* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** Were Tucker and Esther Cobblepot really AbusiveParents, or were they {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s who wanted to spare their son the misery of growing up as a "freak"? When Oswald speaks to the press after "rescuing" the Mayor's baby, he seems to suggest that they were the latter ("....what I guess they felt they ''had'' to do....").
** Here's a third one: they did it to protect others from Oswald. It's regarded that kids torturing/killing animals is a sign something's not right in the head and the kid might grow up to be a serial killer; right before they tossed him, Oswald did kill the family cat, who just got near him.
** On a fourth hand, they did have baby Oswald in a CAGE. Was he really a monster or could they not see past his deformities, hence providing the mental aspect that did make him a monster?
** Did Max really care about his son enough to let Penguin take him, or was he smug enough to believe he'd come back unharmed, and making a heroic gesture like that would fuel his good image to the people of Gotham.
** Does Batman himself have any kind of actual character arc in the film that could then reasonably be reflected in ''Batman Forever''? He goes about his work in much the same way as the previous film, with the death of at least one mook on his hands, yet in ''Forever'' he seemed to regret doing things like this. Could it be that he saw what the cycle of revenge and violence was doing to Catwoman and it gave him a wake up call, forcing him to rethink his own life?
** Is Catwoman [[spoiler:basically a zombie? Or otherwise animated by some supernatural force? She dies after an incredible fall, is somehow "licked back to life" by alley cats, survives another 8 deaths, which even by the fantastical standards set by the first film is pretty out there.]]
* {{Anvilicious}}:
** "It is human nature to fear the unusual. Perhaps, when I held my Tiffany baby rattle with a shiny flipper instead of five chubby digits, they freaked." (Oswald is just milking the citizens for sympathy.)
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic:
%%Do not list ANY of the villains as a Complete Monster as per the cleanup thread.
* [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome Crowning Movie of Awesome]]: According to the critics, for the pre-Nolan Batman films. It has the highest critical rating of any of the original 4 Batman films and while it remains divisive, it is widely seen as the deepest and most intellectual of the original run of films.
* ContestedSequel: Fans of the first film and of the Batman films in general are split on this one: Some see it as the best of the pre-Nolan films, some see it as somewhat inferior to the first but better than the Schumacher films, some feel its darkness is too overwhelming even compared to the first film, and some just think it's the best Batman film, period.
%%* DarknessInducedAudienceApathy
* EndingFatigue: [[spoiler:Batman takes out Penguin's gang and saves the day. Then he has to confront Shreck and Catwoman. Then we see Penguin die from the earlier attack. Then we see Bruce take in Selina's cat and the camera pans in to see Catwoman who is NotQuiteDead. Then it ends.]]
* EvilIsSexy: Catwoman. Just look at that outfit.
* HilariousInHindsight: The tagline for Batman Returns was "The Bat. The Cat. The Penguin." In 2014's Film/{{Birdman}} (unrelated to the [[WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}} Hanna-Barbera cartoon]] of the same name), Creator/MichaelKeaton (who plays an actor who in turn plays as the eponymous superhero) would be the one who is a [[AnimalThemedSuperbeing bird themed character]].
** Michelle Pfeiffer plays Catwoman, Batman's most famous love interest in this film. A few years later she would play the love interest and wife to Moses, voiced by fellow Batman actor Val Kilmer, in 1998's ''ThePrinceOfEgypt''.
** Batman record scratching a cd, which uses lasers, was ridiculous then, but [[TechnologyMarchesOn now]] there are record players [[http://www.decodedmagazine.com/the-eip-laser-turntable-plays-records-without-touching-them/ that can use lasers instead of needles.]]
* HollywoodHomely: Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle. In the time period the movie seemed to be mimicking, executive assistants and secretaries weren't hired for their office skills but for their... ahem... other assets. The movie itself showed that Selina was treated bad mostly because she was so timid she was intimidated just by being in the same room as a bunch of people. But, in her favor, she is also shown pre-transformation as intelligent... just overlooked due to the sexism of her workplace.
** Completely averted in a coloring book published to market the movie to children, where Selina is depicted as a big-haired, Barbie-like blonde babe without glasses even before her transformation into Catwoman. (Kind of understandable since the activity book was for little kids, for whom BeautyEqualsGoodness.)
* HoYay
** You have to admit that, as far as the unsuspecting citizens of Gotham are concerned, there's something strange about the mysterious closeness between the Penguin and Max Shreck - and not just because the Penguin calls Shreck "Maxie", which is a ''very'' affectionate name for a man he's known only a few days. Consider: From the very beginning, and even before he sponsors the Penguin's mayoral campaign, Max is always beside Oswald, always shielding him from the press and standing up for his rights, when there doesn't seem to be any reason why Max should care. (''We'' know, of course, what's going on between the two of them, but the characters in the movie itself can only speculate.) Of course, given what a ManipulativeBastard he is, it wouldn't be out of character for Max Shreck to subtly lead the media to believe this, in order to divert attention from his well-publicized power plant]].
--->'''Reporter:''' What's the deal, Mr. Shreck - he a personal friend?
*** Shreck's plot isn't diverting attention ''away'' from the power plant, it's getting someone who will approve of it.
** The [[HoYay Les Yay]] is much more apparent between Catwoman and the Ice Princess. It's not enough to tie the girl to a chair; Selina has to physically humiliate her further by tightening her whip around the Princess's throat so that she almost chokes and then literally dragging her up to the roof.
--->'''Catwoman:''' Gotta go...[[UnusualEuphemism girl talk]].
*** It must also be mentioned that, in the novel, the Penguin reflects on how sorry he is that he had to kill them both, since he had really wanted to arrange a ''menage a trois''.
* IronWoobie: Bruce Wayne at the end. Also Catwoman, considering she gets shot four times and thrown off three buildings.
** JerkassWoobie: Catwoman and the Penguin.
* JustHereForGodzilla: Even those who dislike the film are willing to admit that Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny [=DeVito=] turned in great performances.
* LoveItOrHateIt: Some fans think that the dialogue, acting, and overall tragic feel to the film gives it a weight and maturity that the other movies just don't have. Other fans believe that this movie is unreasonably dark and depressing, while simultaneously being completely ridiculous. The critics are similarly split.
* MemeticMutation: "Bruce Wayne... why are you dressed up like Batman?" Naturally, this requires a ChristopherWalken impression for the full effect.
* MisaimedMarketing: This is ''not'' a kids' movie, not by a long shot, but [=McDonald's=] had Happy Meal toys made of it. After the parental backlash, [=McDonald's=] pulled the toys.
* MoralEventHorizon: The Penguin crossed the line after he had to ditch the mayor campaign and decided to kidnap all of Gotham's firstborn children, including the babies, with the intention of drowning them in a deep puddle of Shreck's industrial byproducts.
*** The brilliance of Penguin's character in ''Returns'' is that he was already on the other side of the line from the start of the movie. His reemergence into society, his attempts to gather census data on the populace of Gotham, all done from the start so he could identify and kill the first born children of every wealthy family in the city. It is even implied that he's already murdered children back when he was the "bird boy" at the Red Triangle Circus's freak show.
* NarmCharm: [[spoiler: The Penguin's death. When Oswald, wearing pajamas, asks for a drink of ice water as his last words, falls over dead, and is ceremoniously pushed into the sewer by six emperor penguins, acing as pallbearers, while sad and dramatic music plays in the background, it should be completely ridiculous!]] But somehow, it isn't. The scene still works, and is actually rather moving.
** Selina's aforementioned FreakOut can definitely be this too- though some would fail to see it as {{Narm}} at all.
* NightmareFuel: With surprisingly gross behavior from the Penguin (i.e. biting a man's nose and his death scene where carcinogens pour from his mouth). There's also Selina's breakdown and Max Shreck's demise.
** And the Ice Princess falling to her death - especially since we see her screaming all the way down ''and'' hitting the ground. Even ''Film/DieHard'' didn't do that, and that was an '''R-rated''' movie!
* SugarWiki/NoProblemWithLicensedGames: The SegaGenesis and SuperNintendo game adaptations are actually fairly good, fun adaptations.
* OlderThanTheyThink: Despite being a DarkerAndEdgier movie from a DarkerAndEdgier time, the primary villains have major callbacks to their SilverAge incarnations: Penguin's gang and weaponized penguins wouldn't have been terribly out of place in the Creator/AdamWest TV show, and Catwoman's personality shifts were the explanation given in comics for why Batman was DatingCatwoman -- he wanted her good personality.
** The plot with Penguin running for Mayor of Gotham is actually a direct lift from the 60's [[Series/{{Batman}} Batman TV show]] ("Hizzoner The Penguin"/"Dizzoner The Penguin"), adapted of course. [[spoiler: Although in both scenarios he loses.]]
* OneSceneWonder:
** Former San Diego Chargers punter Gregory Cummins as the bizarrely tattooed Acrobat Thug. [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments ("I'm not really one for speeches, so I'll just say 'Thanks!'")]]
** Steve Witting as a disastrously tactless campaign worker who gets a vicious bite in the nose from The Penguin.
** Lisa Guerrero as a volunteer who gets not-so-subtly groped by the Penguin. She's credited as "Campaign Bimbo".
* OutOfCharacterMoment: Batman [[spoiler:sticking the bomb he stole from the thin clown on the circus strongman - with a ''smile''. A rather sadistic smile. Before tossing him down into the sewer to be blown up. Like the 1989 film that came before it and the films that came after it, some deaths in ''Returns'' could be said to be Batman "not saving people" or "not being able to save people" (or in the case of the ScaryBlackMan Batman killed during the 1989 film's cathedral climax after said ScaryBlackMan completely kicked his ass arguing self-defense since killing the ScaryBlackMan was the only way to stop him) but what he did to the strongman was simply and undeniably a case of him just straight up killing someone when he didn't have to. The comic book adaptation actually changed it to Batman not killing the strongman at all by just throwing the bomb into the sewer to detonate without anyone attached to it.]]
* TheProblemWithLicensedGames: Depends on which systems were released for.
** The {{Konami}} games for the Nintendo systems were well-received. For the longest time, the SuperNintendo version was considered the best Batman game ever released. ([[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum Until,]] [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity you know...]])
** The {{Sega}} games for the Sega systems received mixed reviews (although the driving sections in the Sega CD version ''did'' score a decent reception).
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Selina's apartment, before her EvilMakeover. Seriously, what grown woman has that many stuffed animals, dollhouses, and pink stuff everywhere? This may be a sign of an already present mental imbalance (i.e., she is the type to cover everything with optimism).
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:The Penguin's funeral when the penguins gather around him and drag his body into the sea.]]
** "Don't pretend this is a happy ending!"
** The Penguin's speeches about being abandoned by his parents. They're a ruse to earn him sympathy, but that doesn't mean he pulled those lonely feelings out of nowhere for his act.
* UncannyValley: Shreck comes across as a deliberate version of this- he is always quietly sedate, even when he's been kidnapped by a deformed man-beast and dragged into a sewer, and shows a disturbing lack of empathy. Overall it makes him come across as inhuman, almost vampiric, contrasting with the more bizarre looking yet significantly more human leads. It also makes his [[NotSoStoic rare outbursts of anger]] much more jolting or even terrifying than they would be otherwise.
* VindicatedByHistory: Audience reception to this movie was mixed to negative, with many people finding the movie weird and/or disturbing. In fact, ''Film/BatmanForever'' was much better received in 1995 for being more of a popcorn flick. Now over 20 years later, while ''Batman Returns'' still has a large amount of detractors (mainly for liberally adapting the source material and Batman playing second-fiddle to the villains, though even Christopher Nolan's Bat-films have been criticized for the latter), just as many people consider it the best Burton/Schumacher film, if not the best Batman film, period. It has the highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes for the Burton/Schumacher series. (''Forever'', meanwhile, is often ranked by fans somewhere near the bottom of the barrel, thanks in part to [[Film/BatmanAndRobin its own sequel.]])
* WhatAnIdiot: When Max Schreck [[spoiler:sees Batman unmasked]], he says [[spoiler:"Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up as Batman?" Selina quickly points out that Shreck is a moron]]. He gave Selina another excuse to kill him after he apparently shot Batman in front of her. [[spoiler: He had his armor on and Max was unfortunate enough to miss his exposed head.]]
** Batman himself [[spoiler:for unmasking in front of Shreck. True he was trying to get through to Selina in the hope of making her snap out of her Catwoman persona, and his own emotions may have been rattled by her plight, but it was still a dumb thing to do in front of the villain.]]
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: The name "Red Triangle Gang" may at first seem random, or as an ironic nod to the circus troupe's [[SubvertedInnocence colorful and innocent origins]]. But in fact, the "red triangle" is a fairly common antifascist symbol in Europe - a sort of InsultBackfire, since it was affixed to the jumpsuits of political prisoners in [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII the Nazi concentration camps]].

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