YMMV: The Batman

YMMVs for the 1943 film serial

YMMVs for the 2004 animated series:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Were Chief Rojas's reasons for going after Batman legit because he believed Batman to be a menace or was it because of something else? Depending on your views, Rojas might've been a Dirty Cop. He did once say that about Ethan Bennett that "He never knew how to play ball." Plus there's his timing of partnering Ellen Yin and Bennett up shortly after Thorne was defeated and some of his tactics in hunting Batman were similar to the comics version of Gillian Loeb.
    • And Strawman Has a Point. Despite his idiocy and stalwart hatred of Batman beyond all reason, Rojas is correct that Batman is a vigilante and should be persecuted like the rest of the Rogue's Gallery in episode 12. His reasons for wanting to do so aren't so golden, but vigilantes are criminals. It doesn't help that in the very next scene that episode, Batman's fight with Joker's thugs causes about as much property damages as Joker himself does.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • After the mixed reception of the Joker in Season 1, his feral persona, outfit, and combat skills were toned down to be truer to his traditional depiction.
    • Season 3 onwards has a much more traditional Batman feel to it, with the removal of Ellen Yin and the introduction of Batgirl.
  • Base Breaker:
  • Complete Monster: The Joker was once a man who wanted to make people laugh, but after he fell into a vat of chemicals, he became an insane, murderous Monster Clown and Batman's Arch-Enemy. Devoid of any empathy, Joker commits crimes he views as "jokes" at the expense of Gotham. Terrible things he's done include poisoning people with his deadly laughing gas; putting people in various death traps; torturing Detective Ethan Bennett for hours and causing Bennett's mutation into Clayface (for no reason other than to see what it would do to him); impersonating Batman and gassing people for minor crimes; using Bane's venom to go on a rampage; attempting to drop a teenage boy into a vat of chemicals; frequently mistreating his henchman and his girlfriend Harley Quinn, as well as abandoning them to be arrested or even to die; and filling the abandoned tunnels and mine shafts beneath Gotham with miles of dynamite to collapse the city to oblivion. That he manages to qualify despite being toned down to all get-out is a testament to how twisted a character Joker is.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The first theme, written and performed by The Edge. It's so atmospheric, it even has guitar-made bat squeals.
    • Averted, however, with the replacement theme brought in in Season 3. Following Edge's theme, it was negatively received by quite a few fans.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Cash Tankinson.
    • Quite a few of the villains got their own fanbases: Hugo Strange for being a Magnificent Bastard. The Riddler for his Dark and Troubled Past, his new gothic look, and being cool as well as voiced by Robert Englund. Clayface got this status for being an outright tragic character as well as his alter ego, Ethan Bennett. Poison Ivy for her new backstory and interesting flower-esque makeover.
    • Batgirl was well received, being loved for energetic personality and enthusiasm.
    • Robin. His introduction was actually one of the reasons so many fans consider the 4th season the strongest.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Catwoman is naturally the most attractive villain in the series.
  • Growing the Beard: Depending on who you ask, this is seen to happen around the beginning of either season 2, 3 or 4.
    • The two-part season 1 finale is when fans generally thought the show stopped being a 22-minute toy commercial
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • The titular villain or "Rumors" is a bodyguard who failed to save his boss from being crippled by the Joker, so he became a vigilante to wipe out all criminals out of the guilt from his failure. He later even says that "this was all for him". Hugo Strange naturally has some fun with this.
      Hugo Strange: You didn't capture us so you could "save Gotham". No, you're trying to erase your own failure, of not saving your boss.
      Rumor: (a little TOO defensively) That's not true! Shut up!
    • Les Yay: Noticably between Poison Ivy and Barbara Gordon. Including a lot of We Can Rule Together.
    • Foe Yay: Batman and Joker. What, this surprises you?
    "Back off Tubby! Batsy's mine!"
    "The Batman? What if I hadn't been decent?"
    "Can't stay away from me, can you Batman? I guess opposites do attract."
    "If you really want to get inside my head, Batman...I'll take you so far in...you'll never find your way out!" *puts the miniature sized Batman in his mouth and swallows him down*
    Joker: Do you really think I'd send a flunkie to eliminate my favourite sparring partner? I reserve that pleasure for me alone.
    Batman: Then why-
    Joker: BECAUSE I MISS YOUR COMPANY, BATMAN!
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Vampire Joker was for the longest time the picture for its section of the pages.
    • Seeing Batman under the effects of Joker toxin in "The Laughing Bat" is just wrong. Oh so very wrong.
    • Black Mask. Particularly his mask. Not only does it look creepy, it's apparently unable to be removed. Is he even human underneath?
    • Ethan Bennet's treatment by the Joker near the end of the first season is just terrifying, especially near the end of the episode when Ethan's face melts he turns into Clayface.
    • "Strange New World". Hugo Strange's plan is to turn the city into a Zombie Apocalypse, with one key difference- they would be his mindless drone army, and otherwise act like regular zombies, minus the ripping people to shreds. We see it actually in action and it's terrifying. The really scary part? He put Batman into hallucinations thinking it already started, simply to initiate a literal Batman Gambit in which the "cure" Batman was setting up around the city was actually the real zombie virus, Batman almost created the nightmare he was so intent on stopping, this was what Hugo was planning from the very beginning
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Riddler in "Riddler's Revenge" (the poor guy...) and Poison Ivy in "The Batman Strikes" comics (it's quite sad to see her cry.)
  • Magnificent Bastard: Hugo Strange.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Joker's torture of thugs is certainly crossing this, plus what he did to Ethan. And Tony Zucco crosses it in the first ten minutes of his appearance by killing Dick Grayson's parents (before he became Robin) just because Mr. Grayson called the cops when Zucco got a bit threatening.
    • Joker's torture of Ethan was actually an invoked example, since he did it to prove to the police that he's more of a threat than Batman.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Basil Karlo. It really doesn't help that his introduction episode is the last time Ethan even appears.
  • The Scrappy: Prank is generally considered to be a pretty pointless and annoying character, who Harley Quinn should have taken the place of. She does end up appearing.
  • Strawman Has a Point: The episode "Rumors" involves a new vigilante capturing all of Batman's rogues with the intention of eventually executing them. Batman is naturally against this. While this is a common story for Batman, and his moral code is much easier to justify in this series since the villains have a much lower body count and haven't been at this for years, Batman doesn't really offer any rebuttal beyond "my way is right". It's also pointed out that Gotham didn't have criminals like them before Batman, something he never acknowledges in the episode. Ultimately, the story doesn't do much to disprove Rumors' arguments, and it comes off as "the hero is automatically right".
  • Tear Jerker: The endings to "White Heat" and "Riddler's Revenge", as well as every episode featuring Clayface.
    • The Riddler's backstory is especially notable (as well as overlooked) the fact that this Riddler has the most tragic origin of all the animated Riddlers.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Catwoman and Poison Ivy were never fully utilized as major characters after their debut episodes and never made many appearances as the show went on.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: According to the writers, Hush was supposed to make his official animated appearance in the show and act as the Bigger Bad in the series. Unfortunately, there wasn't any demand for him and he never came.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The series itself got this treatment, and in turn eventually became loved enough that the series to come afterwards got the same.
    • Rino Romano got this as the new VA for Bruce Wayne who wasn't Kevin Conroy. Fans did warm up to him in due course, though.
    • This is especially notable when you realize how obviously the writers went out of their way to stand on their own, away from the influences of Batman: The Animated Series. By not doing Mr. Freeze's famous origin, making the Penguin his rude disgusting persona instead of his gentleman persona, Joker's design, and Harley Quinn having a completely new origin note 
  • The Untwist: It is virtually unthinkable to not give Mr. Freeze his tragic backstory in any modern incarnation... but this series decided to give a more traditional supervillain origin. Although barring that, this version of Freeze has his own merits as he still isn't outright evil and his powers were appropriately unique compared to other criminals Batman faced.
  • Villain Decay: All of Batman's Rogues gallery suffered from heavy downgrades as the show continued. This comes to a high point in Rumors, where Batman and Robin take on the entire villain line up, defeating all of them with ease. However, Catwoman may be the only exception since she never has a pathetic moment in the entire series and always gets away. Sadly, she never turns up again after this particular episode.
  • Villain Sue: Catwoman is the only character with no backstory, solely exists to be a threat to Batman, never gets punished for her crimes, and mostly serves as just being a selfish villain trying to steal valuables.