YMMV / Batman & Robin

  • Accidental Innuendo: Any time Bruce Wayne calls his sidekick "Dick", but the crowning example is probably "She's trying to kill you, Dick." Given how George Clooney delivers the line, it might not be accidental.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Robin's interaction with Ivy at her lair and the reason he kisses her. Has he snapped out of his love for her and is just playing along to learn her plan and only kisses her to keep his cover, or does he still hope that there is a chance she really loves him and uses the kiss between them as a Secret Test of Character to see if her love is real or a lie?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Robin spends a majority of the film in love with Poison Ivy and ignores Batmanís warnings about her. When he finally learns once and for all though that she was lying about loving him and tried to kill him, he doesnít seem to dwell on it at all. Even after their relationship ends after a single kiss and she dumps him by trying to drown him he gets over her immediately and focuses on Freeze.
  • Bile Fascination: It would not be as well-remembered today if it hadn't been declared one of the worst movies ever made upon its premiere.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Latin American Spanish dubbing of the film actually seems to think that when Bruce says "Dick", he means the insult instead of the character's name, which turns all the Accidental Innuendo into reality.
  • Cliché Storm: This film pulls out numerous clichés of superhero films of its time.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Mr. Freeze, thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance stands out as a redeeming and memorable factor in an otherwise lackluster film.
    • Similarly, Uma Thurman's turn as Poison Ivy is remembered for being both sexy and fun; she seems to be the only actor in the film who's aware of just how campy it is and embraces that factor in her whole performance (both as Dr. Pamela Isley and Ivy herself). It helps that she's not given any "serious" subplots like the other characters. Even to this day, Poison Ivy cosplayers are far more likely to go by this version of the character than any other.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Poison Ivy, of course.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: All of them.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • The Bat-Nipples and Bat-Butts. Brain Bleach may be required after viewing.
    • When Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy dresses like this, she's hot. But like THIS? Nooooot so much. And she looks like that for most of the movie!
    • Also, the dead, open-eyed face Poison Ivy always makes when she kisses her victims is a notable turn-off when it should be the opposite (before the guy dies anyway).
    • Also, Poison Ivy's first evil entrance has her dancing erotically in a gorilla suit before revealing herself.
      Robin: Gorilla my dreams...
  • Fight Scene Failure: Batman uses the Force Kick technique on one of Mr. Freeze's henchmen in the fight for the Wayne Diamonds.
  • Genre Turning Point: Superhero movies as a whole became a lot less campy after this came out. It also ultimately allowed DC's Arch-Enemy Marvel Comics to take a commanding lead in the comic book movie genre when DC wound up taking a 7-year hiatus from this movie and Steel, and their first movie back, Catwoman, tanked. It took Batman Begins to put DC films back on the map.
  • Ham and Cheese: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Uma Thurman.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The fictional MacGregor's Syndrome suffered by Nora Fries and Alfred has since been expanded via the Arrowverse into a disorder with ties to drug abuse. This can potentially cast the backgrounds of both Nora and, more meaningfully, Alfred, in a much darker shade.
  • He Really Can Act: While his casting may have launched a thousand internet debates, Schwarzenegger's actual performance in the role borders on Took the Bad Film Seriously: his surprisingly emotional portrayal manages to merge the hammy cartoon supervillain Mr. Freeze and the deeply pained Anti-Villain Victor Fries. All other things aside, Arnold clearly "gets" the character, and it shows.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Hollywood Homely: Pamela Isley is "ugly" before becoming Poison Ivy because she has glasses, a ponytail and frumpy clothes, all of which disappear when she is turned into Poison Ivy, who looks and sounds more like a Drag Queen than a villainous vixen. This is all the more remarkable when considering that she is played by Uma Thurman.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: While the film averts this by never pointing it out, Alicia Silverstone had noticeably put on weight since her fame peaked, and the press had a field day with it at the time of the film's release.
    • One article noted that Silverstone essentially refused to manage her weight in any way whatsoever during the filming, which is already a problem when you're shooting a movie and need continuity, but is rather more important when your character wears a skintight bodysuit (that apparently had to be almost completely redone several times to accommodate her).
  • Ho Yay: Undertones of it are pretty much undeniable between the title characters. Supposedly, George Clooney retroactively claims he played Batman as gay (although it seems more of a Take That! against said undertones than anything with truth in it).
    Dick Grayson: You're just saying that so I can't kiss her, is that it?
    Bruce Wayne: Listen, Dick, it's a poisonous kiss.
    Dick Grayson: A poisonous kiss? You don't understand. She understands how I feel.
    Bruce Wayne: She has clouded your mind and you're not thinking straight.
    Dick Grayson: I am thinking straight. For the first time in a long time.
    • This got to the point that Clooney and O'Donnell were actually nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Onscreen Couple.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: The villains, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy, are commonly regarded as the only reasons to watch the movie, if not the only good thing on it.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Poison Ivy tries her hand at this. Keyword: TRIES.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "YOU LIE!!!"
    • Pretty much anything that Schwarzenegger says, due to the sheer lameness of his puns.
      • As a subset of this, it's taken as a given that any mention of the movie whatsoever (or at times mention of Schwarzenegger by himself) will require at least ten posts of ice puns before any other discussion can happen.
    • The Bat Credit Card.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Many of the elements people disliked about the film were the result of Executive Meddling and not Joel Schumacher's fault:
      • Bane's characterization wasn't written by Schumacher, and the decision to include him came after DC Comics pressured Warner Bros. to include him in the film (Bane had just debuted in the comics in a controversial storyline a few years before, and DC thought that being in the movie would help him look better with fans).
      • The Batnipples were his call (having been carried over from Batman Forever, the costumes for which he had a hand in designing), but any of the hated costumes here weren't. The campier direction in general came from someone in the Warner Bros. marketing department noticing that Batman Forever had sold more childrens' toys than either of the Burton films, so there was pressure to move further away from the dark tones those movies set, and include more costumes, vehicles and characters (this was also why Batman had a one-seater car and Robin had a separate motorcycle).
    • The film is often misblamed for derailing Chris O'Donnell's career. In reality (while he does consider it a career low), he took temporary retirement because he had recently become engaged / married and wished to start a family (he now has five kids). His Career Resurrection as the lead of one of TV's highest-rated shows, NCIS: Los Angeles, has made him arguably more popular than he was in the late 90s.
    • The film also often gets blamed for 'killing' the superhero genre for 'years' in manner that suggests superhero movies spent decades languishing. In actuality, Blade followed barely a year later, and both the first X-Men and Spider-Man films grabbed the ball and ran with it in 2000 and 2002 respectively, before the real superhero boom began in earnest.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Poison Ivy crosses it with trying to kill Mr. Freeze's wife out of pure jealousy. To further rub salt into the wound, she then lies to Mr. Freeze about Nora's fate. When Mr. Freeze finds out who really pulled the plug, he's not very happy.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Joel Schumacher has been forever associated with this film, and while he's still working (his biggest effort since is the movie version of The Phantom of the Opera musical), despite his strong resumé before the Batman franchise, he's more a B-list than A-list director now. He's also frequently Mis-blamed... um, even by himself, apparently, taking full responsibility in interviews for all of its problems ("If you don't like the movie, blame the director" he said at one point). By contrast, the screenwriter Akiva Goldsman had no setbacks at all and even went on to win an Oscar for his script for A Beautiful Mind. Producer Peter MacGregor-Scott is almost completely unknown, despite arguably having more to do with the quality of the film than anyone else.
    • The combination of this film and the equally disastrous The Avengers (1998) knocked Uma Thurman back for a few years. She was eventually able to subvert this, but it took several years and the Kill Bill movies to do so.
      • This film, combined with Blast from the Past and Excess Baggage, is credited with killing the momentum of Alicia Silverstone, who was once one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood.
      • Chris O'Donnell's career is also widely credited with tanking over this film. O'Donnell himself disputed this years later, noting that he deliberately started choosing smaller parts in order to focus on his family instead. He has, however, noted the film as a low point in his career and far, far more people remember this film than any other film he worked on (including the better-received Batman Forever where he played the exact same character).
  • Nightmare Fuel: Freeze outside of cold temperatures. In Arkham, when he tries to run away, it reduces him to a moaning zombie with discolored, bloodshot eyes.
  • One-Scene Wonder: John Glover as Jason Woodrue. He hams it up as much as anyone in the film, but still manages to be funny and a bit scary.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: Like the previous film, Tim Burton wasn't in the director's chair, but the last film still had him as a producer. Here, he wasn't even involved in that capacity.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: The PlayStation got a sandbox-style action game published by Acclaim that was panned for crappy controls; it also featured obviously synthesized renditions of pieces from Elliot Goldenthal's score in the movie. A beat-em-up was also released for the portable Game.Com, and it fared similarly to its 32-bit counterpart with critics.
  • Sequelitis: The fourth and last film in the continuity that started with Tim Burton's classic, this is the installment in the entire Batman film series that's viewed with the most disdain and mockery, and froze any ideas of more campy Batman dead in its tracks, as well as being a part of a bad spell that DC still has yet to fully recover from. It also happened to be one of at least three films in 1997 that succumbed to Sequelitis; Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and Speed 2: Cruise Control are the other two.
  • Snark Bait:
    • Ripping on this film is pretty popular. Many snark sites have dedicated time to it. The film was also nominated for a whopping eleven Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Picture, though it only won for Worst Supporting Actress (Alicia Silverstone).
    • Its presence is all but guaranteed on a "worst Super Hero film ever" list, and makes more occasional cameos on generic "Worst Films Ever" lists as well. However, Cracked used this movie's reputation to create a list of "five comic book movies way worse than Batman and Robin" — most of which are waaay more obscure than Batman and Robin.
    • Bane especially seems to be a good source of snark, especially when compared to the one played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • So Bad, It's Good: For the sheer Narm Charm and semi-intentional comedy value of the performances (especially Mr Freeze), as well as the somewhat poignant turn of Michael Gough's last and most fleshed-out turn as Alfred, this isn't a totally unwatchable movie. Gotham City is visually distinct and looks pretty damn good, the music is great, and its rep means that you pretty much have to see it even if you are obligated to make fun of it. Also, kids will probably still enjoy it (and to be "fair", they were the target audience). It also makes one hell of a trivia / Hilarious in Hindsight movie (e.g. seeing Lionel Luthor as Jason Woodrue).
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • There are several obvious bluescreen shots and lots of rubber icicles, as well as at least one example each of cheesy miniatures and stop-motion (in 1997).
    • None of those effects compare to the fact that there are certain scenes in the movie that are just played backwards and forwards.
  • Squick: Alfred had a Batsuit made for Barbara... in her exact, form-fitting measurements.
    Barbara: Suit me up, Uncle Alfred!
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Bane's depiction in the film is regarded as one of its worst flaws. For instance, unlike his comics counterpart, he is depicted as a mindless killing machine with no role whatsoever aside from being Poison Ivy's assistant. Plus his origin story in the comics is turned on its head when he is revealed to be an experiment of a Mad Scientist with the intent to auction to world dictators. A more mature, menacing Bane appearing in The Dark Knight Rises only added to the hatred of this depiction.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Michael Gough, despite very limited screen time, gives a genuinely heartwarming performance as a terminally ill Alfred Pennyworth. It is one of the few things about the movie that can be enjoyed at face value. It helps that he had goodwill built up from his presence in the previous three films.
    • While he is in full Ham and Cheese mode for most of the film, Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze has some surprisingly powerful emotional moments when we see how much he truly misses his wife.
  • Vindicated by History: Yes and no. Opinions of this movie remain unfavorable, but since Christopher Nolan's reboot gave fans some peace of mind that this was not the be-all, end-all Batman movie, the consensus has changed from the the greatest insult to humankind to a hot mess that's worthy of a few chuckles.
    • Not to mention that in the years since this film was released, both Catwoman and Fantastic Four (2015) have since dethroned Batman and Robin as the worst comic book movie adaptations ever made.
  • Wangst: Robin seems to spend a good chunk of the movie complaining about something or other.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Dr. Woodroe. He just let Poison Ivy take his face and kiss him without resisting, complaining, or noting something might be wrong, and making contact with her would be a bad idea.
    • Hey, Freeze. Considering that you can only survive in extremely low temperatures, and you clearly don't make much of an effort to keep your mooks warm... why do you even have a "Cold/Heat" switch in your own hideout?
    • Poison Ivy boasting about killing Nora Fries for no logical reason except to set up her Engineered Public Confession later in the movie.
    • A double example back to back. After Robin and Ivy kiss and Ivy tells him that he'll die, proving Batman right and her love to Robin a lie, Robin removes the rubber lips that protected him and kept him safe from Ivy's kiss, as they are sitting right next to each other, instead of tackling her and arresting her while she's distracted or leaving immediately. Then Ivy, instead of grabbing him and forcing a second kiss on him, instead angrily shoves him off her throne and into the pond to drown him, then tries to leave while tauntingly saying bye, treating it almost like she's breaking up with Robin for tricking her instead of trying to kill him for knowing too much or humiliating her. Though the last one is somewhat justified as no one had survived a kiss from Ivy up to that point and she might have been too angry and humiliated to think straight and do the simpler task.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • George Clooney as Batman. He was phenomenal as Bruce Wayne and was great match for the role. But with his portrayal of Batman, you can't separate the character and the actor, so instead of having a dark, menacing Batman, you simply just have George Clooney in a Batman costume.
    • Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Schumacher wanted a man who looked like he was "chiseled out of ice," so Arnold was high on his list, but those with familiarity with the source character tend to have this reaction.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?:
    • The Batnipples are this trope's poster child. Some like to jokingly deride the Double Standard at play when Batgirl's costume sports none.
    • Some of Poison Ivy's costumes. How are green tights and an Odango hairstyle sexy?