first film, both in the suit's color and violence against criminals. Still works to bring justice to Gotham.
- Dating Catwoman: With Selina/Catwoman in Returns.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in Batman & Robin, but he got in a good zinger or two in previous films.Knox: (referring to a samurai-style armor) Where did this come from?Vicki: I have no idea.Bruce: It's Japanese.Knox: And how do you know?Bruce: (beat) Because I bought it in Japan.
- Dull Surprise: With all the things he has seen, it isn't that easy to faze him.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the first film, he is fumbling about during a classy party, showing his eccentricity. The fact that he also pretends not to know who Bruce Wayne is to Vicki Vale, only to introduce himself to her and Alexander Knox in a more low-key fashion, also indicates his willingness to and ease at keeping a low profile and slipping into the background when it suits him.
- Good Is Not Nice: Despite his many issues and violent solutions to problems, he is unambiguously in the right.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: After seeing the Joker in the first movie.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker:Batman: (to Joker) Excuse me. You ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?(Batman smiles, then punches Joker in the face)
- High-Altitude Interrogation: Does this to a Bit Part Bad Guy at the beginning of the first film. Interestingly for a trope that's generally used as a death threat, just before Batman holds the guy over the edge of the building, he tells the mook "I'm not going to kill you."Batman: I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.Nic: What are you?!Batman: I'm Batman.
- Honest Corporate Executive: As Bruce Wayne. In Forever, he refuses to fund Nygma's research because mind manipulation "just raises too many questions" and in Batman & Robin, he says he cut Dr. Woodrue's founding due to a "clash of ideologies" and turns down Pamela Isley's proposal because it would cause all of humankind to die of starvation and cold though he notes her intentions are noble.
- Horrifying Hero: It's Batman.
- I Am Your Opponent: "I'm Batman."
- Ironic Echo / Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In the first film right before his final fight with the Joker.
- Excuse me. Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight? ::PUNCH::
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: In the original Tim Burton films, he took a painfully realistic look on this trope, though technically only one relationship ended this way:
Catwoman: Bruce...I would love to live with you in your castle...forever just like in a fairy tale... (scratches Bruce's face) I just couldn't live with myself, so don't pretend this is a happy ending!
- In Batman, Bruce had originally viewed this as his issue with Vicki, until he told her. This was broken up by The Joker coming in. Vicki ended up dumping him because she couldn't handle it. This ends up haunting him for the rest of the series.
- In Batman Returns, his issue had been the way he ended with Vicki, leading him to try to get over it with Selina Kyle. Once again, he is the one dumped, as Selina is Ax-Crazy by the end of the movie and attempts murder-suicide with her ex-boss Schreck.
- Improvised Armor: When the Joker drops by Vicki's apartment, Bruce hides a small silver tea tray inside his jacket as body armor against the Joker's gun.
- It's Personal: The first movie adds this to the relationship between Batman and the Joker; it is revealed that the Joker was the man responsible for murdering Bruce Wayne's parents.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: When Bruce, challenging the Joker in Vicki's apartment, picks up a poker and bellows "YOU WANNA GET NUTS?! COME ON! LET'S GET NUTS!"
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Getting into a fight with Robin because of Poison Ivy's pheromones allowed her, Mr. Freeze, and Bane to get away.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Dishes a pretty brutal one to the Joker in the final climax, complete with Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... from the latter. However, Joker manages to escape further wrath by using his own Playing Possum technique against him (which Batman had used only two minutes ago to evade a similarly-nasty beatdown from one of his goons).
- An Odd Place to Sleep: Bruce is briefly shown sleeping hanging upside down from his rack. This is never mentioned again.
- Perpetual Smiler: When Clooney played him in Batman & Robin.
- Psychotic Smirk: Two examples—when he says "I'm Batman" to the initial mook, and later when Jack Napier comments "Nice outfit."
- Rage Helm: Starting with Tim Burton's movies, every film version of Batman's costume has frowning eyebrows sculpted into the cowl.
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: In the first film, where Knox labels him as such. The later films avert this by showing Bruce Wayne doing business out of the Batsuit (meeting with Schreck to discuss Copplepot, turning down Nygma's invention, etc).
- Right Behind Me: At the party in the first movie. In the room with the armor. Really, Batman specializes in random appearances and disappearances when someone is talking.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: As Bruce Wayne.
- Smoke Out: Does it after Jack/Joker falls into the vat. He combines it with the Bat-line to make it look like he's flying away.
- Socially-Awkward Hero: In his Bruce Wayne persona, he is noticeably awkward and unsure how to act in social situations, contrasting with the charismatic Rich Idiot with No Day Job from the comics, although this IS Depending on the Writer. During his date with Vicki in the first film, he effectively has to go get Alfred to help him chat her up.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Selina/Catwoman in Returns.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: Does the Bye and Hi a few seconds apart while facing Jack Napier (before he became the Joker).
- Stealth Expert: As usual for Batman.
- Strolling Through the Chaos: There's a scene where the Joker's thugs Tommy-gun rival mobsters on the steps of the courthouse. Naturally, everyone hits the deck except Bruce, who's so busy staring at the Joker he doesn't even notice when a bullet clips his shoulder.
- Super Window Jump: Done in the first film to confront The Joker who has taken over the art museum and is about to do something to Vicki Vale.
- In Forever, Batman does this through a ceiling window to confront Two-Face after he crashes Edward's party.Edward: (to Two-Face) Your entrance was good; his was better.
- In Forever, Batman does this through a ceiling window to confront Two-Face after he crashes Edward's party.
- Talk to the Fist: Both the verbal and non-verbal kind. The first being when he fights a guy with a sword who after his pre-fight flourish, kicks him in the gut.
- Technically a Smile: Hoo boy. Michael Keaton-as-Batman gives some of the most joyless, hostile smiles you'll see from Bats.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The minute you hear any version of Danny Elfman's classic Batman theme, there's gonna be some kicked ass. No questions asked.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted in the first film and Returns.
- Trick Dialogue: In the first film, Bruce mouths "I'm Batman. I'm Batman" with a view to confessing to Vicki Vale, and an almost Ironic Echo of his first line of the movie, spoken to menace a Gotham thug.
- Ungrateful Bastard: At least that's what Dick thinks in Forever and accuses him off, after he (Dick) risks his life to save Batman after Two-Face tries to kill him. He is wrong.
- Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Batman is the Trope Namer.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted when he targets the Poodle Lady on his Batarang. Her poodle catches it and they both remove themselves from the fray. Catwoman uses this trope against him to get the drop on him, but he quickly adapts and tells her to "eat floor" by their second encounter.
- Played by: Michael Gough
Butler of the Wayne family.
- Brain Uploading / Virtual Ghost: Batman & Robin reveals that Alfred copied his brainwaves into the Batcomputer.
- Deadpan Snarker: It comes with his added career choices, namely being a butler to a troubled vigilante.
- Face Death with Dignity: Batman & Robin reveals he has developed MacGregor's Syndrome and is dying. Does he panic or become depressed over his coming death? No. He keeps doing his job. In the end, though, he lives thanks to Bruce finding a cure.Alfred: There is no defeat in death, Master Bruce. Victory comes in defending what we know is right, while we still live.
- I Want Grandkids: Of the Parental Substitute variety. In the first film, when Bruce says he has no time for a Vicki Vale romance, he sadly smiles and asks, "If not now... when?"
- The Jeeves: As usual.
- Mentor Archetype: To Bruce and later Dick.
- Morality Chain: He does his best to keep Bruce grounded.Alfred: I have no wish to fill my few remaining years grieving for the loss of old friends. (pointedly at Bruce) Or their sons.
- Parental Substitute: To both Bruce and Dick. In Batman & Robin, Alfred makes it clear that he thinks of the Dynamic Duo as the children he never had.Alfred: (to Barbara) A sacred trust about two good men I've had the honor of calling "son."
- Servile Snarker: As usual.
- Shipper on Deck: Alfred really wanted Bruce and Vicki together, even to the point of telling tales of a young Bruce to Vicki over dinner in the kitchen to charm her and let her see the real Bruce.
- The Snark Knight: Would there be a more fitting parental figure to the Dark Knight?
Richard "Dick" Grayson / Robin
- Played by: Chris O'Donnell
A young acrobat who is orphaned after his parents and brother are murdered by Two-Face, he is taken in by Bruce. Learning Bruce's Secret Identity fuels his desire for vengeance against Two-Face, and though Bruce is hesitant, he eventually takes Dick on as his partner, Robin.
- Adaptation Distillation: The integration of Robin merged together his younger, more carefree days with his older incarnation (before he became Nightwing) as a Deadpan Snarker foil to Batman's Unfunny. See also Composite Character.
- Badass Biker: As seen in Forever and Batman & Robin.
- Badass in Distress: In Forever after being taken captive by Two-Face.
- Badass Normal: Earns his stripes well before he becomes Robin.
- Big "NO!": In Batman & Robin after Batman shuts down his motorcycle to save him from a potentially fatal leap off a gigantic statue.
- Composite Character: His origin is actually a composite of two comic-book Robins; in the comics, Two-Face killed Jason Todd's parents, and that element (along with Jason's desire for revenge) were imported into Chris O'Donnell's Dick Grayson character.
- Hero Ball: In Forever, Robin fights Two-Face and the latter ends up hanging off a ledge. Robin hesitates before deciding to help Two-Face up from the ledge, stating he'd rather see him in jail...only for Two-Face to draw a gun and point it right at his face.Two-Face: The Bat has taught you well. That was noble. (points a gun at Robin) Stupid, but noble!
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: His decision at the climax of Forever regarding Two-Face is based on this trope; he winds up captive due to sparing the villain.
- It's Personal: His vendetta against Two-Face who murdered his parents.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He and Batman got into a fight because of Poison Ivy's pheromones, allowing her, Bane, and Mr. Freeze to escape.
Barbara Wilson / Batgirl
- Played by: Alicia Silverstone
Alfred's niece who comes to America to visit her uncle and to free him from his life of servitude, believing him to be unhappy. She later learns the true identities of Batman and Robin, and suits up as Batgirl to help the Dynamic Duo save Gotham from Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy.
- Action Girl: She kicks Poison Ivy's botanical ass pretty well.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Batgirl is a redhead in the comics, but a blonde in Batman & Robin.
- Adaptation Name Change: From "Barbara Gordon" to "Barbara Wilson."
- Badass Biker: She holds her own very well during the illegal bike race, much to Robin's surprise.
- Big Damn Heroes: Shows up just in time to take on Poison Ivy after Batman and Robin end up in precarious conditions.
- Combat Stilettos: We even get a nice view of them during her suiting-up montage.
- Composite Character: Of Barbara Gordon and Alfred's niece, Daphne (who first shows up in 1969's Batman #216).
- Designated Girl Fight: With Poison Ivy.
- In-Name-Only: She is considered by many fans to be this due to the liberties taken with her origin, changing her from Commissioner Gordon's daughter to Alfred's niece, and dropping any original characterization and backstory.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Until the end, she was unaware of Bruce and Dick's relationship with Alfred as surrogate sons, let alone that they are Batman and Robin. As far as she's concerned, Alfred's their slave and she must free him.
- Ms. Fanservice: During her suiting-up montage, viewers get nice glimpses of her chest and Combat Stilettos.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite being from the UK. note
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Delivers one to Poison Ivy after crashing into her hideout.Lady, you're about to become compost!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Poison Ivy during their Designated Girl Fight.Using feminine wiles to get what you want, trading on your looks? Read a book, sister. That passive-aggressive number went out years ago. Chicks like you give women a bad name.
- Related in the Adaptation: She is Commissioner Gordon's daughter (or niece) in the comics.
Jack Napier / The Joker
- Played by: Jack Nicholson
A mobster working for Carl Grissom. An encounter with Batman at the Axis Chemical factory results in him falling into a vat of chemicals, which bleaches his skin, turns his hair green, plants a creepy smile on his face and overall shatters his sanity.
- Arch-Enemy: To Batman. He murdered Bruce Wayne's parents right before his eyes. The two of them even provide the image for this trope's page.
- Art Attacker: At one point in the first movie, he and his goons enter the Gotham Art Museum and vandalize many of the art on display. The only work of art he spares is Francis Bacon's Figure with Meat.
- Attention Whore: When Vicki Vale asks what he wants, he replies "My face on the one dollar bill" and explicitly decries the fact that Batman is getting his (Joker's) attention in the press.
- Ax-Crazy: As usual for the Joker. Though the film implies that Jack Napier was crazy to begin with. The chemicals just made him worse.
- Bad Boss: Even moreso than usual. Rest in peace, Bob...
- Berserk Button: "HE STOLE MY BALLOONS! Why didn't somebody tell me that he had one of those...things?!"
- As Jack Napier, he really did not like being called crazy, especially in the way Lieutenant Eckhardt called him an "A-1 nut boy". Just look at the way his eyes widen before slamming Eckhart against the wall.
- Big Bad: Of the first movie.
- Blatant Lies: "I can be theatrical, and even a little rough. But one thing I am not... is a killer!" Has literally stabbed a man in the throat at a press conference and aired a commercial about adding lethal "Smylex" poison to products.
- Bond One-Liner: Gets a few ("Antoine got a little hot under the collar," "The pen is truly mightier than the sword").
- Bring It: To Batman while he was about to attack in the Batwing.
- Buffy Speak: After Batman uses the Batwing to steer his Smilex balloons away from Gothamites, the Joker angrily asks (about the Batwing) "Why didn't someone tell me he had one of those...things?!"
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played with.
- Captive Date: With Vicki Vale.
- Catch Phrase: "You ever danced with The Devil by the pale moonlight?" It's how Bruce realizes that The Joker killed his parents, since the gunman said the same thing while pointing a gun into his (young Bruce's) face.
- Composite Character: Of The Joker and Joe Chill.
- Deadly Euphemism: He's quite fond of these (fitting, given his history as a mobster).
- Deadpan Snarker: Pre-transformation.
- Death by Adaptation: Dies at the end of the film.
- Death by Irony: The last thing he says before his Disney Villain Death is, "Sometimes I just kill myself!!" This likewise results in Batman anchoring Joker to a gargoyle with his harpoon gun, and then eventually being forced to plunge to his death due to the heaviness of the gargoyle statue that broke him.
- Dies Wide Open: After he falls to his death, he has his expression frozen with the eyes still open.
- Disney Villain Death: We even see exactly how far down he has to fall, as well as a close-up of his crushed corpse.
- Distracted by My Own Sexy: A pre-Joker Jack Napier takes a long, loving look in the mirror while preparing to go out. His moll tells him he looks great, and he brushes her off with, "I didn't ask."
- The Dog Bites Back: The very first thing Jack Napier does after becoming The Joker is kill Grissom as revenge for setting him up to be killed due to his sleeping with Grissom's wife.
- The Dragon: Originally this to Carl Grissom, before the Uriah Gambit.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his introduction scene, he establishes that he's part of the criminal element plaguing Gotham City by his first line (in response to Harvey Dent's speech about making the city safe for decent people), "Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else." His next line, "If this clown could touch Grissom, I'd have handed him his lungs by now," establishes that he is a psycho. Next, he comments on how his boss is a "tired old man" and how he "can't run the city without me," suggesting that he wants to run the show himself someday (which is expanded upon later in the "think about the future" scene with Eckhardt). He then admires himself in the mirror, and when the attractive woman he's been talking to (his girlfriend, who is also his boss's mistress) approaches him and compliments his looks ("You look fine"), he is insulting ("I didn't ask"), revealing that he is an arrogant jerk with a focus on his looks, which foreshadows his later transformation and the psychological effect it will have on him.
- Evil Is Hammy: Jack Nicholson was having the time of his life.
- Evil Is Petty: To him, anything can be countenanced by society—or, at least, should be countenanced—as long as it is funny; and if it is what one would presumably call a "misdeed," the question of whether it results in great suffering or mere irritation is simply irrelevant. So he goes about doing every "naughty" thing he can think of, just to see what will happen as a result. For example, he electrocutes a fellow gangster just so he can make a bad pun and "comically" talk to the corpse. He hijacks a television broadcast with an irreverent "commercial," taunting Gothamites for having unwittingly bought poisoned household items. He sends the girl he lusts after a jack-in-the-box that pops up with a handful of dead flowers, which causes her to faint because she was expecting something far more deadly.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In the Flashback scene.
- Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: And a permanent one that he can't erase.
- Expy: Jack Napier is not only the Joker, but an Expy of Joe Chill, the mugger who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.
- Extendo Boxing Glove: Uses one of these to smash a TV when Batman gets more publicity than he (the Joker) does. So he decides to create wanton chaos to grab the headlines.
- Facial Horror: This is how Jack Napier became The Joker; a combination of being shot through the face and a huge vat of acid.
- False Reassurance: He grabs henchman Bob by his shoulders and promises him: "You…are my number-one...guy [i.e., "You're irreplaceable"]." And that's true. But what Bob doesn't know is that their old boss, Carl Grissom, had said the same words - and in the exact same rhythm, too - to Jack Napier (the man who became the Joker) just before setting him up to be nearly assassinated. It's clearly a Foreshadowing that the Joker will scheme to have Bob eliminated the same way Boss Grissom had tried to have him eliminated...until the subversion toward the end where the Joker does execute Bob, but merely in a fit of anger when Batman foils his big murder plot. He just saw it fit to kill him at some point.
- Famous Last Words: When he is about to make his escape via the chopper, he says "Sometimes I just kill myself!" A few seconds later, his leg is attached to a gargoyle that promptly breaks off, then he falls to his doom.
- Faux Affably Evil: Like in his scene with Vicki at the museum and his scene with Bruce and Vicki at Vicki's apartment.
- Hammerspace: In the final battle when he pulls that gun out of his pants. The thing is longer than he's tall!
- Hand Cannon: The gun with the really long barrel is both large and powerful, since it can take down Batman's plane. In the novelization, the Joker was Blown Across the Room by the recoil.
- The Hyena: Laughs in pretty much every scene he's in after his freak accident.
- If I Can't Have You...: It's never explicitly stated, but this seems to be how he feels at the climax. Once it finally becomes clear to him that Vicki Vale will never love him, he just tries to kill her along with Batman. (Being a psychopath, it's likely he would have eventually killed her anyway once he got bored with her, like he did with Alicia.)
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: He's got to get Vicki to the church on time.
- I Just Like Saying the Word: Always utters "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?" when he kills someone. He later comments to a confused Bruce Wayne that he always asks that of all his prey, and that he just likes the sound of it, which is how Bruce finds out who murdered his parents.
- I Kiss Your Foot: Sort of. While being forced up the steps of Gotham Cathedral by the Joker, Vicki Vale falls and loses one of her shoes. The Joker then picks the shoe up, kisses it suggestively and throws it over the side of the bannister.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Takes down the Batwing with a revolver, albeit one with a ridiculously long barrel.
- Improvised Weapon: He used a quill pen to kill a local mob boss.
- Impromptu Tracheotomy: Inflicts one on Ricorso in broad daylight.Joker: The pen is truly mightier than the sword!
- Insult Backfire:
- Vicki Vale: You're insane...!Joker: (feigning surprise) I thought I was a Pisces.
- Joker Immunity: Averted. He dies at the end of the first film and stays dead throughout the remainder of the film series.
- Kick the Dog: Had a number of examples of this, such as terrorizing Vicki Vale, disposing of his last girlfriend Alicia off-screen so he could be with Vicki, and gassing a museum and later a parade full of innocent people (though the last one was foiled by Batman), but the worst was probably cold-bloodedly executing Bob, his unquestioningly loyal Battle Butler, after asking him for his gun following said foiling.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: His murders of Lieutenant Eckhart, Carl Grissom, Anton Rotelli and Vinnie Ricorso. Eckhart was the Dirty Cop sent to murder him and Grissom ordered the hit on Napier, while Rotelli and Ricorso were ruthless mob bosses.
- Klingon Promotion: After his transformation, he kills Grissom and takes over his operation.
- Lack of Empathy: When Batman revealed to The Joker that he murdered his parents, thus meaning that The Joker made him first, The Joker mocks Batman for the way he explained it, culminating in "How childish can you get!?"
- Large Ham
- The Joker: We've got a flying mouse to kill, and I want to clean my claws! (complete with wringing hand movements)
- Laughably Evil: If we ignore his homicidal actions, he does have some success as a clown.
- Laughing Mad: It's The Joker, for Chrissakes!
- Let's Get Dangerous!: He was never anything other than dangerous, but once he decides to (temporarily) stop fooling around he takes a few threat levels. Like the balloon scene.
- Mad Artist: Describes himself as "the world's first, fully functioning homicidal artist," disfigures his girlfriend Alicia and fails in his attempt to disfigure Vicki Vale. After all, he sees death and violence as the highest and most refined art form because he is fascinated by them.
- Mad Scientist: Has shades of this as it is implied that he created the binary compound (CIA files on a nerve agent classified DDID) for the Smilex poison.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Done a lot with his face.
- Meaningful Name: Jack Napier—jackanapes, two meanings of the word being "an impudent or conceited fellow" or "a saucy or mischievous child."
- Monster Clown: Of course, since he's The Joker.
- Named by the Adaptation: The Joker's real name was never revealed in the comics.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Oh, sure, he'll kill someone himself if his "prey" can't fight back, but when it finally comes to a fight at the end of the movie, Joker, here, turns out to be surprisingly, painfully out of his depth in a bloody Curb-Stomp Battle, only regaining the upper hand with a last-second trick.
- Oh, Crap!: Does one as Napier when his men open the vault at Axis Chemicals and the vault's empty, meaning that someone knew they were coming.Jack: We've been ratted out here, boys. Watch it.
- One Degree of Separation: The movie decided that having him threatening everyone in Gotham City wasn't enough of a reason for Batman to hate him, so it turns out that he was the one who killed Bruce Wayne's parents.
- Pants-Positive Safety: Pulls an ENORMOUS revolver out of his Trouser Space to shoot down the Batwing.
- The Pen Is Mightier: Declares that "The pen is truly mightier than the sword!" after he kills one of Grissom's allies by stabbing a really sharp ink quill into the man's throat.
- Pet the Dog: While defacing several priceless works of art with his henchmen, he takes a liking to one of them and decides to spare it, even stopping Bob from driving a knife into it.
- Phallic Weapon: A Getting Crap Past the Radar example that pays off twice. First, he shoots down the Batwing with a ridiculously long gun pulled from the front of his baggy clown pants. Then, immediately afterward, he uses this gun to take Vicki hostage and keeps it pointed at her throughout the film's long and sexually-charged climax.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Gets in a few of these alongside the Bond One Liners.
- (To Eckardt): "Think about the future!"
- (To Grissom): "And as you can see, I'm a lot happier."
- (To Ricorso): "Hello, Vinnie. It's your uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check!"
- Psycho for Hire: Before he became a Monster Clown, Jack Napier had already been a sadistic killer for decades who loved to make children into orphans just for kicks. Just ask Bruce Wayne.
- Psychopathic Manchild: It's almost obligatory to depict The Joker this way, but this film takes it a step further by showing him as the apparently sane (but still very, very evil) Jack Napier prior to his transformation. In between the vicious murders he committed as Napier and then continues to commit as the clown he becomes, the Joker "punches out" two television sets with a gag boxing glove, blows into a birthday-party noisemaker (possibly the film's single funniest scene), obsessively cuts up photographs to make collages of them, hosts a parade with giant cartoon-character balloons, makes funny sound effects with his mouth, and sends the woman he's stalking a note written in crayon.
- Psychotic Smirk: Only at the subtlest of times, so not very often. It's more in play pre-transformation, such as his conversation with Eckhart early in the film.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Laughs while committing his murders.
- Red Boxing Gloves: He used an extendable boxing glove device.
- Revolvers Are Just Better:
- Favors a Colt New Service revolver as his main weapon.
- Brings down the Batwing using a revolver with a really Freudian barrel. This one is a Smith & Wesson Model 15 with a custom 21-inch barrel.
- Stalker with a Crush: To Vicki.
- The Starscream: Ostensibly, though it's hard to tell if it's a straight example or a subversion. While he was the one who killed Carl Grissom, he did not do so as part of a plot to take over. He killed Grissom out of revenge, and then decided to take over his empire as an afterthought. Then again, comments Napier made in passing to both Alicia and Lieutenant Eckhardt suggest that he may have been plotting Grissom's murder sometime in the future, or at the very least was waiting for the old man to die.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: His real name is Jack Napier, a play on jackanape, an outdated word for "fool" or "jester."
- That Man Is Dead: Used in the reveal of the Joker's face. "Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me...'Joker.' And as you can see, I'm a whole lot happier."
- Tranquil Fury: Has a few episodes of this, like when he confronts Grissom after his plot to kill him, and also as Batman's foiling of his plan takes it's toll.
- That Satisfying "Crunch!": Shoots a TV set whenever Batman comes on.
- This Is the Part Where...
- Joker: And now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said, "If you gotta go, go with a smile!"
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Calls Batman out via a TV broadcast.
- Thrown from the Zeppelin: Brings in the "mob bosses" of Gotham and introduces himself as the new big boss. One of the mobsters, Antoine Rotelli, opts out, and as they shake hands, he gets the "joy buzzer" from the Joker, which rather gruesomely kills him, as a lesson to the other bosses ("I'm glad you're dead!")...then goes on to order the deaths of the other bosses.
- He decides to kill them all on the "advice" of Rotelli's corpse note . It's the first sign that Jack, who was "just" a psychopath, is now completely unhinged.
- Token Motivational Nemesis: This version turned Jack Napier, the man who would become Joker, into the murderer of Bruce Wayne's parents, presumably to add more chemistry to the Batman/Joker rivalry. However, the Joker got killed in the first film and never appeared in any sequels.
- Trouser Space: He pulls an absurdly long-barreled revolver out of the front of his trousers. It's so long that he shouldn't have been able to walk with that thing down his trouser leg, at least not without a serious limp.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup: Wears makeup over his white skin that doesn't have the depth or shading of real skin and gives him a creepy mannequin look.
- Villainous Breakdown:
- When Jack Napier first looks into the plastic surgeon's mirror and sees his "clown face," for a brief moment we hear a very soft chuckle, which becomes hysterical laughter...and doesn't ever stop.Joker: That wasn't easy to get over! And don't think I didn't try.
- His "Joker" persona crashes near the end when Batman steals his gas-spewing balloons that he had just unleashed on a crowd. He goes from a cackling, gleefully murderous Large Ham to staring and muttering in disbelief about his balloons, then half-wanders off of the float in a daze, all the zazz gone from his steps, before finally screaming at his henchmen, "HE STOLE MY BALLOONS!", asking Bob for a gun, and shooting Bob.Joker: I'll need a minute or two alone, boys.
- When Jack Napier first looks into the plastic surgeon's mirror and sees his "clown face," for a brief moment we hear a very soft chuckle, which becomes hysterical laughter...and doesn't ever stop.
- Villainous Crush: On Vicki.
- Wham Line: : Not apparent to the audience at first, his favorite Pre-Mortem One-Liner serves as this to Bruce. They were the same words Jack Napier said to young Bruce as a mugger after murdering his parents.Joker: Ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
- Wicked Cultured: Apparently, he's fond of Francis Bacon's art.
- Would Hurt a Child: After murdering Thomas and Martha Wayne, Napier prepares to shoot young Bruce only for his accomplice to shout for him to leave.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Often behaves as if he's the protagonist of a wild romantic comedy and that Vicki is the Defrosting Ice Queen. This fails to explain why he's also cast himself as the Romantic False Lead!
- Bob: She's [Vicki] dating some guy named Wayne.Joker: (smug) She's about to trade up.
- You Can't Make an Omelette...: He "improved" the looks of his girlfriend Alicia. After he tells Vicki Vale that Alicia threw herself out a window, this line is used, implying that he may have killed her himself to free himself for Vicki:
- Joker: But...you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. (breaks Alicia's mask)
- You Didn't Ask: Reversed when pre-Joker Jack is preening himself in the mirror:
- Alicia: You look fine.Joker: I didn't ask.
- You Have Failed Me: After Batman foils his balloon plan with his Batwing, the Joker kills Bob because Bob didn't tell him that Batman had it (as if he could have possibly known!).
- He probably just shot him out of anger.
Oswald Copplepot / The Penguin
- Played by: Danny DeVito
The son of wealthy Gotham citizens who dumped him in the sewer due to his deformity, he was taken in by the Red Triangle Gang, eventually becoming their leader. Wanting to find out about his family, Oswald blackmails Max Schreck into helping him and he eventually becomes Gotham City's new darling, even running for Mayor. That is, until his true nature and intentions are exposed by Batman.
- Adaptational Villainy: While the comics Penguin as a crime boss, he was also an Affably Evil Wicked Cultured gentleman of crime. Here, he's a psychotic, Ax-Crazy, sadistic, sexually-repressed would-be mass murderer, setting the stage for The Batman, the Batman: Arkham Series, and Gotham to follow (and, in some ways, top, as the Arkham Penguin is a flat-out bigot and the Gotham Penguin once ate his own stepsiblings and fed them to his stepmother after they killed his father).
- Alas, Poor Villain: After being knocked through a skylight window and nearly drowning, and then weakly emerging from the Arctic World pool burned, bleeding and vomiting up toxic waste, he dies completely unrepentant, still raving about how he intends to take Batman to Hell with him. But through it all, we can't ever forget that this is someone who was forced to grow up in a cold and lonely sewer ever since he was a baby, and for whom Bruce Wayne (who, as Batman, is largely responsible for his death) once expressed sympathy as a fellow orphan. The moving "funeral" that a group of emperor penguins hold for the villain helps to soften the blow, too.
- Ambiguously Jewish: Penguin was suspected of being this by a few particularly touchy Jewish groups, owing to his short stature, hooked nose, Moses-like upbringing and fondness for fish. And according to her tombstone, his mother's name was "Esther" (an exiled Hebrew queen from the Old Testament). Paradoxically, however, the tombstone was also topped by a huge Christian cross which gets a long, lingering closeup as part of the movie's rather unsettling biblical imagery.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Catwoman and Schreck in Returns.
- Break Them by Talking: During their first meeting, he taunts Batman by suggesting that his habit of wearing a mask is a sign of his cowardice. Later on, however, he comes to believe that Batman wears a mask in order to cope with the fact that he is jealous of Penguin because "I'm a genuine freak!" Grudgingly, Batman admits that his nemesis may have a point.
- Child Hater: Plans to murder all of Gotham's first-born children to avenge his Parental Abandonment.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Especially when running for Mayor. When asked for a platform, he proposes fighting global warming by introducing "global cooling" to "make the world a giant icebox."
- Composite Character: The Penguin of this film actually has more in common (a suspiciously lot more) with Killer Croc than he does the Penguin of the comics.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Doubtlessly the most unsettling thing about his appearance. Though it's still unknown whether he was actually born with them or simply developed them from years of living underground.
- Dark is Not Evil: Subverted. He passes himself off as this, but if anything, he's actually several magnitudes more monstrous than he looks like.
- Deadpan Snarker: He definitely has some snarks over the course of the movie, with this line being the best example:Penguin: Right now, my troops are fanning out across town, for your children! Yes, for your first-born sons! The ones you left helpless, at home, so you could dress up like jerks, get juiced, and dance... badly.
- Dies Wide Open: Is shown with his eyes open while sinking down the sewer in a cloud of his own blood.
- Dirty Old Man: At one point, he leers at a female image consultant and utters "I'd like to fill her void" and then mimics a woman telling him "I need you, Oswald," and later puts an election pin on a young woman's jacket to secretly fondle her breast.
- He's completely against running for mayor, feeling it would distract him from his own plans until Schreck uses two little words: "unlimited poontang." His alliance with Catwoman is also loaded with sexual frustration.
- Enemy Mine: Penguin teams up with Schreck and later Catwoman in Returns.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Hooooooo boy. He unleashes an army of rocketeer penguins upon Gotham.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. He's the evil "orphaned freak" to Bruce's righteous "orphaned freak". They even have similar arsenals, creepy lairs, and a bizarre multi-purpose car or boat!
- False Reassurance: Does this when he uses a swarm of bats to force the Ice Princess off the edge of a building, resulting in her death:Catwoman: You said you were just going to scare the Ice Princess.The Penguin: She looked pretty scared to me!
- Fat Bastard: As usual with most incarnations of the character, he is overweight, and a ruthless sociopath.
- Faux Affably Evil: When he successfully wins the town's sympathy vote (and starts to win their actual votes) and presents himself as a miserable victim of fate's hand, who nonetheless is willing to forgive the parents who abandoned him and expresses despair and outrage at the devastation caused by the Red Triangle Gang. It's complete bunk and in private, he is every bit the petty, vindictive, murderous, depraved, psychotic and hideous monster he looks like. He only put his Evil Plan to murder all the first-born children of Gotham on ice because Shreck offered him the chance to be a Villain with Good Publicity, and when both those schemes are foiled by Batman, he goes so berserk that he tries to destroy the city just to avenge his own crappy life.
- The Grotesque: His plan for revenge on Gotham involves appearing to be merely this.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: A lot of what his actions end up being used against him by Batman. Most notably, his Evil Gloating while hacking the Batmobile is used as an Engineered Public Confession to show his true colors, and Batman eventually defeats him in their fight by using a trick similar to what he used to kill the Ice Princess.
- Humiliation Conga: The final act of the movie basically has one thing after another going wrong for him. After he failed to kill Batman by sabotaging the Batmobile, the Dark Knight uses an Engineered Public Confession to reveal his true face to Gotham, ruining his chances to become mayor and obliterating the Villain with Good Publicity image he had worked the entire movie to build. He then tries to take revenge by kidnapping and killing all the children of Gotham's elite, only for Batman to stop his gang, save the children before he can even get his hands on them, and taunt him with a letter just to rub salt on the wound. Infuriated, he attempts to destroy Gotham using his pet penguins as a personal army equipped with rockets, but Batman is able to steal control of the army from him and use them to destroy most of his hideout. His gang abandons him, and his final fight ends up completely one-sided, with Batman throwing him in the chemical wastes of his lair using the very same trick he used to kill the Ice Princess. Exhausted, he makes one final attempt to kill his opponent from behind, only to accidentally pick the one umbrella in his collection that was harmless, before dying from his wounds.
- Jabba Table Manners: Clearly displays these while gobbling down a raw fish.
- Kick the Dog: When the Fat Clown objects to his plan to kill Gotham's firstborn children (which is vile as hell in itself), Penguin just takes out a revolver and shoots him.
- Fat Clown: Killing sleeping children? Isn't that a little...err...?Penguin: (BANG!) No, it's a lot!
- The Penguin also tries to run down a little old lady while going on a rampage with the remotely-hijacked Batmobile. Batman takes back control just in time to keep her from being splatted.
- Large Ham: Complete with Evil Laugh at times.
- Looks Like Orlok: Moreso than he does a penguin, anyway.
- Madman In The Attic: His earliest life while his parents were still attempting to raise him.
- Monster Sob Story: His MO for gaining sympathy with the Gotham public. There are some true negative feelings, but the bitterness isn't shown and so most of it is an act.
- Moses in the Bulrushes: A villainous example of the trope.
- Not So Different: To Batman."You're just jealous because I'm a genuine freak, and you have to wear a mask!"
- Papa Wolf: Goes ballistic after Batman has Alfred jam the frequency over which he is sending neurological commands to his pet penguins. ("MY BABIIIIES!")
- Parental Abandonment: His parents dumped him in a sewer because he was deformed.
- Psychopathic Manchild: He spends a good deal of screentime wearing only a onesie-like garment stained with his own spittle and slobber. Furthermore, he rides around in a giant toy rubber-duck vehicle and amuses himself with an umbrella (among his collection of genuinely deadly ones) hung with little plastic animals reminiscent of a mobile found in a baby's crib. ("Shit! Picked the cute one!") Actually, he is more of a Type C, a quite sane and intelligent (though, again, extremely evil) man who simply has not been able to grow up because of his Daddy Issues.
- Raised By Penguins: With a little educational help from a gang of clowns.
- Resigned to the Call: Isn't very keen on becoming Mayor of Gotham City, and only agrees to it so Shreck will help him with his own goals. It's later subverted when the Penguin decides that he could actually enjoy being Mayor, along with all the trappings that would come with it.
- Rousing Speech: To his penguins.
- Taking You with Me: In the final act, Penguin uses his penguins to bomb his own hideout, hoping to take Batman down with him.
- Vengeance Feels Empty: In the Craig Shaw Gardner novelization, it's heavily implied that he was the one who ended up putting his parents into those graves, almost assuredly as "gratitude" for how they'd treated him. In which case, it clearly didn't make him feel any better in the long run, given that he's still vengeful enough to want to invoke Would Hurt a Child and/or Omnicidal Maniac at the end.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has a multi-tier one after the fallout of his campaign. First, he renounces his humanity and tries to kill all of Gotham's first-born sons. After Batman sends him a letter letting him know the children have been saved, he freaks out again and decides to nuke Gotham Square with rocket-launching penguins. When Batman and Alfred jam the signal and his goons abandon him, he freaks out again and goes out to face Batman in the Duckmobile. He then uses the penguins to bomb his own base in the slim hope he'll kill Batman along with himself.
- Villain Team-Up: With Max Shreck and later Catwoman, both of whom ultimately turn their back on him.
- Villain with Good Publicity: During his mayoral bid, although he is soon brought down by an Engineered Public Confession.
- Wicked Cultured: The Penguin character was deconstructed in Batman Returns, where he's revealed to be the grotesquely deformed member of a wealthy family who dumped him in the river and left him for dead when he was still a baby. Although obviously intelligent and certainly no stranger to fine clothes, this version of the Penguin is quite vulgar, with thuggish manners and distasteful sexual appetites.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Really, you can't blame him for becoming the way he is today. He was disfigured since birth, and his aristocratic parents tried to drown him in the sewers. He was then found by a traveling circus and raised in the freak show. While the public views him with sympathy, he has become a warped sociopath, plotting to kill all the first-born sons of Gotham City. When Batman foils him, he straps rockets to his hundreds (thousands?) of pet penguins, intending to use them in a suicide bombing to kill all of Gotham which, as the only setting we see, is extremely Omnicidal in context. And yet, you still can't help but pity him at his death.
- Would Hurt a Child: Has no problem kidnapping children to further his agenda, and wants to throw the children of Gotham's elite into a "deep dark watery grave."
- Younger Than They Look: If the prologue is to be believed, he's only 33.
Selina Kyle / Catwoman
- Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer
Max Schreck's secretary, Selina Kyle finds out her boss' plans to take energy from Gotham citizens and is pushed out a window in an attempt to kill her. She survives, but suffers a psychotic breakdown that results in her becoming Catwoman.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Selina/Catwoman is usually depicted as having dark hair, but is blonde in Returns.
- Ambiguously Evil: She is mostly motivated by a desire for vengeance on Shreck for trying to kill her, but she shows little care for the survival of innocent bystanders and is briefly drawn into an alliance with the truly evil Penguin.
- Anti-Villain: Selina is a Type II.
- Beautiful All Along: Dowdy secretary Selina Kyle goes through a near-death experience, trashes her apartment and stitches together a vinyl suit to become the evil and sexy Catwoman.
- Big Bad Ensemble: With Penguin and Schreck in Returns.
- Big "NO!": During her breakdown.
- Break the Cutie: She was already unhappy due to her bad work environment and lack of social life, and Schreck trying to kill her drove her completely insane.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: At least some of the time, like in the scene where she leaves unclear to Bruce and Max just how severely she might be suffering from amnesia, rambling her way through irrelevant childhood anecdotes of a pregnant nun and the time she went commando at school and a boy peeked up her skirt. And where, oh where, did the "dirty limerick" idea come from? The amnesia scene may have been Selina employing Obfuscating Stupidity to taunt Shreck.
- Combat Stilettos: She does action scenes in ludicrous heels.
- Complexity Addiction: Penguin's plan? Just rig the Batmobile to self-destruct the next time Batman gets into it. Her version? Instead frame him so he can't potentially become a martyr. The frame-up ends up working... at least until a still-living Batman ultimately strikes back and ruins everything for them.
- Composite Character: Her dual personality nature is similar to that of Two-Face.
- Dark Action Girl: A textbook example - violent, ruthless, beautiful and radiating depraved sexuality.
- Dating Catwoman: With Bruce/Batman in Returns.
- Death-Activated Superpower: Apparently how Catwoman is "born."
- Despair Event Horizon: Selina crosses this after Schreck pushes her out a high window when she uncovers his plans to steal energy from Gotham citizens.
- Determinator: Will stop at nothing, not even four rounds from a .38 revolver through her, to get revenge on Shreck for everything he put her through.
- Dressed All in Rubber: Her PVC catsuit. Meow.
- Enemy Mine: With Penguin.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. She's the evil mask in the night to Bruce's good mask in the night.
- Evil Makeover: Selina Kyle's transformation into Catwoman, coupled with Evil Feels Good:
- I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier...
- Freak Out: Selina's transformation into Catwoman.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: She was an ordinary bullied secretary before being pushed too far.
- Girl Of The Movie: Bruce and she are strongly mutually attracted even after they know each other's costumed identities, but the moral difference between them is too much of a barrier.
- Glass-Shattering Scream: When she gets dropped through the roof of a greenhouse, she sits up in a daze and lets out a scream that shatters all the glass.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: She just can't decide whether she wants to be a villain or...well, if not quite a hero, at least a sympathetic Anti-Villain. Michelle Pfeiffer herself said in an interview that she didn't know whether her character is "a good guy" or "a bad guy." It's this complete ambiguity that largely makes this movie feel darker and more adult and unsettling than even The Dark Knight.
- Bruce: (after Selina tells him of her plan to kill Shreck) Who the hell do you think you are?
Selina: (in tears) I don't know anymore, Bruce...
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Suffers one of these (complete with psychotic breakdown and terrifying music) upon returning home after Shreck threw her out the window.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: After realising what is really her motivation, Bruce uses this argument to try to persuade her not to murder Schreck.
- Insistent Terminology: Insists on people calling her an "executive assistant" rather than a secretary. Finally, during her date with Bruce at the manor, she resignedly admits "Secretary."
- Iron Butt Monkey: Takes this to such extremes that she becomes heroic. She's pushed out a window to the street below, burned on the arm by a vial of acid and sent plummeting down into a truck full of sand, nearly strangled by one of the Penguin's umbrellas and sent crashing through the roof of a glass greenhouse (which rips her costume to shreds), and finally shot four consecutive times in the stomach. But all this just makes her angrier and crazier than before, to the point where (apparently) nothing can kill her.
- Kiss of Death: After her identity is revealed to Shreck and she has two "lives" left, she grabs the stun gun she picked up near the beginning of the film, puts it in between her and Max and kisses him with it, shocking the inside of his mouth.
- Large Ham: Michelle Pfeiffer, quite composed as Selina Kyle, goes over the top as Catwoman.
- Ms. Fanservice: Her ultra-tight catsuit and curvaceous body get a lot of camera attention.
- Nine Lives: She seems to genuinely believe that she has this, and actively counts off the number of potentially fatal things she survives.
- Noble Demon: She's a coward who wins fights by cheating, and can be just as mean as the men who have persecuted her. But she takes no pleasure from Penguin's callous murder of the Ice Princess, admits that she loves Bruce Wayne as he loves her, and shows Max Shreck who the real coward is by defiantly coming toward him as he cringes backward and fires bullet after bullet into her body.
- Not So Different: She and Bruce are both traumatised people looking for costumed violence to make them feel better.
- Plucky Office Girl: Before her transformation.
- Psychopathic Womanchild: While vandalizing, and ultimately blowing up, a department store owned by Max Shreck, she takes some time out from her mischief to girlishly "skip rope" with her trademark bullwhip.
- Scary Stitches: Her costume is roughly stitched together from randomly-shaped torn pieces of PVC, symbolising the unstable and cobbled-together nature of her persona.
- She Knows Too Much: Max tries to kill her for finding out too much about his plans for his power plant. It doesn't work, and Shreck promises to Chip that if she tries to blackmail him, he'll drop her out a higher window—meantime, he has badder fish to fry.
- She Who Fights Monsters: Schreck is genuinely vile, but her quest for revenge on her sends her into some morally dark territory.
- Spy Catsuit: Despite not being a spy.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Bruce/Batman.
- Super Loser: She was the Butt Monkey before her transformation into Catwoman...after that, the situation didn't change and gets worse—she was attracted to a monster (The Penguin) and ended in love with another (Batman). She abandons Batman to get revenge on Shreck because she knew they will never be happy together.
- Taking You with Me: Does this to Shreck by kissing him after grabbing a live electric wire. Still played straight even though she survives; it still "killed" her, she just had one "life" left.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Batman/Bruce.
- Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
- Whip It Good: Regularly uses a whip.
- Wolverine Claws: Kind of. She sports makeshift claws made from sewing implements. They are very long and quite painful.
- Played by: Christopher Walken
A powerful and respected businessman, Schreck seeks to siphon power from Gotham's citizens and joins forces with the Penguin to do so.
- Asshole Victim: He gets electrocuted by Selina at the end of Returns.
- Bad Boss: He pushes Selina out of a window to her death after she discovers his Evil Plan to steal energy from Gothamites.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A male example.
- Bowties Are Cool: Always wears them with his suits, often combined with evil black gloves.
- Canon Foreigner: He isn't in the comics... although interchangeable evil business moguls are pretty common in any Batman iteration, so it's not like he's out of place.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He sucks the life out of Gotham like a vampire, as he constructs unsafe buildings or dumps toxic waste into the environment. He has also killed several people in cold blood, and plans to create a power plant in Gotham so he can drain electricity from its power grid and stockpile it for profit.
- Death by Irony/Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan throughout the film is to set the wheels in motion in starting an electric company to run scams through. Catwoman kills him by charring him with a very large electricity generator. Turns out that one really can have too much power.
- Death by Secret Identity: Once he finds out who Batman is, it's not long before he lights up like a Christmas tree.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: When Penguin tries to take his son hostage, Max persuades Penguin to take him instead.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bruce Wayne. He's the Corrupt Corporate Executive to Bruce's Honest Corporate Executive.
- Humiliation Conga: Complete with a Karmic Death.
- I Am the Trope: See the quote for this section.
- Jerkass: On a personal level, he wasn't as personable as he presented himself on public and kept a memo on venting his frustration on his subordinates. Selina knows.
- Karmic Death: "I am the light of this city!" Really? You should be careful what you wish for, Maxie!
- Manipulative Bastard: Made a long and successful career out of it.
- Meaningful Name: Max Shreck, a man who plans to suck the life out of Gotham by draining the electricity and stockpiling it, shares his name with the first man to ever play a vampire on film in Nosferatu.
- Miles Gloriosus: For all his tough talk, he isn't above running away and hiding in an alley when Penguin's gang crashes the downtown Christmas celebration. What makes his cowardice even worse is that he leaves his son standing there on the stage with multiple guns and bladed weapons pointing at his throat. Sure, it's what everyone else is trying to do, and it's what his son wants anyway...but one would have expected more dignified behavior from such an eminent public official.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He strongly resembles Donald Trump.
- Oh, Crap!: Makes this expression when he sees that Selina survived his earlier murder attempt.
- Papa Wolf: He's a ruthless, cold-blooded thug of a businessman, but still loves his son. When Selina finds out the truth about his "power plant," he tries to kill her because he views it as his legacy to leave to Chip.
- Pet the Dog: For all their faults, he and his son Chip do indeed seem to care for each other, as when the Red Triangle Gang comes for Max, Chip stands in the way and tells Max to save himself. In an echo of the aforementioned scene later on, when Penguin comes to kill Chip, Max begs him to take him instead.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Among other things, he is quite sexist toward his main female employee, Selina Kyle.
- Rags to Riches: He had to work his way up to get where he is. And is implied having to do unethical and illegal means to do it. Thus, has resentment to the likes of Bruce who was born into a wealthy family.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Nobody out-dresses him. His natty striped suit, fur-lined coat, black-and-white spats, and Ominous Opera Cape you will not soon forget.
- Stripped to the Bone: Gets electrocuted leaving a clean white skeleton behind that still has eyes and hair.
- Take Me Instead: The only moment that he doesn't come across as an unfeeling monster.
- Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Invested a lot to it, knowing that he depended on this to keep his position. Penguin decided he was the best possible teacher.
Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Gotham's former District Attorney. In the first movie, he fights to bring down the Gotham underworld headed by Carl Grissom. In Batman Forever, however, he has become Two-Face as a result of being attacked by a mobster and developing a Split Personality. He blames Batman for what happened to him and seeks to destroy him.
- All There in the Manual: The novelization of Forever reveals that he was the one who restored Batman's public reputation after the events of Returns, back when he was still one of the good guys.
- Ambiguously Brown: In Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization of the 1989 film, Harvey Dent is described as having "brown skin," with absolutely nothing else said about his appearance. You have to watch the movie itself to confirm that Dent is being played by the African-American actor Billy Dee Williams.
- Composite Character: While he did kill Jason Todd's father in the comics, here, he takes Tony Zucco's role as the murderer of Dick Grayson's parents.
- Create Your Own Villain: Batman couldn't save Harvey Dent from getting a glass of acid in the face and becoming Two-Face.
- Death by Secret Identity: Dies after finding out Bruce Wayne is Batman.
- Disney Villain Death: Falls to his death after Batman uses his coin toss against him.
- Evil Is Hammy: He is even trying to out-ham the Riddler.
- Facial Horror: How Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face.
- Fallen Hero: Used to be Gotham City's District Attorney, and a fairly good one, too.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Very much so, and it isn't helped by the fact that Batman survives all of his numerous attempts to kill him. For instance, he pulls his gun on the Riddler the second he walks into his hideout, and shoots in the ceiling to abridge the Riddler's flattery talking to make him get to the point.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end of Forever, Batman exploits his habit of flipping his coin with lethal results.
- Large Ham: Both he and Riddler try to out-ham each other.
- Laughably Evil: This iteraion of the character has a lot of Joker-esque mannerisms.
- No Indoor Voice: More often than not.
- Race Lift: A strange case of this. In the first Batman film, Harvey Dent (a Caucasian in the comics) is played by the African-American Billy Dee Williams, but in Forever, he was played by Tommy Lee Jones.
- Split Personality: He would appear to be the obvious example, but we don't really see much of it in the movie.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It seems like Harvey's gone completely bonkers, and wants to be The Joker.
- Two-Headed Coin: Two-Face has a double-headed coin with one side scarred. Instead of always doing what the coin says, he keeps flipping it until he gets the outcome he wants. He actually seems to toss it every time he has a clear shot at Bruce, keeping it perfectly in-character for Two-Face.
- Verbal Tic: With the exception of a single line, he constantly refers to himself as "we."
- Why Won't You Die?: "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DIE?!"
Edward Nygma / The Riddler
- Played by: Jim Carrey
A Bruce Wayne fanboy working at Wayne Enterprises, Edward Nygma was turned down the idea of mental experimentation by Wayne himself. After being fired by his boss (and sending him to Destination Defenestration), Nygma was inspired by Two-Face's spree at the circus and decided to create a supervillain identity of his own. Utilizing his tech to team up with Two-Face and steal money to mass-produce his "Box," Nygma becomes the Riddler, draining the intelligence of Gotham's Box-owning citizens to add to his own already formidable intellect. All to get back at Bruce Wayne.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Raised from a petty thief with a fixation on needlessly-risky crimes to a mad scientist and entrepreneur who only gets smarter as the film progresses.
- Ambiguously Bi: His obsession with Bruce Wayne is chock full of Ho Yay and he has a large collection of green outfits with increasing levels of flair. There are a few hints that he has an interest in women, such as keeping Sugar around as arm candy (though this is implied to be for show). Edward also arranges to have Chase suggestively chained up on a lounge, with the scene cutting short just as he sidles up next to her.
- Ax-Crazy: He becomes this after Bruce politely turns down his idea.
- Beware the Silly Ones: The Riddler is not the least bit intimidating, but he does manage to figure out Batman's identity and utterly destroys most of the Batcave.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: With Two-Face in Forever.
- Blue Oni: To Two-Face's Red.
- Riddler: (to Two-Face, after he fires off his gun to express his impatience) Has anyone ever told you that you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
- Bond One-Liner: "Ooooh, nice form, but a little rough on the landing; he may have to settle for the bronze!"
- Complexity Addiction: Addressed; when he offers to help Two-Face kill Batman in exchange for money to manufacture his Box devices, he convinces him that just offing the hero quickly and simply wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as ensuring he was humiliated first by having his true identity revealed and used against him. Also referenced when Two-Face shoots Bruce Wayne, knocking him down, and as he's going to put a bullet in Bruce's brain, Riddler stops him because he wants Batman to die in a more dramatic fashion.
- Composite Character: Of the Riddler and Hugo Strange (who deviced a mind-reading machine).
- If the rumours of his box-device turning people into zombies is true, then he's also got a Mad Hatter influence.
- Create Your Own Villain: Bruce Wayne created the Riddler by turning down Nygma's brainwave manipulation ideas, though Stickley firing Nygma and verbally putting him down (and threatening to have him arrested, thrown in jail and then committed to a mental institution) may have been the real trigger.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with. He tries to make money honestly but after being rejected and funding it with Two-Face's crimes, he still makes billions on the Box technology. If he wasn't obsessed with Bruce Wayne and Batman, he could have lived a very comfortable and lavish life.
- Assuming nobody eventually looked too closely at the company's initial books...
- Death by Secret Identity: Surprisingly averted despite having learned about Batman's identity, but his insanity causes him to lose memory of it and go full Napoleon Delusion.
- Evil Genius: His ability to not only create a simulator, but to also use it to scan minds and become even smarter is incredibly impressive. He makes all the other villains here look like episodic thugs.
- Evil Is Hammy: As a Jim Carrey character in a mid-90s summer flick, this should be a given.
- Evil Is Petty: One rejection from Bruce drove him to a vendetta, which Chase speculates will only end with Bruce's death. After finding success, he resorts to Unsportsmanlike Gloating the next time he sees Bruce and even does something as childish as call his alter-ego "Fatman", all the while threatening to kill the two people closest to him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: From a little-known Wayne Industries employee to a Super Villain who deduces Batman's true identity.
- A God Am I: Quoted word for word after managing to feed off the brainwaves of every person in Gotham.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Batman destroys his giant brain energy-sucking machine, which causes a overload of sorts in his head and destroys what little sanity Nygma had left.
- Large Ham: It's Jim Carrey, so this is very much expected. Best shown during the climax, where he lets loose spare ribs and hot dogs by pretending to be a game show host.
- Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly coexist? We'll find out today! But first, [with voice changer] let's meet our contestants!
- The unnecessarily hammy way he stops Two-Face from giving Bruce Wayne direct lead poisoning.
- Laughably Evil: Yes, Riddler is a villain, but his antics are often very funny.
- Loony Fan: Is a big one of these for Bruce Wayne, to the point of obsession. See Mad Scientist and Yandere below.
- Mad Scientist: Devices a brain-reading machine and tests it on his boss. Wayne Enterprises' corporate system, his unhealthy obsession with Bruce Wayne and Wayne's negative answer to his project pushed him over the edge of sanity.
- Madness Mantra: "Too many questions...too many questions..."
- Man in White: Near the end when he dons a glittery white-and-green leotard.
- Meaningful Name: Openly acknowledged by the characters with Edward Nygma as in...E. Nygma or...enigma. Also Mr.E or Mystery.
- In the comics, his birth name was "Edward Nashton" and he changed it to Nigma(/Nygma) himself, for both the pun and to distance himself from his abusive father.
- Napoleon Delusion: After his arrest and institutionalization in Arkham Asylum, he goes insane and believes he's Batman. Lampshaded when an off-screen prisoner yells in response "Yeah, and I'm Napoleon!"
- The Nicknamer: Enjoys referring to Harvey as "bifurcated one."
- No Indoor Voice:
- Has anyone told you you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
- Not Good with Rejection: His descent into madness begins with Bruce rejecting an idea for an invention.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He may have been a Large Ham, but all things considered, he managed to figure out who Batman was on his own and launched an assault on Wayne Manor that completely destroyed the Batcave and left Bruce for dead. If not for his need to utterly screw with Bruce serving as his downfall, he could have flat-out killed him.
- Oh, Crap!: When he realizes Batman has foiled his plan.
- Pass the Popcorn: Excitedly munches on some popcorn while watching the chaos unfolding at a circus Bruce is attending.
- Sadistic Choice: Poses one to Batman at the climax—either save Chase or save Robin (a choice that also represents his two personas, Bruce and Batman).
- Sissy Villain: He loves him some spandex. He's also physically weak and relies on Two-Face's goons for protection.
- Smug Snake: Once the box goes on the market, Edward goes from socially awkward to gloating in his former employer's face. In the final confrontation he takes extra joy in being a wiseass over his perceived advantage.
- Stalker with a Crush: To Bruce.
- Villainous Breakdown: Due to various circumstances, he gets increasingly loopy throughout the film. Not that he wasn't clearly demented at the start...
- Nygma: (after his hero rejects his Box) You were supposed to understand. I'll make you understand.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Rivals Bruce Wayne once the box goes on the market.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Clearly one at first, since he only wants to patent and market his virtual-reality invention (without approval from his superiors, if necessary) to spare the people of the world from "being brutalized by an uncaring world" (which is a correlative to his own loneliness and sense of worthlessness). It's not until he accidentally discovers that "The Box" can extract information from human minds that he decides to go down the criminal route.
- Why Won't You Die?: "Why? Why can't I kill you?"
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The second half of Forever wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic if Bruce had the time to talk over his designs and his boss wasn't such a buzzkill.
- Yandere: Nygma can go from wanting to break Bruce Wayne into a million pieces to unintentionally showing his fanboy side again through trying to one-up him by imitating his look, down to the mole.
Dr. Victor Fries / Mr. Freeze
- Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger
- "My name is Freeze. Learn it well...for it is the chilling sound of your doom!"
- Academic Athlete: Bruce notes that, before his accident, Fries was a decathlete who won a Nobel Prize for his work in molecular biology.
- Affably Evil: Unlike his predecessors, Freeze is a Noble Demon who just wants to save his wife. He's a faithful husband who refuses the advances of his Sexy Secretary. His reasons for stealing aren't out of greed, but necessity as both he and his wife require immense funding to sustain themselves. He had several opportunities to kill Batman and Robin, but gives them a fighting chance simply because he's not Ax-Crazy, even telling Batman that his victims can be saved within 11 minutes of freezing them. In his downtime he enjoys watching animated musicals and his old wedding videos, while all the other villains were either obsessed with their schemes or had sadistic hobbies.
- All There in the Manual: The novelization of Batman & Robin establishes that he had met a young Bruce Wayne during his decathlon days.
- Badass Boast: The above quote.
Mr. Freeze: Surprise! I'm your new cellmate. And I'm going to make your life a living hell. Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last!
- He also makes one at the end after ending up at Arkham sharing a cell with Poison Ivy, who had tried to kill his cryogenically-frozen wife:
- Badass Creed: "In this universe, there is only one absolute—everything freezes!"
- Bald of Evil: As a result of the accident that made him what he is.
- Blizzard Of Puns: ALL of his puns have something to do with ice or winter.
- Card-Carrying Villain: During his Evil Gloating to Batman, he outright refers to himself as "the villain."
- Cigar Chomper: Briefly during his off-time.
- Composite Character: He is the 60s Mr. Freeze with the backstory of BTAS' Mr. Freeze.
- Conveniently Cellmates: With Poison Ivy at the end of Batman & Robin.
- The tie-in comic reveals that he bribed the Arkham Staff into arranging this with his few remaining diamonds.
- Declarative Finger: "It's winter forever here in Gotham!" and later "You LIE!"
- Despair Event Horizon: Freeze crosses this after Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife, and he decides to freeze not only Gotham but "THE WORLD!"
- Dying Curse: "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!!!" Subverted in that he survives.
- Endless Winter: This becomes his goal after Poison Ivy tells him Batman cut his wife off life support.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Freeze loves his wife so much he turns down the advances of his female minion.
- Evil Gloating / Sadistic Choice: When Batman and Robin catch up to him, Freeze fires his ice-gun at Robin, freezing him, and then gives Batman the choice of pursuing him (Freeze) or saving Robin.Mr. Freeze: Can you be cold, Batman?! You have eleven minutes to thaw the bird. What will you do—chase the villain, or save the boy? Ha-ha! Your emotions make you weak! That's why this day's mine! Ha-ha!
- Freak Lab Accident: How he became Mr. Freeze.
- Genius Bruiser: A Nobel Winner winner who not only builds a freezing engine, but can hold his own decently in physical combat, even without his ice gun.
- Healthcare Motivation: Fries turned to villainy to seek a cure for his sick wife.
- Heel–Face Turn: At the end of Batman & Robin when he gives Batman a cure for MacGregor's Syndrome so the latter can help Alfred.
- No Sell: In one of his better moments, when Ivy tries to seduce him with her pheromones, he smiles, identifies the chemical makeup, then informs her that her poison has no effect "on the cold-hearted".
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees Batman survived his freezing of the Batmobile.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Becomes this when Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife.
- Pungeon Master: All of his puns have something to do with ice or winter. A few notable examples:
- "I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy!"
- "You are not sending me to the cooler!"
- "What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"
- "Stay cool, bird-boy!"
- "Cool party!"
- "It's a cold town."
- "If revenge is a dish best served cold, it is time to feast!"
- "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!"
- Single-Target Sexuality: As he tells his henchwoman who tried cozying up to him:My passion thaws for my bride alone!
Dr. Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy
- Played by: Uma Thurman
A botanist working in a South American lab under the employ of Wayne Enterprises, Dr. Pamela Isley is seemingly murdered in a Freak Lab Accident when she stumbles upon her eccentric colleague's secret experiments, rebuffs his sexual advances, and threatens to ruin his career. However, after prolonged exposure to the Super Serum known as Venom, she becomes a full-on murderous vamp with a pheromone dust concoction and poisonous lips who seeks to pit Batman and Robin against each other and rid the earth of mankind's toxic influence.
- Admiring the Abomination: Discussed in the principal screenplay and the official adult novelization by Michael Jan Friedman; She finds herself admiring Bane's penchant for violence and destruction on numerous occasions (even before her villainous transformation), and reveals in exposition that what attracts her to freeze is his inhuman appearance and powers, even calling him 'fabulously elemental' and good-looking and masculine 'in a grotesque sort of way'.
- All There in the Manual: One of the major plot holes people found in the movie was that Freeze's plan would have had a negative effect on plant life in the ecosystem. Going along with said plan was in fact a conscious choice on Ivy's part, as in the script and the junior novelization, there is a part where she crushes a flower after proclaiming, "Sorry, hon', this is for science." This actually does make some sense to Ivy's characterization since one of her defining traits from the comics is that, for as much as Ivy professes she cares about the environment, she's also a sadist who tends to overlook her own hypocrisy so long as she gets to hurt people. This was especially prominent in Batman: The Animated Series.
- Ambition Is Evil: Goes from vengeful eco-terrorist to genocidal megalomaniac who plans to use Freeze's weapon to wipe out all human (and most plant) life so that she can rule over a race of mutant plants with Freeze by her side. There's definitely a Broken Aesop in there somewhere. Yikes.
- Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Her numerous (and we mean numerous) sexual references are just about the sole reason for Batman & Robin's PG-13 rating, save a few swear words here and there.
- Bare Your Midriff: Rises from her grave with her garments fashionably tattered in a less-than-practical manner thanks to Instant Costume Change.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: With Freeze (Brains) and Bane (Brawn). Potentially averted in that, while Freeze is clearly a bit of a Genius Bruiser by way of Informed Intelligence, Ivy does the lion's share of the scheming amongst the three.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: Pamela Isley found out her boss Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own megalomaniacal ends and announced her efforts to get him fired and blacklisted. After becoming Poison Ivy, she seeks to do exactly what Dr. Woodrue planned to do (that is, Take Over the World).
- Big Bad: The main antagonist of Batman & Robin.
- Bond Breaker: Her pheromones cause tension between Batman and Robin.
- Burlesque: Stripteases in a Blonde Venus-inspired magenta gorilla suit in her Big Entrance at the Rainforest Ball. Also features Shaking the Rump, Sexy Walk, and a small Three-Point Landing onto a bed of male performers.
- Came Back Wrong: Her death at the hands of Dr. Woodrue early in the movie resulted in her toxic rebirth as Poison Ivy.
- Clark Kenting: An extreme case; she wears leafy eye masks to conceal her identity. That's right: eye masks. At least the heroes have the decency to at least wear domino masks.
- Conveniently Cellmates: With Freeze at the end of Batman & Robin.
- Double Entendre: If Mr. Freeze is the King of Puns, then Poison Ivy is the Queen of this trope.
- Dying Curse: "Curses!" Subverted in that she survives.
- Enemy Mine: With Mr. Freeze.
- Even the Girls Want Her: With the aid of her pheromones, if some of the gazes of female partygoers at the Rainforest Ball are any indication.
- Evil Makeover: One of the more interesting side-effects of Venom is its ability to turn a Shrinking Violet into Ms. Fanservice. Over the course of the film, her costume, hair, and makeup choices become more bold, brazen, crazy, over-the-top, drag queen-flamboyant.
- Expy: Poison Ivy is a mixture of Catwoman's rebirth origin story from Returns and The Riddler's Mad Scientist origin story from Forever. Stated by Joel Schumacher that his original intent was to have Nicole Kidman portray Ivy in Batman Forever, hence why (aside from Elliot Goldenthal's recycled score) Ivy and Chase's Sexophone motifs are so similar.
- Fantastic Flora: Poison Ivy has a plethora of killer mutant plants that giggle, sigh, moan, hiss...and kill. They can crush a man, engulf a building in mere minutes, and swallow somebody whole. Audrey II, eat your heart out.
- Freak Lab Accident: How she became Poison Ivy.
- Gaia's Vengeance: She invokes shades of this trope in an impassioned speech after killing Dr. Woodrue with her poison kiss as she prepares to burn the lab to the ground.I am Nature's arm, her spirit, her will. Hell, I am Mother Nature.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: A good deal of her dialogue is made up of veiled references either to coitus or her own genitalia. Considering the notoriously family-friendly nature of this film, this can be a bit jarring.
- "I've got some wild oats to sow." (an old English saying about a young person - usually associated with young men - engaging in frivolous activities and promiscuity
- "My garden needs tending."
- "Some lucky boy is about to hit the honeypot."
- "I'll bring everything you see here, plus everything you don't."
- "I'll help you grab your rocks."
- "Is your thumb the only part of you that's green?"
- "You'll just have to find out."
- "I need a sign."
- "How about 'slippery when wet'?"
- Glamour: Her pheromones can affect entire crowds, as noted at the Rainforest Ball.
- A God Am I: Makes a variety of Blasphemous Boasts and seeks to destroy the world and rebuild it in her own image.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Pulls the plug on Nora's life support in an attempt to keep Freeze all for herself.
- Green Thumb: Being that, for better or worse, she's still Poison-freaking-Ivy, this trope is practically a given.
- Hypocrite: She claims she wants to save plant life and undo the damage done to the environment, yet her schemes with Freeze would ultimately end up doing far more damage to Earth's ecosystem than it would save.
- I Am the Trope: "Hell, I am Mother Nature!"
- Informed Attractiveness: The script actually calls her "the most beautiful woman in the world." Between that and Joel Schumacher's confession that he chose Uma Thurman because he was infatuated with her Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, one could almost be excused for thinking that this film was made by Quentin Tarantino.
- In Love with Your Carnage: A great deal of her attraction to Freeze seems to be his predisposition for chaos.
- Kiss of Death: Her lips are filled with poison as a result of her Freak Lab Accident. Rubber lips are immune to her charms, however.
- Kubrick Stare: Uma seems to be a fan of this in photoshoots and promotional materials.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Invokes a bit of this in Robin. She definitely becomes a victim of this herself with Mr. Freeze which leads to her eventual Villain Decay from Not-So-Harmless Villain to a Green-Eyed Monster who winds up rotting away in Arkham while her beloved, now her cellmate, vows to make her life a living hell as retribution for the attempted murder of his ill wife.
- Love Potion: "Pheromone dust: designed to heat a man's blood."
- Lover, Not a Fighter: She invokes this trope.
- Mad Scientist: Before her transformation, she was appalled to learn Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own evil ends, but after becoming Poison Ivy, she aims to eliminate humanity and replace them with plant/animal hybrids.
- Man-Eating Plant: The flower throne that Ivy reclines on in her lair doubles as one.
- Manipulative Bitch: She serves as the primary Big Bad of the film to drive the conflict, raises the stakes by convincing Mr. Freeze that Batman killed his wife, and manipulating him into using his freeze gun as a doomsday device.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: She attempts this with Nora Fries. Batman later reveals to Freeze he (Batman) was able to save her.
- The Muse: Joel Schumacher stated that he specifically chose Uma Thurman because of his infatuation with her portrayal of Venus when he was younger.
- Nobody Can Die: Averted. Despite the film's aim to be more family-driven than Batman Forever, Ivy kills three men in a fairly PG-gruesome manner and the audience is informed of a fourth victim as well.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Narrowly averted. While Freeze and Bane are presented as the greatest physical threat to Batman and Robin, she's the film's primary schemer and presents a much more serious threat to the heroes' mortality by way of her Kiss of Death. Unfortunately, her Idiot Ball levels of arrogance and Genre Blindness keep her from being able to make good on her threats.
- Oh, Crap!: When she learns Freeze is her new cellmate at Arkham.
- Orgasmic Combat: Ivy's plants are prone to making rather indelicate noises that often sound like uncontrollable sighing, giggling, hissing and moaning, even when attacking their prey. It has been stated that this is because Ivy's plants are sentient, but they are also primitive creatures with clear predatory behaviors and no social filters who are new to the sights, sounds and pleasures of the world.
- Sadist: After she's reborn as Poison Ivy, most of the crimes she's responsible for have little to do with the Earth and stem more jealousy and bloodlust. This fits with Ivy's comic characterization, as she's more prone to using ecoterrorism as a front to kill whoever displeases her or just for the fun of it even if she does care about saving plants.
- Same Language Dub: Although still voiced by Uma Thurman, all of her lines were re-dubbed for the final theatrical release, as evidenced by the slightly higher-pitched, breathier intonations of her speech in trailers. According to the director, this was to give her a more sultry baritone as well as a more visibly-pronounced drawl. She has stated that she worked with a vocal coach on the voice, and that the original voice was 'less Mae West, more Marilyn'.
- Sexophone: Poison Ivy's recurring leitmotif is built around this, usually when she appears in the room and goes into seduction mode. It starts off bold, sultry, and alluring before trailing off into eerie, dark territory and rising to a crescendo at the end.
- The music reflects the actions on screen; the hapless victim becomes seduced by Ivy's charms (sax) and they share a kiss (foreboding drone), whereupon the poison slowly works its way through the body and kills him (crescendo).
- Sex Sells: In the Blu-Ray commentary, Joel Schumacher admits that much of Ivy's character was written "for the dads."
- Slouch of Villainy: Decides to kick her feet up when she discovers the Turkish Baths. By the time Robin discovers them, it's a little different.
- Statuesque Stunner: Uma Thurman is six feet tall all by herself; add heels to the mix and she's taller than both George and Chris, who had to be stood on pedestals for the rainforest ball scene. In fact, in heels she stands at almost the same height as 6'2" costar Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Supervillain Lair: Runs out a gang of violent squatters to take over an abandoned Turkish bathhouse and make it over into her own private paradise.
- Tainted Veins: Her victims show this after ingesting the Venom from her poison kisses. As shown with Woodrue, the tongue also becomes a discolored shade of green.
- Take Over the World: Aims to do this with Freeze.
- Villain Decay: By the end of the film, she's literally wilting away in a prison cell as she picks away the petals of a dead flower and pines over Freeze.
- We Can Rule Together: Her idea of a big, romantic gesture with Mr. Freeze, complete with killer plants and vengeance.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: She starts this way, at the very least; although it doesn't take long before this ends up as a major subversion. Bruce even notes this when she, in her guise as Dr. Isley, tries to talk to him about how humanity is destroying the planet.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated word-for-word in-script; invoked via the magic of Informed Attractiveness.
- Played by: Jack Palance
- Affably Evil: While Grissom may be a reviled crime lord, he is also charming and polite. Grissom is shown to treat Alicia with respect, in contrast to Jack Napier, who seems to regard Alicia as a trophy.
- Asshole Victim: A powerful criminal who corrupted the Gotham Police Department and coordinated many heinous crimes, including the murders of a wealthy family, isn't going to be missed when one of his own turns on him and disposes of him.
- Backstab Backfire: Sells out Jack Napier to the police to remove a man who was cheating with Grissom's girl. It didn't work and comes back to kill him.
- Dirty Old Man: His mistress is much younger than he is.
- The Don: Grissom is the leader of a good set of thugs in Gotham early in the film, but his Backstab Backfire of Napier/The Joker leads to him getting pumped full of lead and the Joker to take over as The Don and Big Bad for the rest of the film.
- Expy: He takes over the role of Carmine Falcone, the crime boss of Gotham before the "freaks" take over.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He set Jack Napier up to be captured by the police because he was having an affair with his (Grissom's) girlfriend Alicia. This backfires when Batman's intervention leads Napier to turn into the Joker and then come back to kill Grissom and take over his empire.
- Outside-Context Problem: At the beginning of the movie, the city officials are concerned with him and want to nab Jack Napier only because he's his "number-one guy." Even after Napier has become The Joker and killed Grissom, and he and his goons have targeted them for assassination, Vinnie Ricorso and his lackeys think that Grissom is still alive and are busying themselves with taking care of his operations while (they think) he's on vacation. It takes until almost the end of the movie for the media and the police to finally confirm that Grissom is dead and that the Joker has taken control of Gotham City's underworld:Joker: Joker here. Now, you fellas have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true, about that thief Carl Grissom. He's dead now, and he's left me in charge.
- Sanity Slippage: The film hints that Carl might have a few screws loose himself. In fact, the first thing a newly Jokerized Napier tells him is that he must be insane.
- Uriah Gambit: When he discovers that his mistress has been sleeping with his right-hand man Jack Napier, he sends Jack to go steal the books from a mob front under investigation by the authorities, then tips off the Dirty Cop on his payroll and orders him to kill Jack. This backfires magnificently when Jack is dunked in chemicals and becomes the Joker, then returns to Grissom's office to shoot him.
- Played by: Tracey Walter
Jack Napier/The Joker's main henchman.
- *Click* Hello: During the Axis Chemicals shootout early in the film, Bob manages to sneak up on Commissioner Gordon and puts a gun to his head, forcing Batman to give up Napier."Let him go, or I'll do Gordon!"
- The Dragon: For the Joker.
- Establishing Character Moment: When Eckhardt meets Jack Napier in an alley, Bob is in the background diligently polishing Jack's car. Then, when Eckhardt pulls a gun on Jack, Bob is immediately at Jack's side, pulling out his own, bigger gun and pointing it at Eckhardt. The Death Glare he fixes Eckhardt with makes it clear that if Eckhardt tries to shoot, Bob will be faster on the draw.
- Nice Hat: A black fedora.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Batman has just finished wiping out several of the Joker's mooks. Bob appears holding a knife. When Batman makes a Bring It gesture to him (beckoning with his index finger), Bob drops the knife and runs away.
- Too Dumb to Live: Poor Bob, after Joker has just been decisively pissed off and now wants to blow off some steam. He's had his little outburst, but there's a Tranquil Fury brewing under his crackpot exterior — something his loyal lackey fails to notice.Joker: Bob? Gun.Bob: (unquestioningly hands his boss his gun, not realizing Joker's in a killing mood; Joker coldly pops a bullet in his chest)
- Undying Loyalty: He's the kind of staunchly loyal henchman that most any villain would be grateful to have, which makes Joker's shooting of him a major Kick the Dog moment.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Joker responds to his own master plan's failure by requesting a handgun from Bob, only to shoot Bob point-blank for not telling him Batman "had one of those...things!"
The Red Triangle Gang
The Red Triangle Gang
- Badass Bookworm: As violent, sociopathic gang members go, they also have some good mechanics.
- Carnival of Killers: They even employ a bewilderingly diverse array of weapons.
- The Family for the Whole Family: Played with. Depending on the scenario, they're seen either riding around on unicycles while firing guns harmlessly into the air and grabbing people and slapping them on the head...or blowing up buildings with gigantic rocket launchers and kidnapping sleeping babies and children to be executed.
- Gang of Hats: They dress up every day in "old-timey," Victorian-era circus costumes. Seriously. It's as if Hamas had a "children's birthday party" faction. Their weapons vary, as normal clowns utilize blades, nunchaku and machine guns, while some performers use objects they would use in the circus, like firebreathers and jugglers using torches, The Sword Swallower using his shortsword, or the The Knifethrower Dame using her knives. Others are more outlandish, such as the Organ Grinder's Gatling gun disguised as a big music box, or a clown strapped with a cartoonish time-bomb. Lampshaded in that Bruce Wayne does research on them and learns that they once really were circus performers and apparently didn't bother to change their costumes after taking up a life of crime. note
- Monster Clown: Some circus members go beyond doing harmless yet threatening acts of vandalism and terrorism, and attempt to hurt people. They include the Terrifying Clown who threatens to taze Selina Kyle, the stilted jugglers with threatening masks who burn an innocent man, and the large and imposing Strongman who knocks out a mall Santa with a toy sled.
- Not So Harmless Villains: Despite being clowns who once performed in a circus and kept their costumes, the Red Triangle Circus members are still menacing enough to serve as an effective terrorist army for The Penguin.
- The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: They don't actually perform anymore. Justified in that they're fugitives from the law and generally act as criminals now. Subverted (albeit briefly) when a few of the performers use their skills as tools of terrorism during the Gotham Plaza sequence, proving that they've "still got it."
- Red Right Hand: Some of them appear just as ugly as Penguin himself (although, unlike him, they are obviously sporting masks and face putty).
- Terrorists Without a Cause: Subverted. On the surface, they appear to fit this trope due to the observation that their acts of arson and vandalism and the bullying of innocent citizens don't appear to serve an ultimate purpose; they don't even garner any loot from their crimes, even though they're living in near-poverty. However, all this anarchic violence does accomplish something: it humiliates Gotham City's Mayor, making him appear to be soft on crime and providing a justification for Penguin to run against him for office.
- Western Terrorists: A Type I example (or, given their name, perhaps a Type VI example). One of them is even a suicide bomber!
Antonio Diego / Bane
- Played by: Michael Reid MacKay, Robert "Jeep" Swenson
After a series of ruthless experiments conducted by Dr. Jason Woodrue, South American serial killer Antonio Diego is transformed into the monstrous, mindless, hulking brute known as Bane. Played by late wrestler Jeep Swenson, this iteration of Bane is an In-Name-Only version of the character, serving as a monosyllabic Giant Mook for Poison Ivy.
- Adaptational Intelligence: Inverted, this Bane is an idiot only capable of Hulk Speak.
- The Brute: He's the muscle for Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze's scheme
- Composite Character: This Bane resembles a character named Ivan, later known as Ivor, more. Like this Bane, Ivan doesn't speak much except for short and simple sentences. The scene where Ivy disguises herself with a wig and Bane/Ivan drives her from the airport comes from 1981's Batman #339. Just like Bane, Ivan is turned into a powerful half man, half plant (as evidence in 1982's Batman #344) that's enhanced with a formula that is based on Ivy's (which she developed to create carnivore plants).
- Diminishing Villain Threat: In a meta sense, this Bane is nowhere near the threat of the comic version.
- The Dragon: To Poison Ivy.
- Dumb Muscle: He's not exactly a bookworm.
- Hulk Speak: He can only say one or two words at a time.
- Named by the Adaptation: Bane's real name (if he even has one) was never revealed in the comics.
- Super Serum: Venom, the source of his strength.
- Tainted Veins: After being injected with Woodrue's Venom.
- Played by: William Hootkins
- Asshole Victim: Shot dead by Jack Napier during the raid on Axis Chemicals.Jack: Eckhart! [Eckhart turns around with a gormless look on his face] Think about the future! [shoots Eckhart dead]
- Dirty Cop: One of many police officers on Carl Grissom's payroll.
- Fat Bastard: An overweight Dirty Cop.
- Jerkass: He's even one to Jack Napier.
Dr. Jason Woodrue
Dr. Jason Woodrue
- Played by: John Glover
A scientist employed by Wayne Enterprises, and Dr. Pamela Isley's boss.
- Asshole Victim: He used Pamela's research for his own sinister ends and attempted to kill her when she found out about his plans and rejected his offer to rule the world alongside him, only to end up killed by her after she becomes Poison Ivy.
- Bad Boss: To Pamela. He tried to kill her after she rejected his proposal to help him take over the world.
- Beard of Evil: Woodrue has a beard and he is a bad guy.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames/Not Wearing Tights: In the comics, he's known as the Floronic Man.
- Death by Adaptation: His comics counterpart went on to become a supervillain; this Woodrue didn't.
- Evil Is Hammy: Yep, John Glover is immensely over-the-top as Dr. Woodrue.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Wore a pair of glasses.
- Freak Out: He does this after Pamela calls him out on his highly unethical experiments and he calmly informs her that he doesn't handle rejection well.
- Kill It with Fire: If he wasn't dead from Poison Ivy's Kiss of Death, she also started a fire in his lab while he's on the ground, just to make sure he died.
- Kiss of Death: On the receiving end of this from Poison Ivy. He begins choking right after she lets go.
- Large Ham: "FELLOW MANIACS! BIDDING...BEGINS!"
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Woodrue created the Venom formula that gave Bane his Super Strength. Bruce specifically describes him as "a lunatic."
- Played by: Kim Basinger
A photojournalist who comes to Gotham City to investigate Batman. She partners with Alexander Knox on the assignment, and begins dating Bruce Wayne, not knowing (at first) he's actually the same guy she's investigating.
- 108: This is the weight she gives when being rescued by the Dark Knight. Significant because she's lying, which results in there being too much weight for the extension gun to lift them both so that Batman has to fall back to the ground so she can escape.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Vicki is normally shown as a redhead in the comics, but was played by the very blond Kim Basinger in the film.
- Captain Obvious: "Bats," she points out upon seeing the animals in the Batcave. "His parents were murdered in that alley. That's why he went there," while checking Bruce Wayne's newspaper files motivated by having seen him going to the alley, and then when she sees Joker's Smilex gas flowing out of a balloon, she comments "Smilex gas." In the first and third example, the referred items are in plain sight not only to her but to the audience as well.
- Composite Character: Resembles her comic counterpart in name and occupation only, as her characterization is much closer to another of Bruce Wayne's love interests from the comics named Silver St. Cloud, a blonde woman who learns about Bruce's secret identity as Batman. An early draft of the script featured Silver St. Cloud, but the character was renamed since the producers thought the name sounded too cheesy.
- Dull Surprise: Especially when she meets Bruce in the Batcave, and later when the Batplane gets shot down. Roger Ebert chided the former sequence, asking why Vicki's reaction was so mundane. Could be justified if you subscribe to the theory that Vicki had already figured out Bruce Wayne's secret while reading about his parents' murders with Knox at the office, and had obviously given herself time to come to terms with the truth before heading for Wayne Manor. (Indeed, sharp-eyed viewers will notice that Vicki is wearing a different outfit in the Batcave than at the office, proving that she at least took time out to change her clothes.) In addition, she's escorted to the Batcave by Alfred, and one must surmise she asked him to take her there.
- Eureka Moment: May have had one after seeing the news clipping of the murder of Bruce's parents.Knox: (to Vicki) What do you suppose something like this does to a kid?
- Going for the Big Scoop: Her role in the first film.
- Hot Scoop: Vicki is an attractive reporter.
- Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: Happens to her while being forced to climb the the bell tower of Gotham Cathedral by the Joker. She falls and loses one of her high heels. The Joker then throws away the offending shoe, seemingly to taunt the pursuing Batman and/or make Vicki move faster. Her other shoe is later seen discarded further up the stairs.
- Meganekko: She sometimes wears glasses.
- Neutral Female: Played with. She does manage to save Batman from getting unmasked in the alley, and later successfully distracts Joker while Batman is sneaking up on him. In all other cases, though, she's as useless as a snorkel in the Sahara.
- The Obstructive Love Interest: More or less.
- Screaming Woman: She would scream at everything—when the clowns are shooting at the City Hall, when the Joker nearly sprays her with acid, when Bruce Wayne gets shot by the Joker, when her friend Knox jumps to the windshield of her car and when the Joker pulls the trigger on his fake gun (which is even more absurd in context, since the Joker was pretending to shoot himself).
- In the City Hall scene, she wasn't screaming; she was shouting "Bruce!" at Bruce Wayne because he wasn't paying attention and nearly wandered into the clowns' line of fire. In other words, she was trying to save him, which is not something you'd expect a Screaming Woman to do. Vicki is actually pretty capable for the first half of the movie and doesn't turn into the scaredy-cat character we all remember until the museum scene.
- Secret Chaser: After realizing Bruce lied about leaving town, she follows him and sees him putting roses by the old hotel, making her suspicious.
- Shameful Strip: The climax appeared to be heading in this direction, with the Joker taking her up to the top of the Gotham City Cathedral at gunpoint. He removes her shoes and throws them down the stairs, then removes her coat and drapes it over the railing...leaving her wearing only a sheer white dress. More to the point, the Joker makes sure that Batman, who is pursuing him, comes across these discarded articles of clothing on his way up the stairs, possibly as a means of taunting him. Whatever the case, Vicki was lucky that cathedral tower wasn't any taller...
- She's Got Legs: When she's first introduced in the movie.
- Stalker with a Crush: She has a little bit of this towards Bruce Wayne when he avoids her after what was really just a one night stand.
- Woman in White: At the end of the first movie.
- Played by: Robert Wuhl
- All of the Other Reindeer: His co-workers at the Gotham Globe mock him for believing Batman exists.
- Badass Normal: Manages to get rid of one Smilex balloon all by himself.
- Canon Foreigner: Was created for the film, Batman.
- Dogged Nice Guy: To Vicki.
- Engaging Conversation: When he first meets Vicki, who's the only other person who believes Batman exists and wants to help him:Knox: Vale, will you marry me?Vicki: No.Knox: Will you buy me lunch?Vicki: ...Maybe.Knox: I eat light!
- Heroic Bystander: During the parade.
- Intrepid Reporter: His job.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: When the Smilex gas is released in the streets of Gotham during a parade, he immediately grabs a mask and baseball bat from his trunk and goes after the Joker's goons, managing to scatter away one of the balloons.
- Outside Ride: Does this on the hood of Vicki's car.
- Plucky Comic Relief: He serves as a Heroic Bystander at one point, though he gets sidelined quickly. Accidentally. By Vicki.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Set up as one, but he's mostly an aversion (if not an outright inversion). He fancies himself a great investigative reporter, even though he famously has a "useless reputation" and though his co-workers at the Gotham Globe relentlessly mock him for being one of the few people in Gotham who actually believes in Batman. In addition, when he meets Vicki and is instantly smitten with her, he arrogantly asks if she has come to photograph him nude and boasts that, in that case, she will need a long lens. But Vicki actually ends up liking him despite his more annoying qualities, and in the end, he is vindicated when the people of Gotham come to realize that he was right about Batman after all. The nearest he gets to a Break the Haughty is when Vicki accidentally hits him with a car during a panicked stampede in the streets and he falls off the hood and into a pile of garbage in an alley.
Commissioner James Gordon
Commissioner James Gordon
- Played by: Pat Hingle
- Demoted to Extra: In the later films. In contrast to the Batman canon, he's this the entire series; while Jim Gordon has always been a very important character in the comics and is a key partner in Batman's fight against crime, quadrilogy Gordon is perpetually on the fringe and barely assists Batman, who at times hardly acknowledges his presence.
- Only Sane Man: In Batman Returns, when Batman is framed for kidnapping and killing the Ice Princess, Gordon is the only one who isn't convinced.
- Police Are Useless: Falls deeper into this with each passing film.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: See "Only Sane Man".
- What the Hell, Hero?: His picture quote, after finding out that Bane and Ivy got away.
Dr. Chase Meridian
Dr. Chase Meridian
- Played by: Nicole Kidman
A psychologist who's brought in by the Gotham Police Department to consult on Two-Face's case. She becomes attracted to Batman but eventually falls for Bruce Wayne.
- Action Girl: Almost. She trains herself on a punching bag in her office and she can handle herself pretty decently in the fight against Two-Face's goons at Wayne Manor. For a few moments at least.
- Canon Foreigner: Was created for the film Batman Forever.
- Damsel in Distress: In the final act of Forever.
- Femme Fatale: Invoked by Nicole Kidman playing her as a stereotypical 40's Film Noir heroine, with a raspy voice and seductive mannerisms. Subverted because she's not evil or even morally ambiguous; she's just fascinated by people with split personalities.
- Hot Therapist: An unapologetic comic stereotype. Though Warner Bros. fought against casting Kidman in the movie on the grounds that she wasn't sexy enough.
- Love Interest: For Bruce in Forever.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Until she chose Bruce. Then she learns the truth.
- Meaningful Name: Chase (she chases Batman) Meridian (the balancing middle).
- Ms. Fanservice: Nicole Kidman in her hottie prime naked under a silk bedsheet, and using the Bat-Signal to strip in front of Batman to try and seduce him.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: She is apparently proficient at boxing with a punching bag and succeeds in keeping off Two-Face's goons for a time, but still has to be rescued by Batman like ye olde Damsel in Distress.
- Sexophone: During her seduction of Batman.
- Sexy Coat Flashing: Does this while trying to get under Batman's cape.
- The Shrink: She is undeniably smart and perceptive, but too often can't see the forest for trees. She refers to Edward Nygma as a "wacko" for being obsessed with Bruce Wayne, but fails to realize at first that she has a similar fixation with Batman!
- She lists the the suspect's actual symptoms (i.e., homicidal obsession). She has no plans of killing either Bruce or Batman at all, nor is she anywhere near that obsessive or self-centered, so no, her fixation is completely different.
- Stalker with a Crush: To Batman. To the point where she commandeers the Bat-Signal to have a chat with the Caped Crusader. And to strip in front of him.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Isn't seen or mentioned in Batman & Robin.
- Played by: Ed Begley, Jr.
- Asshole Victim: There's dealing with a difficult employee and then there's going out of your way to verbally put him down at every opportunity you can find. No wonder Nygma snapped.
- Bullying a Dragon: Threatens to haul Nygma before a federal tribunal and have him incarcerated in an insane asylum after Nygma has not only disobeyed a direct order from him, but also hit him in the head with a coffee pot, tied him up and subjected him to a highly unethical and potentially life-threatening neurological experiment. On top of all that, he fires Nygma; Edward does not take this well, and his reaction is swift and terrible.
- Death Glare: Gives one to Nygma while standing behind Bruce while Edward is going on about his mind manipulation ideas.
- Face Palm: When Nygma unveils his invention to Bruce Wayne.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Maybe there's a reason why he's a dick towards Edward.
- Large Ham: "What the HELL is going on here?!"
- His rant to Nygma that ends with "But first and foremost, Nygma, you're fired! Do you hear me?! FIRED!"
- Played by: Elle Macpherson
Bruce's Love Interest in Batman & Robin.
- Aborted Arc: Julie was supposed to have been murdered by Poison Ivy at some point during Batman & Robin, causing Batman to seek revenge.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: She appears only twice in Batman & Robin before disappearing.