The new Batman and a few rogues.note Clockwise from bottom left: Inque, a rejuvenated Mister Freeze, Spellbinder, and Shriek.
Mr. Fixx: You're pretty strong, for some clown who thinks he's Batman. Terry:I am Batman!
Batman Beyond (Batman of the Futurein Europe, Japan, South America, New Zealand and Australia), an animated series which aired from 1999 to 2001, was produced by the same powerhouse team that started Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.This Action Series follows the adventures of teenager Terry McGinnis (voiced by Will Friedle), in a story set in Gotham City about forty-some years in the future of the Batman: The Animated Series continuity. Batman no longer prowls the rooftops and streets. Crime returns to overtake Gotham, this time in the form of Warriors-style street gangs who base their identities on Batman's former archenemies. The most prominent of these groups, The Jokerz, end up chasing down Terry in a chance encounter to the outskirts of Wayne Manor. Coming to his aid is an aged and reclusive Bruce Wayne (still voiced by Kevin Conroy), and together they fight them off. The fight takes its toll on Bruce, and as Terry helps him back into Wayne Manor the teenager discovers the Batcave and learns Bruce's former superhero alter-ego.Bruce angrily sends him away and he returns home to discover his father was killed, made out to look like a Jokerz attack. He later happens upon evidence it was connected with secrets within Wayne-Powers Enterprises (Wayne Enterprises after a hostile merging), turning to the only person who can help him, Bruce. After initially stealing an advanced combat suit to seek revenge, Terry is allowed to don the mantle of Batman while Bruce acts as Mission Control and his mentor by coaching Terry from the Batcave. In the public sphere, Bruce hires Terry as a personal assistant as he comes back into the Gotham social circles, using their encounter with the Jokerz as the official story of how they met. Terry now has to juggle being Batman on top of his schoolwork, family obligations (mother Mary and brother Matt) and his girlfriend Dana.The Gotham of the mid-twenty-first century has the look and feel of an archetypal Cyber Punk setting, though some Noir remnants from the original series still show up. Gotham still has its old feel — crowded, corrupt, and dirty as all hell — but now some cars can fly, including the Batmobile. Wayne-Powers Enterprises doesn't have the philanthropic ideals that existed with Wayne heading the company, and Derek Powers hates the interference in his less savory endeavours caused by the new Batman. His eventual transformation into the radioactive supervillain Blight (due to the actions of Batman) makes his hatred more personal.The creators tried their best to avoid re-hashing all of the old villains and give the show its own Rogues Gallery. A number elements of the old Bat-Mythos did end up used in new ways: The Jokerz borrow the sick imagery of the most famous Bat-villain, a number of older villains show up (either in flashbacks or as aged versions of themselves), and the series even has a Commissioner Gordon (Barbara "Batgirl" Gordon, now in her 60s and opposed to the new Batman due to a past falling-out with Bruce).Since Batman: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series still had new episodes in production when Batman Beyond first went into development, no "end" existed before Beyond began. The actual impetus for the show came from a meddling executive requesting a Batman-in-high-school series that Warner Bros. could market to the Buffy audience. Because of its origins, Beyond has several flaws in both presentation and characterization, notably when it comes to the new villains (who mostly had generic motives and lacked the psychological edge of the classic Batman rogues). The show's best episodes sit right alongside the best of the other DCAU series, though. The true strength in this series lies in Bruce acting as a father figure to Terry, while Terry comes full circle as his own man (and his own Batman) and ends up surprising a jaded Bruce.A well-loved two-part episode brought in Superman and a future incarnation of the Justice League. It proved so popular that it helped sell the series of the same name (which effectively replaced this series in 2001). Batman Beyond did not have a proper Grand Finale (it ended production at the conclusion of its third season without a proper series finalé), but it did receive a proper conclusion in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Epilogue."Warner Bros. also produced a direct-to-DVD feature, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (with Mark Hamill returning as the Ace of Knaves himself), to help bridge the gap between end of the "present" DCAU in Justice League and the future of Batman Beyond. The film includes Batman's final fight with the Joker and provides a deeper reason for why he gave up the role of Batman.The show remains fondly remembered for its original take on the Batman mythology and for the strong dynamic between Terry and Bruce. A potential Live-Action Adaptation has been rumored ever since the shows inception and was at one point a forerunner for a new Batman film series before Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins came into production. After the conclusion of The Dark Knight Saga and the arrival of Man of Steel those same rumors picked up again.You can find the show on DVD (including a special edition DVD collection for the whole series) or watch it on The Hub or Netflix.Beyond had its own spinoff comic book for a while in the late 1990s, and DC began published a mini-series based on the show in the early 2010s. In 2013, three new digital comics series were based on (but not in direct continuity with) the series: Batman Beyond, Superman Beyond, and Justice League Unlimited Beyond. Currently, DC is digitally publishing Batman Beyond 2.0 and Justice League Beyond 2.0 on alternating Saturdays, with two issues of each collected in a Batman Beyond Universe floppy. For the tropes featured in those comic book adaptations, please go to the appropriate page. Beyond also spawned a spinoff animated series in The Zeta Project.Batman Beyond also got a short made as part of DC's 75 years of Batman.Creators Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett went on to write Batman Live.This show has a character sheet, a fledgling episode guide, and a Best Episode Crowner.
Batman Beyond contains examples of the following tropes:
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A Boy and His X: The show had an episode of A Boy and His Giant Robot. Also A Girl and Her Boy (Who Is A Robot). A broody old man and his badass dog, and a whole episode dedicated to a boy and his badass dog.
Abnormal Ammo: One of Ma Mayhem's sons has a gun that appears to shoot quartzite sand. By the way it shaves the surface of a mannequin, it's pretty damn effective.
King and Queen of the Royal Flush Gang value their children more as criminal accomplices than as kids, while expecting absolute loyalty from them in return. Realizing this eventually prompts first Ten and later Jack to pull a Heel-Face Turn and cut ties with their parents in favor of trying to live honestly.
Ace the Bathound, given a new treatment and role as Bruce Wayne's guard dog. He even got a flashback origin story in one episode.
Spellbinder was based on an obscure Silver Age Batman villain from the comics.
Affectionate Parody: "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" is a rather extensive parody of the Star Wars franchise that pokes fun at both the movies and the fans all while paying them a certain amount of respect.
Air-Vent Passageway: Parodied and subverted: Batman enters a vent large enough to walk in, but the subsequent sections keep getting smaller and smaller until he has to blow his way out.
All Animals Are Dogs: In "Babel", the sound manipulating villain Shriek releases a high-frequency sound similar to a dog whistle all over Gotham City. All non-humans are affected, including a gorilla. Think about that one for a minute. If there's a noise audible to primates that is high-pitched enough to make primates go nuts, it'd naturally be affecting the humans too.
All There in the Manual: Their canon status is up in the air, but the commercials that aired during the original run gave a very good explanation for why Batman does not use the invisibility feature of the Bat-suit around the clock, especially when fighting. According to the commercials, "it's hard on the batteries."
All There in the Script: Some characters' names are only given in the credits (primarily the Splicers and Bullwhip's gang).
The Earthmover. Being self-aware while trapped underground and horrifically mutated. An unsettling combination to say the least.
Ian Peak's ultimate fate: the one force that still affects him is gravity itself, so he will fall through the earth until he hits its core. Logically, he should be crushed to death by gravity coming from multiple directions when he reaches the center of Earth... Hopefully.
And That's Terrible: Killers, thieves, arms dealers are bad. But when Terry and Bruce look into a guy running a dog fighting ring, Terry feels the need to call him "scum." And the audience agrees.
Anti-Villain: Mr. Freeze, the Terrific Trio, Armory and Starro.
Arbitrary Skepticism: Subverted. Terry thinks Bruce is being unnecessarily close-minded because he does not believe the rumors of a ghost haunting Terry's high school. It turns out that Bruce does not believe these rumors because he has seen real paranormal activity, and the reports sound too amateurish and "high-school" to fit into that paradigm. In the end it turns out to be something completely different.
Art Evolution: Including a jump to digital coloring in the middle of the second season.
Artistic License - Biology: In the episode Curse of the Kobra, the terrorist organization of the title reveal that their plan is to alter the world's climate so that it raises to tropical levels and then combine their DNA with Dinosaurs. The reasoning for why they had to do this is because Dinosaurs were cold-blooded and so they could not survive in the present climate. Sounds perfectly reasonable... if Dinosaurs actually were cold-blooded. Even at the time of the episode's production there was plenty of evidence for some Dinosaurs being warm-blooded, nowadays that evidence has increased even further to the point where it seems all species of Dinosaur could have potentially been warm-blooded animals and that they could survive in a great majority of environments (even sub-arctic ones). There is certainly no question at all that Theropods (the carnivore group) were warm-blooded and they are the group Kobra was splicing its troops with. After this plan is stopped their leader, Zander, (who appeared to have been spliced with a Tyrannosaurus rex) overreacts to the point where it seems like the temperature of the climate would kill him in less than 15 minutes. Even if a dinosaur the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex was cold-blooded, it would still be able to maintain its internal body temperature through something called gigantothermy or bulk homeothermy.
Art Shift: The opening of the first episode, showing how Bruce retired, uses the darker color sensibilities of The New Batman Adventures, in subtle contrast to the paler and brighter colors of Beyond.
Ascended Extra: One episode had Terry's friend Jared Tate get a new stepdad, Big Jim, who wins Jared over by buying him a car. The character and wedding event were only the backdrop to a robbery committed by Spellbinder, but Big Jim later became an Anti-Villain in another episode when he lost his job and could not afford to maintain his life-style. Being a talented weapons designer, he was hired under-the-table to build a prototype weapon with materials that could only be gotten by stealing from other high-end companies, eventually coming into conflict with Batman.
Ascended Fanboy: The episode "Sentries of the Last Cosmos" revolves around Terry's friend becoming one of these.
Asleep in Class: Terry is shown to fall asleep in class due to the pressures of balancing his normal life with the responsibilities of being the Batman.
The Atoner: Revealed in stages; no mention is made of Terry's juvenile record until several episodes have passed, and it was not until the third season that the details of what happened were explained. Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker openly established that while his father's death drove him to become Batman, it was his past failures that kept him going.
Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The monstrous "dog" at the end "Ace in the Hole." It makes a grizzly bear look puny, almost destroys Terry's suit in a single mauling, and then tries to eat him. Ace, fittingly, saves the day.
Autobots, Rock Out!: Epic action setpieces are set to pounding industrial drumbeats and chugging heavy metal guitar riffs. However, the producers inverted this trope in "Shriek", where the villain of the title kills all the sound except Batman's footsteps. It is very effective.
Kairi is back in "Curse of the Cobra," only to die in the final minutes of the two-parter.
Talia is actually long dead, but she - or rather her body being controlled by her father comes back. This probably counts for him as it's implied he won't be able to come back from this one.
Backstab Backfire: In a flashback in "Ace in the Hole", Bruce Wayne, while making his pilgrimage to the site where his parents were killed, was ambushed by a Jokerz thug who wanted to mug him. He effortlessly beat him, and then told the Jokerz to leave. The Jokerz thug wasn't done yet, so he tried to attack him again while Wayne was walking away. However, Wayne wasn't the one who stopped him: Ace stopped him.
Bruce Wayne is still able to take on a gang of thugs in his old age, even if his weak heart leaves him collapsed afterwards.
Barbara Gordon is now the commissioner, and reveals in multiple episodes that she still "has it".
When Superman appears in "The Call" he has not aged as poorly as Bruce due to his alien physiology, and retains all the formidable powers of Superman.
Badass Normal: Quite a few of Terry's Rogues Gallery have no major powers and are still able to go toe-to-toe with the new powered Batsuit. Mad Stan in particular has been beaten and tossed through walls only to get up without visible debilitation.
Bad Guys Play Pool: Our first (and, for all intents and purposes, last) look at the Ts' lair is of their leader playing some kind of futuristic pool that involves the ball exploding when it lands in the corner pocket.
Batman Grabs a Gun: One of the reasons that convinced the aging Bruce to finally hang up the cowl, after suffering a heart-attack in the middle of a rescue and being forced to pick up a gun to defend himself against a criminal.
Bat Signal: Used once by Paxton Powers to get Batman's attention. Batman puts it out with a batarang. "Next time, use e-mail."
Bedlam House: The Ranch, an institution that therapeutically "helps" troubled kids in "The Last Resort," turns out to be Bedlam For Children. Averted with the group psychology sessions in "Payback", which appear to be normal and healthy talk sessions, though they were not featured long enough to tell if they were or were not effective.
Being Evil Sucks: In "Joyride", Lee, a Jokerz recruit, tags along as Scab, another member of the gang, hijacks an experimental advanced fighter craft. He becomes increasingly horrified as Scab goes mad with power and does things like attacking a rival gang armed with nothing but chains and tasers. When he overhears Scab denouncing the Jokerz as a crutch and ignoring Terry's warnings that the craft's illegal nuclear reactor is going critical that's the last straw. He knocks down Scab with a folding chair and leaves the Jokerz forever.
Betrayal Insurance: Bruce Wayne seems to have been keeping a piece of Kryptonite locked away for years just in case.
BFG: Many Beyond villains have at least one BFG in their armory, including Armory, who even builds one while tackling Batman.
The B Grade: Carter's near perfect GAT score (compared to Max's perfect one) motivates him to wipe the scores from the school's record and attempt to kill Max as Terminal.
Big Damn Heroes: Both Terry and Bruce get in on the act with this, often with the former saving the latter or vice versa.
Big "NO!": Shriek's reaction to losing his hearing.
Big Store: The Brain Trust had a building made up to look like a school for gifted children, as a cover for abductions: on closer inspection, rows of computer terminals were empty monitor casings, most floors had never even been used, etc.
Bio Punk: The show has strong elements of this with the splicers and Kobra cult who are heavily into genetic manipulation.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: April Corso. She seems like a lab tech who, against all odds, is sweet on the much-older senior scientist she works with- so sweet on him that she jumps on him when he proposes. But she's actually cheating on him with the leader of the gang blackmailing the scientist into providing them physical upgrades so they can commit crimes. Her dialogue indicates that she doesn't care about her husband, just the money, and quite possibly only married him to set up the I Have Your Wife situation.
Black and Nerdy: Max. She has quite the advanced computer programming skills.
Doctor Able Cuvier mutates into something several times his size, has his skin ripped off (by protruding bones), violently morphs his fingers into lobster claws, grows several extra eyes, sprouts tentacles...
Toxic waste covers Earthmover, turning him into a living corpse embedded in the earth, with flourescent green toxic waste "blood vessels" extending from his body into the earth around him, controlling it.
The Human Shifting criminal False Face can rearrange his face to impersonate anyone he wants. As a consequence of this ability, his facial muscles are so malleable that Batman actually caved his face in by punching him hard enough.
Inque tried to drown Terry by forcing herself down his throat. Even the subtitles refer to Terry's reaction as "retching."
Charlie "Bigtime" Bigelow, after being doused in an unstable mutagen, turns into an overmuscled creature.
Bond Villain Stupidity: The Big Bad of "Splicers", rather than just killing Batman when he has the chance, instead decides to "splice" him and then try to kill him.
Terry: Computer. Analyze the metal this thing's made of.
Terry: Uh... Do the thing where you figure out what it's made of.
Computer:Request for spectrographic analysis.
Terry: Yeah, that's it. What you said.
Bullying a Dragon: In the first episode, Nelson taunts Terry for not being athletic enough (the classic "loser"). When a gang of Jokerz shows up and Terry turns out to have sufficient fighting skills to chase off the entire gang, Nelson's response is "I always knew you were a freak." Fortunately for Nelson, Terry (perpetually) has bigger fish to fry. Nelson learned his lesson eventually; in a later episode, when Terry intervened to keep Nelson from harassing Willie Watt, Nelson wisely backed down. When Watt came back ripped with muscle and sporting psychic powers, however, Nelson still didn't see fit to refrain from antagonizing him, though he at least had the common sense to get Watt to fight fair (Watt did cheat when things didn't go his way, though).
Blight: "Who are you?" Batman: "You really want to know?" Blight: "Yes!" Batman: "You Killed My Father." [Beat] Blight: "...do you have the slightest idea how little that narrows it down?"
And again in "Speak No Evil."
Fingers: "Where is my mother?" Van Dyle: "I-I p-probably sold her." Fingers: "Probably?!" Van Dyle: "I-I don't know. I d-don't keep track." Fingers: "She was my mother!" Van Dyle: "To me, it was just another gorilla."
Bystander Syndrome: Dana and Howard don't care much when Terry hears somebody scream in "Speak No Evil". It's to be expected when you live in a city as crime-ridden as Gotham.
Terry learns to take note of his surroundings thanks to Spellbinder. It comes in handy in future episode 'Mind Games', where he goes up against an opponent with the ability to induce illusions and use telekinesis.
When Inque manages to get into the Batcave and is in the midst of suffocating Terry via Orifice Invasion, Bruce shows up with a fire hose and wearing the costume of the Gray Ghost, Bruce's boyhood hero from Batman: The Animated Series.
Canis Major: In the episode "Ace in Hole", Terry (aka Batman) is locked in the dog fight ring with a vicious gigantic mutated mastiff.
Canon Immigrant: Batman Beyond as a whole is now one of the 52 universes in DC Universe Canon. Terry McGinnis has been indicated to be a future Batman in the main DC Universe, though he's mentored by Damian Wayne instead of Bruce Wayne.
Cast as a Mask: Used in the squickiest way imaginable when they brought back Ra's al Ghul, although it was nice to hear David Warner's voice again.
Casting Gag: The future Superman was voiced by Christopher McDonald, who portrayed Jor-El in the opening episodes of Superman: The Animated Series. He was chosen, instead of having Tim Daly reprise the role, in order to show that Superman had grown up and beyond his character in the earlier series. In the same episode, Aquagirl was voiced by Jodie Benson—"Ariel" from The Little Mermaid.
Caught in the Rain: A version of this, at least, in "Dead Man's Hand", where Terry and Melanie share a kiss in the rain after almost missing each other.
Chair Reveal: Subverted. In the pilot, Terry raids a hovercraft with nerve gas and does not even wait for the pilot chair to turn around; he kicks it himself. Turns out the pilot is right behind him.
Character Development: Terry begins the series as a cocky but slippery superhero who has a tendency to overuse cheesy lines. As the show progresses he finds his physical and mental abilities growing, to the point where he is able to fight crime at several points without Bruce's help, in addition to developing a darker, more deadpan sense of humor.
Chekhov's Boomerang: One of Mr. Freeze's ice ray guns comes in handy against Inque who can turn into liquid.
Old man Wayne actually pulls useful equipment from his gallery several times, such as his old utility belt when the current Batsuit gets corrupted, or the Gray Ghost's hat and goggles when he needs to hide his identity. It's awesome.
Child Mage: In "Mind Games", Terry has to rescue a psychic little girl from an evil organization of telepaths who want to initiate her via kidnapping. While he saves her, he also gets her help since she's a pretty powerful kid.
Chocolate Baby: Mary and Warren McGinnis, redhead and brown-haired respectively, have two black-haired sons. It is revealed in "Epilogue" that this is because Warren McGinnis' reproductive DNA was overwritten with Bruce Wayne's without anybody's knowledge in an attempt to produce another Batman.
City of Adventure: The show redefined the sense of scale, with "Old Gotham" easily dwarfed by the multitude of Babel towers that stretch endlessly into the sky.
Clear My Name: Terry needs to convince the world that, despite what Barbara saw, he did not brutally beat Mad Stan to death by clubbing him with his own bomb.
Clothes Make the Superman: Lacking Bruce's twenty years of intensive training, Terry depends initially on his powered exoskeleton batsuit; inverted in one episode where he proves he is just as good out of it, and actually has to fight the suit. In a bit of continuity backfilling, the DVD movie Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman essentially explained where Bruce Wayne got both the idea and technology underlying the Beyond suit.
The Batcave is a virtual museum of past adventures, including the beloved episode "Beware The Gray Ghost". Additionally, technology introduced in one-off episodes of the original series is treated as a fact of life in future Gotham.
Converse with the Unconscious: Aaron Herbst in "Disappearing Inque" has spent months talking to the frozen Inque as if she were his confidant; he's fired when it gets to the point of kissing her ice block. Inque, who was conscious the whole time, is not happy about it after she gets out. He'd later be on the other end of this at the end of the episode.
Cool Old Guy: Bruce, naturally, and Superman, now wearing a stark black and white outfit with no cape that is supposed to show heavier influences from his Kryptonian heritage. Superman himself shows few signs of age apart from a few extra lines and grey temples.
Colour Coded Characters: Inverted, what with Batman being the Dark Knight. All the gangs in the town, including The Jokerz and The Ts, are bright and highly visible. Most of the background characters wear bright colors to stand out from the scenery, particularly blue.
Conveniently Seated: There was a tendency to show Terry and any other important character (Max, Dana, Nelson, etc.) in the front row, no matter how improbable it is that they would choose to sit there. Perhaps assigned seating?
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Derek Powers, season 1's Big Bad. Paxton Powers nominally takes over for him in the season 1 finale, but it just is not the same. Paxton is selfish and unscrupulous (and not seen very often after the end of season 1); Derek was just plain bad.
Bill Wallace in "Earth Mover" counts because of his illegal tokic waste dumping back when he couldn't afford to do it the proper (and legal) way.
Crazy-Prepared: This is still Batman we are talking about. Terry is a good student (sometimes). It is shown just how prepared Bruce is in the episode "Black Out":
Terry: "She's trying to escape!" (Bruce pushes a button, doors close.)
Bruce: "Helps to be prepared."
Terry: "She's getting through! "(Bruce pushes another button, door becomes electrified) "Man. You really are prepared."
Bruce: (Cue Inque slithering up to the ceiling) She won't get through that way either. There's a foot of solid steel up there."
Barbara, meanwhile, has also taken the lessons of her old mentor to heart, turning the Gotham police into a genuine force to be reckoned with.
Create Your Own Villain: Derek Powers became Blight because of Terry throwing a nerve gas container at him as a distraction. He survived the exposure, but the cure turned him into a nightlight. Powers was already a Corrupt Corporate Executive; Terry gave him powers.
Cryptic Background Reference: The Near Apocalypse of 2009. Nothing is known about it except it was the last battle between the first Batman and Ra's al Ghul where Talia finally betrayed him for good. No other details are known about it, and so it has become a popular subject whenever fans demand more closure to the DCAU, although Word of God says they never really planned to cover the event in any of the animated shows, and at this point it does not seem like they ever will.
Curse of Babel: In "Babel", Shriek messes with soundwaves, preventing anyone in Gotham City from being able to communicate intelligibly.
Cursed with Awesome: Terry takes his job of Batman differently at several points in the series. For the most part, he appears more appreciative and aware of how awesome being Batman actually is than Bruce did when he was still in the cowl, as seen in the second part of "Rebirth". On the other hand, when Max expresses desire to be Batman or a similar superhero, Terry tries to convince her that being Batman "isn't fun," and is not something to be lightly treated or entered into. In the famous "Epilogue" episode, an older Terry angsts over how Batman is a curse since he can not be close to Dana and, since discovering Bruce is his father, he believes he has been manipulated since birth to become Batman. By the end of the episode, it is shown that he has probably changed his mind.
Inverted with Shriek, who actually tried to make legitimate money off his inventions and became a criminal in order to secure funding for his research.
Played straight with Spellbinder; the man has mind control technology, yet his plans seem to be to brainwash teenagers to steal stuff. He must have really, really hated his job as a child psychologist.
Bane's caretaker took the chemical formula for Venom, which Bane now needs just to stay alive, and mass-produced it as a slap-on skin patch which he sold as a performance-enhancing drug.
Dr. Peter Corso has cashed his checks: he runs a successful and respected medical clinic where he uses advanced cybernetics to create prosthetic limbs for those injured in accidents. However, he becomes the supplier and mechanic for a gang of criminals when they kidnap his wife.She isn't really kidnapped; she's actually just using both him and the gang to get rich.
Dating Catwoman: Ten of the Royal Flush Gang and Terry, with Terry unaware until after she breaks up with him and Melanie never finding out. Bruce was amused when Terry asked him "this kinda thing ever happen to you?".
Bruce: Let me tell you about a woman named Selina Kyle...
Dead Man Switch: In "The Final Cut," Mutro Botha, the last surviving member of the Society of Assassins, blackmails Batman into protecting him from Curaré, who has wiped out the rest of the Society, by hiding a bomb in Gotham City, programmed to go off if he does not enter the proper code every 12 hours. It doesn't do him much good.
Deadpan Snarker: Old Bruce, but the second half of the show's run presents Terry as an emerging, darkly comical cynic in the same mold as his mentor. In the first episode, Terry is cornered by Jokerz next to a creepy old gate complete with haunted forest. Cue Bruce walking out of the forest and telling those damned kids to get off his property.
Jokerz Leader: "We're the Jokerz!"
Old Bruce: "Sure you are."
Death by Secret Identity: Ian Peek manages to learn the identity of both Terry and Bruce, but is stuck sinking to the Earth's core by the end of the episode.
Debate and Switch: Shriek temporarily released a high-pitch frequency pulse throughout Gotham, causing chaos by making speaking incomprehensible and threatened a repeat performance using a more powerful pulse that would kill everyone unless Batman gave himself up to him. Terry wrestled with the morality of sacrificing one life for many, versus the loss his friends and loved ones would experience, and the disgust of sacrificing himself for the ungrateful populace of Gotham, who side with Shriek and insist Batman was at fault and should give in to his demand. Terry figures out Shriek is using two giant towers as a tuning fork and confronts him at his base of operations, destroying the towers in the process. Bruce asks him at the end if Terry would have given himself up had he not figured out where Shriek was and Terry evades the question, telling him to focus on their repair of the batsuit.
Deflector Shields: A villain called Repeller, who could use his impenetrable force field both offensively and defensively like Sue Storm, with enough force to break titanium. He was defeated when Batman lured him near an active giant turbine; the extremely loud noise caused him to deactivate his suit.note The suit's nature made it impossible for him to cover his ears.
Some episodes showed Terry to be a lot more competent than others, generally with regards to whether or not he has his own martial arts skills or needs to rely solely on the advanced batsuit and its complementary gadgets.
Some of the advanced batsuit's functions were prone to a lot of variation. Especially noticeable with the strength-enhancement, which varied between giving him genuine super strength and being effectively non-existent depending on what suited the plot.
Digitized Hacker: "Lost Soul" has a one-off villain like this: Robert Vance, a computer mogul who had his brain digitized and eventually went mad after he was shut down for decades. His first item of business after he's rebooted and hooked up to the 'net: Flex his digital muscles by wreaking havoc in the city. Second order: Commandeer Terry's computerized suit to kidnap his grandson and download himself into the younger body.
The same thing was only just averted on Bruce Wayne's part, as part of a plot to kill him.
The Terrific Trio discover that the Freak Lab Accident that gave them superpowers was slowly killing them, and driving them insane. They set up the experiment again to force their colleague to reveal that the lab "accident" was anything but - at that point they refuse to stop it, deciding to kill themselves, along with him, and thousands more. Batman is forced to kill them to save the city.
In "The Winning Edge", in which Bane's Super Serum Venom could easily be substituted for real-life steroidal compounds and other performance enhancing drugs. It approached the issue as a medical and criminal issue to be handled rationally. Bane himself appears in the episode as a shriveled vegetable as opposed to the giant we know him as, after years of Venom intake.
A bit more heavy handed in the episode which associated virtual reality with drug use, which features Terry's friend and confidant Max going from wanting to take the operation down into a shivering addict willing to fight Batman to protect it after one brief session.
The episode "Splicers" primarily revolved around a body-modification aesop, the genetic splicing served as a metaphor for tattoos and piercings, but the process was addictive, mind-altering and administered through injections.
Dumb Muscle: Everyone thinks Big Time is this in his second appearance. He hates it, and it eventually leads him to try and backstab everyone to come out on top himself.
Establishing Character Moment: Terry beats up a Jokerz member harassing monorail passengers in his very first appearance. It was only after that he was shown to have a temper.
Exactly What I Aimed At: In "Eyewitness", while the framed Batman is being pursued by Barbara and a SWAT team, Batman pretends to surrender and then throws a Batarang at Barbara, who dodges it... only to discover that Batman had been aiming at Spellbinder, who was lurking invisible behind her, the whole time.
The Royal Flush Gang are a loose Expy of Marvel's Hellfire Club, but with a playing card motif instead of Chess Motifs. They're a close-knit, generations-old fraternity of criminals with family ties, they live in a mansion and dress like 18th-century aristocrats when they're not in the field, they have code-names corresponding to individual playing cards, and their lineup includes a snarky, blonde Woman in White who's clearly based on Emma Frost (they both even have the code-name "Queen").
The production team went out of their way to avert making obvious expies of classic Batman villains (like making, say, "Robo-Penguin") but sometimes made them vaguely similar (the shape-shifting Inque echoing Clayface, the illusion-casting/ mind controlling Spellbinder mirroring Mad Hatter, the evil businessman Derek Powers like Lex Luthor). Fans have also noted that many of them have mirrors with Spider-Man villains (Derek Powers = Norman Osborn, Inque = Venom, False Face = Chameleon, Stalker = Kraven, Shriek = Shocker, Spellbinder = Mysterio, etc)
Expressive Mask: The Batsuit mimics the facial expressions of the wearer to an extent. A conscious style choice by the artists, so Terry was able to emote (eyes wide in shock was a particularly popular one).
Eye Take: Terry has plenty of these moments, especially while Batsuiting it up on a mission.
Facepalm: Terry actually does this a couple of times in the series, but most notably in "Mind Games" after he kicks a Mook out of a skyscraper and after hitting the ground, the Mook simply gets up, dusts himself off, and gives Terry a Death Glare.
Facial Recognition Software: There is one that can search a database using a pieced-together image of a person's face, and then there is one that can search a database by seeing if your mind recognizes any of a series of fast-flashing photographs.
Fake-Out Make-Out: Inque and Aaron Herbst in "Disappearing Inque". Aaron likes it, as he is infatuated with Inque, but she just used it to get out of a sticky situation and she hits and threatens him right afterward. She's not a nice lady.
Falling into the Cockpit: In "Joyride", the Jokerz have no issues at all in piloting the top-secret military gunship they steal.
A really terrifying example is in the episode "Sneak Peek", where a tabloid reporter gains the ability to go through walls. He finds out that Terry is Batman and Terry tries to convince him not to reveal his secret. Unfortunately, this power goes bad and he starts to be like this permanently and falls through several stories. Terry tries to rescue him, but the reporter couldn't stay tangible for long and just keeps falling, presumably to the center of the earth.
One episode had the intensely disturbing scene where a man fell into a hole slowly filling with toxic waste. His limbs fell off when he hit the ground.
The episode about "Splicers" which ended with the Big Bad injecting himself with so much animal DNA he mutated in a gigantic blob-crab-monster. Yikes!
The episode where Bane's crony died from taking way too many venom-derived slappers, while Bane himself was in an all-but-dead vegetative state.
The show specialized in doing this while making it a Gory Discretion Shot. People were fed to crocodiles, run over by trains, and exploded. The one that sticks out is the end of "April Moon", where a doctor attempts to save his wife from the gang by giving them new equipment. By the end of the episode, it's revealed that his wife was actually in on it the whole time and was cheating on him with the gang leader. The doctor knows, but the leader doesn't. So he comes in to get upgraded anyway, and the pissed-off doctor tells him that everything will be fine as he lowers a drill toward his face. Cue black.
Dana in the white dress from the episode "Rats." She seems aware of it too because when she invites Terry out for a date, she calls and says "Meet me at Rhino's. I'll be wearing that dress you like." Cue Terry's shocked expression and "Whoa."
She actually always borders on Ms. Fanservice with her sky blue dress, which is only about an inch low enough to avoid trouble with the censors, as well as being very form-fitting. Also, Blade and her mini skirts.
"The Winning Edge" did a story about steroid use in athletics without using the word "steroids". They were "slappers" and turned out to contain the Venom used by Bane. The effects of Venom are much more disturbing than those of steroids.
Splicers used animal mutagens to make a drug-like culture. No adverse or overt addictive side-effects were shown, but the Splicers were portrayed as being deviant and intrinsically more confrontational. Both this episode and "The Winning Edge" end up with Batman killing the villain with what basically amounts to a drug overdose.
Total-immersion Virtual Reality (computer-generated euphoric hallucinations) was portrayed as being very addictive, with catastrophic side effects inevitably resulting from prolonged use.
Fate Worse than Death: Some of the villains. An older Bane is kept on life-support as a vegetable, and a guy with a crush on Inque receives a similar mutation but none of the cool abilities. Ian Peek is eventually left incorporeal and sinks forever until he gets to the earth's core. Then there is this exchange:
Stalker: There are worse things than an honorable death.
Batman: Betcha it's a short list.
Fauxreigner: Kairi fakes a heavy Japanese accent because it sells more fish that way. She speaks normally when she isn't working or teaching her students.
Flanderization: Dana starts out as a sweet, friendly, teasing, mostly understanding girlfriend who tries to deal with Terry's new priorities and sometimes loses her patience and temper with his absences. By the second season, nagging him is almost all she does, with very little of the teasing tone she used to have. Justified; Dana would logically get more annoyed with Terry ditching her over time.
During the course of Hooked Up, Terry faces off with Spellbinder who attempts to use mind control on him. During this time Terry flashes back to several previous moments in the series, including one frame from when he fought a hideously mutated Dr. Cuvier in Splicers.
In the episode "Out of the Past," when Ra's al Ghul in the body of Talia is about to run through Batman with a sword, he catches the blade in his hands and delivered the sword into the computer's control panel. This sends a highly visible electrical current through Talia's body where, in a couple of frames, Ra's al Ghul, whose essence had completely usurped Talia's existence, is seen matching Talia's agony during the electrocution.
The Jokerz are a traditional gang, full of punks and troublemakers who dress and behave in a manner evocative of The Joker. Their primary rivals are the T's, whose members adorn themselves with face-paint in the shape of the letter "T," reminiscent of the second Mister Terrific
The Royal Flush Gang is a super-villain crime family that dresses in costumes and steal treasures related (sometimes rather tenuously) to playing cards; examples include diamonds, antique swords (The "spades" suit was originally the "swords" suit), and a yacht taken from a millionaire's club.
Gangsta Style: Used very briefly by a Jokerz member in Hidden Agenda.
Garnishing the Story: Pick one of these tropes and you can almost guarantee it appeared in the show, or was combined with one or more to produce a disturbing hybrid/mutated trope. A good example containing a couple would be "Splicers".
Go Karting with Bowser: Terry is investigating an attempted assassination of Bruce Wayne and decides to visit what might be the source of the technology used in the attack. However, instead of sneaking in as Batman he dresses up as a delivery boy and brings over a pizza. He and Walter Shreeve end up splitting the pie and pleasantly talking about sound waves... at least, until Terry's questions get a bit too pointed and Shreeve tries to split open his head.
Gone Horribly Right: Derek Powers apparently taught Paxton Powers to be ruthless in acquiring power. Let's just say that Paxton took it to heart and backstabbed his old man in the latter's final appearance.
Good with Numbers: Not exactly. Apparently people don't bother to do simple math in their head anymore. Terry memorized the multiplication table, a skill which Dana finds strange and useless since everyone just uses a calculator.
The effects of Derek Power's nerve gas on animal test subjects. Also, the final moments of the poor guy who gave Terry's dad the info on said gas who got exposed to it in an accident. Mr. Powers shows some photos to a dictator interested in obtaining the nerve gas; we don't get to see the last 2 photos, but the expression on the dictator's face tells us it's not pretty.
When Inque tries to suffocate Batman by cramming herself down his throat, Bruce manages to fend her off by spraying her with a fire hose, and we are then treated to the sounds of Terry heaving and the sight of Inque's leftovers spilling all over the ground.
Grand Theft Me: A key plot point in "Out of the Past", after Ra's al Ghul had already grabbed his daughter's body.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: In the comics, Terry had to use Bruce's old-fashioned grappler, among other gadgets from the first suit's belt, because Shriek knew the sound waves able to break the newest gear. At one point, Shriek destroys Terry's suit, and while Terry free-falls, he latches onto a building with the grappler.
Terry: Hey, this isn't so hard. *The grappler tightens and Terry feels the force of it on his shoulder.* Ungh.
The villain Spellbinder opens a VR arcade, where people can experience their greatest fantasies. However, he deliberately made the effect addictive. As soon as people leave VR, they experience intense withdrawal symptoms. He uses this to get people to steal for him.
Another episode features more conventional drugs, essentially steroids taken like nicotine patches called "slappers." It turned out that they're based on Bane's venom, which by this time has rendered him an invalid.
Happily Married: Barbara and Sam. Terry's parents were divorced, but were still on good terms and his mother is severly affected by Warren's murder.
Headphones Equal Isolation: In "Untouchable", a maintenance woman was oblivious to a battle between Batman and the Repeller because of her headphones.
Hearing Voices: One villain's plot was to convince everyone Bruce had gone crazy so he could be locked up. Bruce himself never believed it, and Terry eventually uncovered the secret. At the end, Terry asks how Bruce knew he wasn't crazy, which leads to this exchange:
Bruce: ...the voice kept calling me Bruce. In my mind, that's not what I call myself.
Terry: Oh yeah. I suppose you would. [whispers] But that's my name now.
Bruce: Hm. Tell that to my subconscious.
Here We Go Again: In the episode, "Disappearing Inque", Aaron Herbst, who worked at Gotham Cryogenics is infatuated with a frozen Inque and talks to her in her inert state about his unfulfilling life. After he kisses the ice-block, he's caught on camera in the act and is fired. He then frees Inque and begs her to have a similar mutation. She does, but only in half-state, making him barely able to move. After Inque's defeat, he ends up in Gotham Cryogenics in the same situation on the other end with a female caretaker, with the camera filming her entire conversation with him.
Heroic BSOD: After Bruce is forced to grab a gun to defend himself whilst suffering a heart attack, he's so disgusted with himself that he hangs up the cowl and becomes a shut-in for the next 20 years.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Terry's batarangs are ridiculously collapsible (folding down into what looks like a 1.5x2" rectangle) and concealed in dispensers on his wrists and utility belt.
I Am a Monster: Batman pleads with the Magma Man of the TerrificTrio to not destroy the city by continuing the experiment that gave them their powers, because he's a hero. Magma disagrees:
Magma:No... I'm an accident. Real heroes, they make a choice. I never did.
Idiot Ball: In the episode "Where's Terry?" Max notices one of the Ts has Terry's backpack. After following their gang to their hideout, Bruce knocks on the door and offers to buy the bag. He then enters the building, alone, after saying that he has considerable cash on him. Max does rescue him, but it was an alarmingly bad plan for Bruce.
The reasoning is also used by Max when Terry tells her about how he went to talk to Dr. Peter Corso about the cybernetic implants he has been making for a criminal gang (for reasons explained in the I Have Your Wife entry below) and he ambushed him with a sedative before moving his entire operation elsewhere. Max points out that while Peter did trick him, he also didn't use a perfect opportunity to kidnap or kill him or even just expose his secret identity, which suggests to Terry that Dr. Corso might not have actually turned evil.
I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Wil Friedle, who plays the main hero Terry, is best friends with Jason Marsden in real life, who played guest character Donny Grasso in "Hooked Up". The two actors have worked with each other in a number of other shows as well.
I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: A Fantastic Four-ish group called the Terrific Trio goes insane and tries to set off a nuclear reactor. Terry tries to stop their leader by reminding him that he's supposed to be a hero.
Magma: No... I'm an accident. Real heroes, they make a choice. I never did.
Impersonating an Officer: One episode shows people from the criminal organization KOBRA dressing up as cops to get Batman to willingly hand over a boy they've been targeting, who knows what Batman looks like under his mask.
It was never explored in the show, but DVD commentaries and behind-the-scene features reveal that Bruce Wayne has lost almost all of the vast Wayne Fortune in the intervening years between the original series and the current story. He survives on the returns from his stock holdings in Wayne-Powers, which he could sell for a massive profit, but he would never do so because he would lose any last remaining influence over the company.
One episode revealed this is the case for Paxton Powers. All of his assets are tied up in investments — he lives entirely on corporate perks.
In Splicers, the word of chimera is pronounced as 'shi-mera' though the technical pronunciation is actually 'kai-mera'. While the name for the splicing company may have been called 'shi-mera' for fashionable preferences, Cuvier calls himself an actual chimera using the 'shi' substitute.
Terry is corrected on how to pronounce Ra's al Ghul's name, and is told it's a common mistake. (It's "Raysh", not "Roz".)
At the beginning of the episode "Babel" Bruce changes the subject, telling Terry that they have a Batsuit to repair. At the end of the episode, when Bruce asks him a question, Terry changes the subject using the same excuse.
"Meltdown" has a sinister one, both times: "Remember: there may be some momentary discomfort."
In "Heroes", the General reminds Hodges that if the Trio found out about their deteriorating condition, then they would've become dangerously psychotic. Later:
Dr. Hodges: But the whole city will become a hot zone! You're crazy! 2-D Man: I believe your words were "dangerously psychotic".
Inspector Javert: Barbara tends to come off as such towards Terry. It's shown to its greatest extent in "Eyewitness," in which Spellbinder uses his illusion technology to make Barbara believe that Batman had murdered Mad Stan in cold blood. When he is exposed and promptly arrested, Spellbinder takes the time to taunt Barbara:
Spellbinder: You were so ready to believe the worst [in Batman], it was easy.
Jury Duty: When Mad Stan blew up the City Hall (in a virtual reality simulator owned by Spellbinder) one of the things he expected from this was "no more jury duty".
Just Friends: Howard has the nerve to say this to a super-strong gynoid girlfriend he bought when said gynoid has been actively trying to kill people for most of the episode. It does not end well. Terry even lampshades it:
Howie: (as Cynthia starts to malfunction in rage) Wrong thing to say?
Batman: You're sure about this? Bruce Wayne: All of their crimes are playing-card-related, and the earliest playing-card decks had swords, not spades. Batman: How does the yacht fit in? Bruce Wayne: It was part of a yacht club. Batman: Ouch. Bruce Wayne: I thought so.
Batman(right after Freeze started his rampage): Oh... Freeze.
Legacy Character: What is interesting is that there is a touch of infighting between the original and the new Batman over the name and position. Once when Bruce was returned to fighting shape via the Lazarus Pits Terry bitterly commented that there was no way he was going to be Robin. Then there was this exchange:
Terry: How did you know? Bruce: For one, I know I'm not crazy. Terry: Hope your other reason is more convincing. Bruce: The voice was also calling me Bruce. In my mind, that's not what I call myself. Terry: [confused look until it dawns on him] Oh... you would call yourself that. But that's my name now. Bruce: Tell that to my subconscious.
On the rare occasions when Bruce Wayne finds himself back in action, he is accompanied by the symphonic themes from Batman: The Animated Series. When he and Terry fight side-by-side in "Out of the Past," the theme from Batman: The Animated Series is remixed into a metal version similar to the Batman Beyond theme.
A subtle version of it also plays in Babel, where Wayne steadfastly tells Gordon he will not order Batman to sacrifice himself due to public demand.
Let's Get Dangerous: Tamara from "Mind Games" was already established as competent, if young, skillfully managing to contact Terry despite being in danger and cooperating with him to save her. However, when he's in trouble, she casts a huge illusion to distract his opponent, and later strikes a guy blind with her powers to save Terry.
Lighter and Softer: Inverted, despite what the executives wanted. It was originally intended to be a show targeted towards the younger generation, and DVD commentary reveals that studio executives were constantly pushing for goofier gadgets (including a mini-Batcave in Terry's home) and kid sidekicks (Terry's younger brother, Matt, was apparently supposed to be Kid-Batman. No, not Robin, but an kid version of Batman). The finished episodes and storylines were substantially darker, including dealing with death, drugs (not in a Very Special Episode way) and bold-faced violence in a way other cartoons refused to approach. Critical and popular reception seems to have validated this decision....except for the fact that in order to win an Emmy, the DCAU team had to submit the goofiest, most child-friendly episode in the show's history.
Limb-Sensation Fascination: In "Meltdown", Mister Freeze has his consciousness transferred from a Head In A Jar to a cloned body. After the completion of this process, he walks to the window, puts his hand to it, and says "cold" (it's winter) with a look of absolute joy on his face. He has been numb to the sensation for decades.
Little "No": When the Terrific Trio recreate the dangerous experiment that gave them their powers which threatens to kill thousands, after their colleague reveals it wasn't an accident:
In "Disappearing Inque", Terry murmurs "No..." when he sees that Bruce is wearing an old set of experimental powered armor (stressing his heart and putting his life at risk regardless of the outcome of the fight with Inque).
Lotus-Eater Machine: In "Hooked Up", Spellbinder puts teens in a highly addictive one, so that when he cuts them off, they'll do anything to get back in - including steal for him.
Love Makes You Crazy: In "Heroes", Dr. Hodges confessed of setting up the whole thing to kill Mike so that he could take Mary for himself. He didn't mean for Mary to be affected as well, nor for them to end up in their current conditions.
Loving a Shadow: The old Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl, now Commissioner, admits that her infatuation with Bruce Wayne, the original Batman, had some of this during a conversation to try and persuade Terry from going on with being the new Batman.
Luke, I Am Your Father: Terry and Bruce, via a Government Conspiracy and genetic modification of Warren, Terry's father, who did the physical coupling with his mother. He does not find out until he is thirty, however, and he is pissed when he does.Word of God has also confirmed that Terry's younger brother is also Bruce Wayne's genetic son.
Mad Bomber: Mad Stan's first line is "BLOW IT ALL UP!" He is a complete Conspiracy Nut who is obsessed with blowing up large businesses and government institutions, thinking he is saving the public from mass brainwashing.
Mad Love: Inque and a random sap named Aaron Herbst who supervised her while in prison. Aaron ends up requesting to be given shapeshifting powers like Inque, to which Inque responds by giving him only half the treatment, causing him to mutate into a liquedated, powerless blob, and in the end being on the receiving end of this trope.
Made of Explodium: Synthia, from "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot." You do not want to get her mad.
Made of Iron: Several of the characters, as standard in superhero comics. Mad Stan probably takes the cake, though, as he is able to go toe to toe with a power armoured Terry and survive bomb blasts at point blank.
Mad Scientist: They are EVERYWHERE! All of Gotham's original disturbed genome tinkerers must have had an all-night love-in to spawn so many.
Magical Girl Friend: The aptly named episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" plays with this idea. Terry's geeky friend Howard purchases an (illegal) human-like synthoid robot which looks like a beautiful woman, whom he names Synthia and has programmed to be "totally into me". Problem is, she is scarily possessive and has superhuman strength. She nearly kills a couple of people who bully Howard and Batman has to step in. When Howard decides they should see other people, she explodes.
May-December Romance: Bruce and Barbara had this kind of relationship before breaking up permanently.
Meaningful Name: The deadly and proficient silent masked assassin, Curaré. Curaré is also the name for a poisonous plant used by South American native peoples to tip their arrows.
Meaningful Rename: When Walter Shreeve, sound researcher and technician, is exposed as the attempted murderer or Bruce Wayne he complains to Powers that he can no longer show his face or use his name. Powers explains that the face is no great loss, and he will give Shreeve a new name more fitting to his powers: Shriek.
Mega Corp.: Interestingly, Wayne-Powers is one of these to a greater extent than demonstrated in the original series. Some interesting storylines (especially in the first season) come from the tension of shifting the balance of power between ethics (Wayne) and profit (Powers).
Merchandise-Driven: The network wanted a show starring a younger, more kid-friendly Batman. What they got instead was a show that was arguably even more depressing than the original animated series and a movie featuring, among other things, child abuse, blatant death, angst and a Kill Sat.
Mistaken for Junkie: Terry's mom jumps to conclusions upon finding suspicious looking patches in her son's bag. To her credit these were drugs, a steroidal compound known as "slappers," but Terry was bringing them to Bruce for analysis. Terry's (truthful) excuses do not help: "They're not mine! I found them!" Bruce helps clear up the confusion at the end.
Mistaken for Murderer: Terry has to clear his name in the episode "Eyewitness," where Commissioner Gordon witnessed him beating Mad Stan to death in front of her. He was framed by Spellbinder's illusions, and Stan never died in the first place.
Happened at least twice; once when a gang of Jokerz decided it would be a good idea to attack Bruce Wayne, and again when Inque took a hostage who turned out to be Superman. Both instances ended how you would expect.
In "Countdown" a couple of Jokerz try to beat down Zeta. They still try to hurt him after he takes a lead pipe to the shoulder with no effect except the pipe bending from the impact.
Murder the Hypotenuse: This was revealed to be the real motive of the science experiment "accident" that made the Terrific Trio what they were: Their supposed ally and colleague Howard Hodges knew beforehand the particle fusion generator was unsafe, but didn't inform them so that he could go out with Mary with Mike out of the picture. Unfortunately for both groups, Mary took part as well. The three aren't happy to find this out.
Batman accidentally causes a character to be disfigured by chemicals, and as the doctors show him his terrible new visage in the mirror, he cackles maniacally... Tim Burton's Joker, or Beyond villain Blight?
The episode "Heroes" had a team called the Terrific Trio. While they look suspiciously like ANOTHER family of heroes, the team's name originated in the Adam West series, referring to Batman, Robin, and Batgirl after the latter had been established.
Never Forgotten Skill: Bruce Wayne has retired from being Batman, and has spent years being a bitter old recluse. However, Bruce has proven to be quite proficient with his cane, not just for attacking, but for casually blocking thrown knives with it. Then there's that one episode where he goes into a Lazarus Pit and apparently being made younger causes him to fight with all the skills of his younger self unforgotten.
Never Found the Body: Several instances, and Terry tends to be pretty Genre Savvy about it. He first points it out with Blight; after he "died", the exact words were used and it was implied that he would return. He never did.
Especially by Derek Powers, who often instructs his hired goons to kill Batman if he interferes with whatever plans he's hatching. Like the exchange between Powers and Shriek, where Powers gives the orders so casually and nonchalantly that it borders on Refuge in Audacity.
New Neo City: Neo-Gotham. One last part of "Old" Gotham was preserved by Bruce Wayne. Terry also mentions a New Neo Country, New Cuba.
New Powers as the Plot Demands: Skillfully averted, though Terry lacks superpowers, the writers are pretty good about keeping him from pulling new skills out of thin air, they usually develop from the progression of his fighting skills and of the character in general.
90% of Your Brain : The Brain Trust reiterates the classic "10% of your brain" mistake as what separates them from normal people.
The assassination at the Berlin Airport, which gave the world the only known picture of Curaré.
The "near-apocalypse of '09," where Talia al Ghul and Batman united in order to battle Ra's al Ghul one final time.
The circumstances behind how Bruce got his limp. While never outright stated, one possibility is the result of The Joker stabbing him during their final battle. However, the fact that fifty-year old Bruce doesn't walk with a cane when he's seen out of costume somewhat disproves this. It could just be age.
Not So Stoic: This trope is taken Up to Eleven in "Eggbaby". It even gets to the point that normally-jaded Bruce Wayne reacts with shock when he hears the cooing of the animitronic egg shortly after Terry exits the Batmobile.
Bruce:(stern) Terry, is there something you need to tell me?
Not What I Signed On For: Joyride sees a Jokerz-initiation interrupted when the gang steals a military prototype combat vehicle. Throughout the episode the initiate is dragged along as the Jokerz commit bigger and bigger crimes, but at the end of the episode he knocks out the leader and takes off his red rubber nose when it becomes obvious that the situation is going to keep escalating into pure insanity.
Old Master: Bruce Wayne. He regularly chides Terry for not listening to him, often when Terry falls into the same sorts of traps as he did in his cape-wearing days.
Older and Wiser: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon. In Bruce's case, crankier too.
Older Than They Look: Superman is revealed to age noticeably slower than humans, so while he's around Bruce's age, he looks like he could pass for someone in his late 40s or 50s, and is just as spry as ever.
"We had a great story in the first half, fun villains, and an excellent new character - a well-developed rival for Terry. He would have been a fantastic reoccurring character. If only he hadn't injected himself with Tyrannosaurus DNA, which for some reason turned him into a sort of snake-man who wanted to throw a nuclear weapon into a volcano, killing all the humans or turning them into more snake-people or... yeah..."
Stalker: "When you die, it will be by my hand, and my hand alone."
Terry: "... Thanks... I guess..."
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: It is not clear what Mutro Botha's ethnicity is, but his accent slips repeatedly between French, English, and Australian. One assumes that this is Tim Curry's natural Cheshire accent coming through.
Other Me Annoys Me: Terry takes Bruce to see Batman: The Musical for his birthday. Terry finds the jolly, musical Batman to be great fun. Bruce is...not impressed.
Overprotective Dad: Dana's father is very disapproving of her relationship with Terry, primarily because of Terry's criminal record.
Painted-On Pants: Every female character in the show wears pants so tight, often times with a top to match, that their clothes might as well be painted on. Even minor characters that appear for one episode cannot escape this treatment.
Palette Swap: Due to some error on the part of the crew, the cheerleaders at Terry's school wear blue and white in season 1 despite the school colors being green and yellow. This trope was used in season 2 to correct this.
Paranoia Fuel: An in-universe example in "Inqueling": After Deanna seemingly kills Inque and strikes it rich with Inque's assets, Batman informs her that the sample the police took for evidence is gone. She looks around at the shadows of the plants, at the water, and the last scene is her fearfully clutching her knees as an eye forms out of the shadows. Whether this is representational or not is an exercise for the viewer, but considering Inque returns and Deanna doesn't...
The doctor who was selling Venom as a street drug overdoses, going mad in the process.
Playing Card Motifs: As the Royal Flush gang, the Walker family takes their names from the cards that make up a royal flush in poker: King, his wife Queen, their children Jack and Ten, and the robotic Brute Ace. In their debut episode, Bruce is able to predict their next heist after realizing that their crimes thus far have also followed a playing card motif, specifically that of the four suits.
Plea Bargain: District Attorney Sam Young's reelection campaign in "Eyewitness" had it mentioned that, during his tenure, the District Attorney's office had a decrease on the ratio of plea bargains for violent crimes.
Police Are Useless: Inverted twice in "Eyewitness" when Terry butts in and screws up police stings, thenfinds himself up against the full, Crazy-Prepared might of Barbara Gordon's police force. It's made quite obvious that Terry's Would Not Shoot a Good Guy mindset is not the only reason that it's one of the toughest battles of the series for him.
The batsuit enhances the users strength (Terry suggests 5:1 or 10:1 in the pilot), gives a significant level of durability and gives the user limited flight along with other integrated gadgets. But what is most interesting about it all is in that it is otherwise made of a fabric-like material, able to fit inside Terry's backpack or a hidden motorcycle compartment without problems.
A kid who gains telekinetic abilities uses said powers to leave messages in the women's locker room for the girl he likes. Since the school population thinks it is a ghost, Terry briefly muses on the fact that his suit can do the same thing.
In "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot," Terry's friend Howard flat-out buys a Sex Bot (and somehow managed to screw that up).
Quieter Than Silence: A variation is used in the episode "Shriek", where the only sound heard is a very high tone. It's not actually silence, but to show that Shriek has gone deaf.
Earlier in the same episode they do go completely silent, with the only sounds being the occasional distorted footfall when Batman moves.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly, Bruce despite his cynical and abrasive personality. Though he and Terry butt heads often, he trusts Terry's judgement and allows him a lot of leeway. He generally doesn't refuse Terry requests should Terry insist - though he attempts to convince him otherwise if he disagrees - and he never dismisses Terry when he comes to him with insane claims, in fact he often assumes they're true before he assumes they're false. And when he does disbelieve Terry, it's usually not because he thinks the claims are unbelievable, but because he feels they're likely more than they appear (about which he's usually right) - and he encourages Terry to investigate on his own despite his lack of belief anyway.
Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted. Many of the things that gave various supervillains their powers in the original have become massproduced. For example, the LEGO Genetics that created Man-Bat are now available to the public as a bizarre form of body-modification known as "Splicing" and Bane's super-roid "Venom" has become the hot new street drug in the form of trans-dermal patches called "Slappers".
Bruce introduces the Royal Flush Gang as old enemies from his own time as Batman, and both he and King refer to previous battles, but they had never previously appeared in any DCAU-production. Justice League would later include two iterations of the Royal Flush Gang, with Bruce fighting both versions. It also turns out that one of Bruce's past battles with the Royal Flush Gang ultimately led to Terry's birth.
Max's introduction in the second season. She's written as part of Terry's social circle, yet she was nowhere in the first season.
Rogues Gallery: Terry develops one of his own after time. Blight, Inque, Shriek, Spellbinder, the Stalker, Willy Watt, Mad Stan, etc.
Rubber Man: The 2-D Man of the Terrific Trio in the episode "Heroes". His powers are nearly identical to that of Fantastic Four's Mr. Fantastic. Unfortunately, the Trio is Blessed with Suck, as their powers came at the cost of their decaying genetic structure. Eventually, they go psycho and do a Face-Heel Turn, forcing Batman to kill them. The 2-D Man is sucked into a high-powered fan and chopped into pieces.
Saying Too Much: This is how Terry almost immediately proves that Willie Watt is responsible for the strange occurences at their high school.
Scary Shiny Glasses: Willie Watt develops these in his debut episode. The closing, silhouetted scene of him in juvenile hall just makes them scarier. The next time he shows up, he's ditched them because they don't really work with his new tough guy persona.
Secret Secretkeeper: Implied in "Unmasked". When Terry unmasks himself to reassure Miguel, a kid he's rescuing, Cobra later tracks Miguel down and checks his memories for Batman's true identity. The resulting image is Batman with the head of Miguel's action figure, which Terry takes to mean that Miguel didn't see his face well and subconsciously replaced the image. As proof, he walks over to Miguel's soccer game and mentions to Maxine that he sees Miguel everyday, and he hasn't figured it out. The last shot, however, is Miguel looking back and giving a knowing smile, implying that he does know but kept it secret.
Second Place Is for Losers: In "Hidden Agenda", after scoring second highest on an exam, Carter Wilson was told by his mother that that makes him "the winning loser." Carter then strikes a vendetta against the top scorer, Max, who happens to be Batman's best friend.
To point out how ridiculously high the standards Carter's mom were, he got 2397 out of 2400. The only person above him got a perfect score.
Secret Test of Character: In "Once Burned," Melanie (Ten of the Royal Flush Gang) is told that her parents had been kidnapped by the Jokerz and were being held for ransom. However, it turns out they had staged the whole thing in order to test if Melanie truly was loyal to them after the earlier events of "Dead Man's Hand." Melanie is understandably upset when she learns the truth, and abandons them and their life of crime because of it.
Self-Made Orphan: Inque's daughter killed her to gain control of her bank accounts... or so she thought.
Sex Bot: "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" involves Howie, a friend of Terry's, flat-out buying a Sex Bot. Rather than exploit the traditional way, however, he used it as a means to make himself more popular at school and thus get a living hot chick as a girlfriend. The Sex Bot did not take this well.
There is a scene where Terry and Ten are kissing, then fall on the bed and the camera slowly moves away...
In the episode "Sneak Peek" Terry watches a news program "The Inside Peek" that exposes secrets, this time focusing on Paxton Powers. We see him grabbing a girl with his towel and it cuts to Terry's wide-eyed look which leads to this scene:
Matt: What are they doing?
Terry: This isn't for you. [puts hand on Matt's face blocking his view]
Matt: I wanna see, I wanna see!
[Mary turns off the TV]
Terry and Matt: Hey!
Mary: I don't want you watching this.
Shapeshifter Default Form: Inque has a vaguely humanoid "combat" form that only has a white blob for a face. When in a peaceful mood, she takes on a more defined human shape and has a face while retaining a liquid look.
Shout-Out: To AKIRA, Blade Runner, The Matrix, Rock and Rule (!?), and many, many others. In an early episode Batman saves someone in a pose exactly like the cover of Amazing Fantasy 15 (Spider-Man). In "Heroes", Batman becomes trapped beneath machinery (and frees himself by lifting the massive object) in a scene that is a direct reference to an iconic Spider-Man sequence, even down to the shape of the machinery trapping the character.
In the Season 2 episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot", Max borrows a catchphrase from another Max, and she delivers the "I hope I wasn't out of line" routine every bit as well as Don Adams.
Bruce: I should have known you'd cheat death again, Ra's!
Ra's al Ghul: I don't cheat death, I master it.
Bruce: Sure Ra's, why not? Anything to hold off the Grim Reaper a few more seconds. I take it back, you don't cheat death. You whimper in fear of it!
Ra's al Ghul: *slaps him* Silence!
Bruce: And you hit like a girl.
Skyscraper City: Gotham has grown even more massive, to the point where it seems to be nothing but superstructures. Rooftop parks, vertical commuter trains, and elevated neighborhoods are common. The opening shows Gotham's old skyline, which is positively dwarfed by the new skyline behind it.
Sky Surfing: The Royal Flush gang, the Sentries of the Last Cosmos, and Spellbinder.
Socialite: In the pilot episode, the socialite who Bruce rescues during his last mission as Batman is none other than Veronica Vreeland's full-grown daughter Bunny. The showrunners stated that they purposely wrote her as being Veronica's daughter both as a Continuity Nod to Batman: The Animated Series and also to show that everyone else in Bruce's life—including former love interests like Veronica—have long since moved on with their lives while Bruce was still fighting a battle that had once again become quite lonely (the point of that was so that when Terry would come under Bruce's tutelage 20 years later, it's a symbolic way of Bruce finding his purpose again).
Space Whale Aesop: Don't be a bully, because your victim may gain control of a two-story tall robot and come after you.
Speaking Simlish: "Babel," or at least, everyone is speaking Simlish to everyone else's ears.
Spell My Name Like It Sounds, Not Like The Beer: One would think that in 10 years time, the fanfiction writers would learn how to spell Terry's last name right, but sadly, many of them still cannot. The most common misspelling being "McGuinness" because that is the usual spelling but... seriously, fandom, Google is your friend.
Star-Crossed Lovers: Terry and Melanie. Despite their personal feelings, their friends and family keep coming between them, even after Melanie has given up her life of crime. Their relationship is epitomized in "Once Burned" when Ten gives Batman a note to give to a boy named Terry McGinnis; she makes him promise to give it to Terry, but also makes him promise not to read it himself. Because of that promise he can never read the note, not even as Terry, and eventually throws it away unread.
Star Scraper: Evident especially in the title sequence where Old Gotham and its skyscrapers (which should be equivalent to modern day buildings in New York or Chicago) are shown, before Neo Gotham comes into focus, making Old Gotham look like a scale model by comparison.
The Starscream: Paxton Powers was an odd case. You could technically say he was a successful Starscream killing his father Derek (or so it seemed) and taking over Wayne-Powers as CEO, even though he really only did so because he lucked out. The thing is, Paxton became a rather pathetic replacement, not at all like the dangerous and ruthless tycoon his father was. Squandering his newfound position on wine, women, and song, neither Bruce Wayne nor Terry took him seriously at all, and when he eventually got greedy and doubled crossed the Royal Flush Gang after hiring them to steal artifacts, he was hauled off to jail. (And he pretty much ruined the Royal Flush Gang's once stellar reputation in the underworld in the process. Paxton did threaten to buy the courts and have Barbara Gordon and the rest of the police department working in the sanitation department when his lawyers were done, but that was likely an empty threat. The important thing is, Wayne was finally able to regain full control of his company again.)
Stealth Hi/Bye: With the added bonus of actual invisibility courtesy of the hi-tech batsuit. At this point it is not even fair.
On one of the commentaries, the creators admitted that whenever they couldn't figure out how to end an episode, they'd just have a building blow up.
One example took place nearing the end of Bruce's reunion with Ra's al Ghul, who at this point should have racked up quite a bit of Genre Savvy and was smart enough to install automated fire extingishers into his lair. Unfortunately, once the fires are put out, Ra makes the critical mistake of pronouncing, "It's safe." Sure enough, one loose electrical wire strikes the Lazarus pit, resulting in... well, you know.
Mad Stan embodies this, and became an Internet meme involving him popping out of somewhere, followed by everything blowing up.
Mad Stan: You think this is a joke? Look around, Batman! Society's crumbling! And do you know why? Information overload, man! As a society we're drowning in a quagmire of vid-clips, e-mail, and sound bytes! We can't absorb it all! There's only one sane solution: BLOW IT UP!
Super Hero Origin: Deconstructed in "Heroes" when the recently superpowered heroes discover that their Freak Lab Accident was not exactly an accident and was not supposed to give them superpowers. It is a shocking reminder that there is a fine line between Hero and Villain.
Surrounded by Idiots: When Powers' doctors pick him up from a frozen lake, they explain that they brought him some blankets in case he was cold. Powers, who at that moment is glowing with radioactive energy, just stares and says, "You are idiots."
Willy Watt also took several of these (physically and mentally) after being admitted to a detention center for rampaging through the town with a large construction robot.
Totally Radical: Largely averted by sticking to Future Slang, but one splicer's warnings to not "diss" him stuck out like a sore thumb in season 2.
Trigger Phrase: In "April Moon," the phrase that shuts down Bullwhip and Co.'s cybernetics is... "April Moon".
Triple Shifter: Terry has a lot of trouble pulling this off; Bruce did not have half as many things to juggle when he became Batman—school, family, and a steady girlfriend not being things he had to worry about—and he does not seem to understand why Terry can not be on call every minute of every day and night.
Tron Lines: They seem to pop up in subtle ways all over the place. Specifically the Batsuit has Tron Lines underneath its black exterior layer, and can be seen when it is damaged. The interior of the new Batmobile seems to be specifically based on the Batmobile from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: The series starts off in the year 2019 for the prologue, and then switches 20 years later to 2039 for the main series.
Twist Ending: Many, many episodes. Perhaps not quite enough of them to be "mandatory", but lots of them — and usually extremely creepy ones, implying something nasty was going to happen just after the fade to black.
Blight, over the course of the first season, gradually becomes more and more short tempered due to Batman meddling with his plans, and his fake skin starts burning off so quickly he has to replace it routinely. Paxton takes advantage of this and drives him further over the edge to the point that he becomes so furious he burns off his fake skin in public.
Scab in "Joyride" breaks down screaming in helpless rage when his Cool Car will not start anymore because Batman deactivated its power source.
Villainous Legacy: The Joker might be dead, but his legacy (and the mysterious manner of his death) has resulted in roving gangs of criminals in various types of clown costumes and makeup all calling themselves "Jokerz" terrorising Gotham. Not that Old Bruce thought much of them.
Virtual Ghost: In "Lost Soul", Robert Vance does this to himself so that he can advise his company from beyond the grave.
Visible Invisibility: The Batsuit is able to turn itself invisible for periods of time; it goes from total invisibility to half-invisibility represented as only the shadows (and eyes) on it being cast.
Voices Are Mental: "Out of the Past": After The Reveal of Talia's true identity, Ra's al Ghul speaks in his own voice, though by rights it should have been her voice with his speech patterns. In the behind-the-scenes feature, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm say that they did have a psuedo-scientific explanation for how that happens. The explanation involved the transplantation of Ra's al Ghul's vocal cords, but they omitted it because it took too long and did not really fit with the episode.
Terry wanted to please both Warren McGinnis and Bruce Wayne.
Carter/Terminal, who became a Joker out of frustration at having to be the very best at everything.
Willy Watt might seem like this, but he does not want to make his dad proud — he wants him to leave him alone or, failing that, die.
We Need a Distraction: Played with in "Where's Terry?". when Bruce Wayne and Max Gibson trace a missing Terry McGinnis's whereabouts to an abandoned subway system and need to make their way down a particular tunnel that is being zoned off by a construction crew. Bruce then walks up to the construction crew and momentarily gains their attention by playing the part of a senile citizen while Max stealthily sneaks her way down the other tunnel. Just as Max is almost out of sight, Bruce 'worriedly' points her out to the construction crew who all then chase after her while he casually strolls through the construction area to finish the rescue mission by himself.
We Will Spend Credits in the Future: Plastic, mainly featureless cards. Whether or not a character is able to judge how much the card is worth just by looking at it is inconsistent
Wham Episode: "The Call", Parts 1 and 2. At the end of part 1, it seems that Superman has done a Face-Heel Turn. Bruce decides he needs to be stopped, and gives Terry the kryptonite to do it.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Given that future-Gotham's population consists of transgenic humans, transgenic animals, cyborgs, realistic "synthoids", sentient computers and other stranger beings, it is very surprising that they directly addressed this issue... three times. Only three. In the episodes "Zeta", "Lost Soul" and "Speak No Evil".
What The Hell, Townspeople?: In "Babel," after terrorizing the city, Shriek demands that Batman turn himself in or else. Gotham residents — even some that Terry saved earlier in the episode — publicly denounce Batman as a result and effectively turn their backs on him. Max is disgusted, asking Terry why he'd bother defending them. Even Bruce condemns the townspeople as ingrates and says he wouldn't blame Terry for staying in.
Cynthia the android has a literal meltdown when Howard dumps her.
Queen from the Royal Flush Gang.
This is inverted in the episode "April Moon". It turns out that the doctor's wife was not kidnapped, and that she was in league with her "kidnappers" and romantically involved with their leader the whole time. The doctor did NOT take this well.
Working with the Ex: Bruce Wayne and Barbara Gordon had a romantic history, and now she leads the GPD.
Yandere: Cynthia, the android that Howard buys in the episode "Terry's Friend Dates A Robot".
You Fight Like a Cow: Terry's more fond of it than the original, and it comes in handy against the Joker.
You Have Failed Me: The Society of Assassins strictly enforces this policy, any of their assassins who fail in their assignment are killed in turn. However, they have never had to follow through on this threat, since none of their assassins has ever failed to kill their target. Ever. That policy later became their undoing, as Curaré, the first one to ever fail, turned the tables on them. She was so dangerous the last assassin hid a bomb somewhere in Gotham for the sole purpose of forcing Batman to protect him. Even that failed.