You are Batman.
— A message to a lucky player in online mode
"You want teeth, I want answers"
— Bats, to Killer Croc.
Tiffany Ambrose: Who is the Joker?
Roman Sionis: Nobody that matters.
—A text message conversation, just before everything goes to hell.
"You ever wonder how things got to be so bad here? I do. All the time. You see- I don't think men like Roman Sionis or Oswald Cobblepot are responsible. They're just a reflection of our apathy. Our greed. Our fear. We look the other way when things turn sour. Bury ourselves in our jobs. Consume propaganda masquerading as entertainment. The message is always the same: Don't think. Don't question. And what becomes of a society that's given up? It rots. Fills up with liars, cheaters, and thugs. Uptown and downtown. The suit in the penthouse is no better than the guy selling drugs on the corner. They're both doing whatever it takes to get ahead - nevermind the cost. Fidelity. Once upon a time that's what defined society. People coming together in pursuit of common cause. To care for each other. To protect and provide. We took shelter from the darkness - and the things that roamed it. Community meant progress. But now... It's all backwards. We worship at the altar of competition. We build fortresses around ourselves. We fight. We betray. We have become the things we feared. You keep cleaning up after everyone, Batman, and no one's going to learn to take care of themselves. The ones that don't hate you - they'll start to rely on you. Depend on you. And if something happens to you? If you get old? Or bored? Or die? Then what? Or do you not consider the world that revolves around you? You're a hypocrite. Running around 'dispensing justice'. Telling people what they can and can't do. You're ensuring Gotham's freedom - provided it conforms to your twisted view. Whatever pleases the Bat. That it? You're not a hero. You're a despot. You don't enforce justice. You suppress it. There's a way to make this work. To show you that we share the same goals. Maybe I took things too far with the bombs and the threats. I can learn from that. I mean, you could be a mentor to me. And maybe, well, maybe I can teach you something too. Because I think you're so busy playing hero you've forgotten what it's like for the rest of us. We're not all as strong as you. We don't have the fancy gadgets. The strength. The skill. But maybe that's the problem. You've gotten so used to the power, you think you're better than everyone. Above reproach. Is that it, then? We're not as good as you? You know what - I take it back. I don't want to work with you. You don't have anything to offer. I think I've figured it out. You didn't take me down because I broke the law. No. No, you took me down because you don't want the competition. That's what this is really about, isn't it? Let me ask you something - you ever wonder if YOU'RE the reason this city's so messed up? Because I have. A LOT of us have... And I'm starting to think we're right."
— Anarky's Character Filibuster
"Name yourself after an animal, and you'll get eaten."
— One of Electrocutioner's many taunts
Junior Psychiatrist (Blackgate Prison): Bad day, huh? Cops in this city...always beating on the weak and defenceless.
Joker: Tell me, my dear, have you ever had a really...bad...day?
Junior Psychiatrist: And what do you mean by that?
Joker: You of all people should know. There's nothing so cruel as memory. The pointy, bitey little thunderbolts. Unwanted party crashers, screamers through your synapses. Inescapable, unrelenting...not at all friendly. You can't even escape into madness! And then you meet someone who changes your life. And you feel that you don't even know who you are any more! Isn't it funny how one little encounter can cleave off little pieces of your past, deform your memories and persona until you rethink your whole identity — and as you realise how foolish it all is — your laughter reverberates off the walls of your own emptiness.
A brief Word Association Test later:
Joker: You want to know something funny? I used to think of fate as something evil — predetermined — not by some higher power but by the rules of human nature. But tonight, that's all changed.
Junior Psychiatrist: What changed?
Joker: Have you ever had the feeling that your entire life has been building towards this one moment? (He walks down nightmarish corridors of Ace Chemicals as the Red Hood)
Junior Psychiatrist: Is that how you feel?
Joker: (laughs) Well, now, yes. Now I realise that all the battles, the bad days, the brutalities - it was all the hand of Fate at work.
Junior Psychiatrist: So...now you see fate differently?
Joker: (laughs) Absolutely. Now I understand. There are no chance encounters. It was all meant to be. Everything leading up to who I've met tonight!
Junior Psychiatrist: So you've met someone special?
Joker: Yes. And you might say it's changed everything.
Junior Psychiatrist: Everything?
Joker: Absolutely. I mean, do you realise what a vile world we live in? How lonely it is to wade through all the wretch and filth on your own?
Junior Psychiatrist: It is kind of lonely, isn't it?
Joker: Of course! Of course! You understand! Even in a crowd of other screwballs, you're so alone that you can kick, claw, yell, scream at the top of your lungs — and no one cares. It's like you don't even exist! I feel... (The Red Hood hesitates at the edge of the vat of acid that will transform him into the Joker)
Junior Psychiatrist: And how does that make you feel?
(Nightmare Batman pops out of nowhere and chucks the Red Hood in)
Joker: I feel adrift — floating — like someone's pulled the stopper on my reality and I'm sucked down the drain into something new. It's all very exciting really. (laughs) You wouldn't know what that feels like, I'm sure.
Junior Psychiatrist: I...might, actually. Can you tell me more about how this person makes you feel?
(The Red Hood emerges from the drainage, and whisks the hood off, staring into a puddle and seeing the Joker.)
Joker: It's like meeting someone I can actually relate to — which believe me, dear, I've never felt before. (Batman bursts out of the puddle, and the psychiatrist giggles) You understand. You're someone who's not afraid to let go — and fall. (Flashback to Batman and the Joker's earlier freefall) Free falling. And I didn't pack a chute. (laughs) Do you know what I mean?
Junior Psychiatrist: Yes. Yes, I do. (Batman and the Joker land safely, and a brief shootout occurs)
Joker: I figured you would.
Junior Psychiatrist: So, may I ask...who is this person?
Joker: Someone very, very special, (i.e. Batman) but whose real name I don't even know yet! (Joker tries to shoot himself, but Batman punches him)
Junior Psychiatrist: ...My name's Harleen. Harleen Quinzel.
Joker: What a pretty name. Do your friends call you Harley?
Harleen Quinzel: Oh, I don't have a lot of friends.
Joker: Well, Harley, you got one now...
— The Joker and the future Harley Quinn's first meeting in the Arkhamverse.
Joker: All this... all this rage. All directed at me, and for what? You know if you ever let me finish a sentence you might learn something. You might learn that we're Not. So. Different. You might learn something about yourself.
Batman: You need to learn to shut up.
Joker: You know, it's sad, really. Makes me feel like you don't care to know the good side in me. I guess learning is a lot to ask from you, ''meat-for-brains''.
Batman disarms him of his handgun and kicks him across the room
Joker: Is all of this for you, or for me? You must know that I'm a lost cause. Oh but there's still hope for you! Ye-e-es... Oh I've got great hopes for you. So come on, don't stop now! What are you waiting for?
Batman throws him against a wall
Joker: You just can't get it through your thick skull. We both exist because of them!