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Major Villains

    The Joker 

Jack Napier/The Joker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie1.jpg
"Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me... Joker!"
Click here to see young Jack Napier 

Species: Human

Played by: Jack Nicholson

Appearances: Batman

"Now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said: if you gotta go, go with a smile."

A mobster working for Carl Grissom. An encounter with Batman at the Axis Chemical factory results in him falling into a vat of chemicals, which turns his skin pure white, his hair green, and his lips bright red. A plastic surgeon's inept attempt to repair shrapnel wounds to his face leaves him with a permanent creepy grin and causes him to Go Mad from the Revelation of his own image in a mirror.


  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Rather than Joe Chill, it is the Joker who killed Bruce's parents; making his notorious status as Batman's Arch-Enemy much more personal in this adaptation.
  • Age Lift: In the comics, it's assumed that the Joker is around the same age as Bruce. Here, Jack Napier is already an adult when he kills Bruce's parents.
  • Alternate Self: Ones on Earth-1, Earth-9, Earth-96, & Earth-203.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Knox's cameo in Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) sees him reading a paper with the headline "Batman Captures Joker", leading to the possibility that either, like what was revealed in Darkseid War and DC Rebirth, Napier was replaced as the Joker by a Legacy Character, or, in keeping with being a version of the Trope Namer for Joker Immunity, Napier somehow managed to fake his death in the climax or get resurrected.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Batman. He murdered Bruce Wayne's parents right before his eyes. The two of them are even featured in the collage for this trope's page along with other incarnations of these two.
  • Art Attacker: At one point in the first movie, he and his goons enter the Gotham Art Museum and vandalize many of the art on display. The only work of art he spares is Francis Bacon's Figure with Meat.
  • Attention Whore: While his transition to a clown did lead to his embracing of a specific type of comedy, it was the medias' priorities over giving more attention to a certain bat-creature that made him decide that he has to share his unique brand with the rest of Gotham. When Vicki Vale asks what he wants, he replies "My face on the one dollar bill" and shows for explicitly decries the fact that Batman is getting his (Joker's) attention in the press.
  • Ax-Crazy: As usual for the Joker. Though the film implies that Jack Napier was crazy to begin with. The chemicals just made him worse.
  • Bad Boss: Even more so than usual. He calls Bob his number-one guy and he means it. Number-one as in the first to go when things don't go according to plan.
  • Badass Longcoat: A purple trenchcoat.
  • Berserk Button: "HE STOLE MY BALLOONS! Why didn't somebody tell me that he had one of those...things?!"
    • As Jack Napier, he really did not like being called crazy, especially in the way Lieutenant Eckhardt called him an "A-1 nut boy". Just look at the way his eyes widen before slamming Eckhardt against the wall. This changed however along with a few other things...
  • Big Bad: Serves the role as the first film’s main antagonist after killing Carl Grissom and taking over his organization in the first half of the film and is Batman’s most personal antagonist.
  • Blatant Lies: "I can be theatrical, and even a little rough. But one thing I am not... is a killer!" By this point, he's already killed at least six people directly (Bruce's parents, Eckhardt, Grissom, Rotelli, Vinnie), gassed a museum full of patrons, and caused a few more deaths by lacing his Smilex poison into Gotham City's consumer products; pertinent to the "Blatant" part, he did one of these at a press conference, didn't make a secret of his attack at the museum, and bragged about the Smylex.
  • Bond One-Liner: Gets a few ("Antoine got a little hot under the collar," "The pen is truly mightier than the sword").
  • Bring It: In word and gesture, while waiting for Batman to attack in the Batwing.
    Joker: Come on, you gruesome son of a bitch. Come to me.
  • Buffy Speak: After Batman uses the Batwing to steer his Smilex balloons away from Gothamites, the Joker angrily asks (about the Batwing) "Why didn't somebody tell me that he had one of those...things?!"
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Played with.
    Batman: You killed my parents.
    Joker: What? (chuckles) What are you talking about?
    Batman: I made you. But you made me first.
    Joker: I was a kid when I killed your parents. When I said "I made you," you gotta say "you made me!" How childish can you get?
  • The Caligula: An unusually competent example, but an example nonetheless.
  • Captive Date: With Vicki Vale.
  • Catchphrase: "You ever danced with The Devil by the pale moonlight?" It's how Bruce realizes that The Joker killed his parents, since the gunman said the same thing while pointing a gun into his (young Bruce's) face.
  • Composite Character: Of The Joker and Joe Chill. Also qualifies as Decomposite Character, as Joe Chill is in the movie, but he's reduced to Jack's nervous accomplice.
  • Deadly Euphemism: He's quite fond of these (fitting, given his history as a mobster).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pre-transformation.
  • Death by Adaptation: Dies at the end of the film.
  • Death by Irony: The last thing he says before his Disney Villain Death is, "Sometimes I just kill myself!" He subsequently falls off the helicopter's rope ladder after Batman tethers a stone gargoyle to his ankle and it breaks loose, dragging him to his doom.
  • Dies Wide Open: After he falls to his death, he has his expression frozen with the eyes still open.
  • Disney Villain Death: We even see exactly how far down he has to fall, as well as a close-up of his crushed corpse.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: A pre-Joker Jack Napier takes a long, loving look in the mirror while preparing to go out. Alicia tells him he looks great, and he brushes her off with, "I didn't ask."
  • The Dog Bites Back: The very first thing Jack Napier does after becoming The Joker is kill Grissom as revenge for setting him up to be killed due to his sleeping with Grissom's girl.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Originally this to Carl Grissom, before his failed Uriah Gambit that led Jack to stop procrastinating and decide to just take over.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In his introduction scene, he establishes that he's part of the criminal element plaguing Gotham City by his first line (in response to Harvey Dent's speech about making the city safe for decent people), "Decent people shouldn't live here. They'd be happier someplace else." His next line, "If this clown could touch Grissom, I'd have handed him his lungs by now," establishes that he is a psycho. Next, he comments on how his boss is a "tired old man" and how he "can't run the city without me," suggesting that he wants to run the show himself someday (which is expanded upon later in the "think about the future" scene with Eckhardt). He then admires himself in the mirror, and when the attractive woman he's been talking to (his girlfriend, who is also his boss's mistress) approaches him and compliments his looks ("You look fine"), he is insulting ("I didn't ask"), revealing that he is an arrogant jerk with a focus on his looks, which foreshadows his later transformation and the psychological effect it will have on him.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Jack Nicholson was having the time of his life.
  • Evil Is Petty: To him, anything can be countenanced by society—or, at least, should be countenanced—as long as it is funny; and if it is what one would presumably call a "misdeed," the question of whether it results in great suffering or mere irritation is simply irrelevant. So he goes about doing every "naughty" thing he can think of, just to see what will happen as a result. For example, he electrocutes a fellow gangster just so he can make a bad pun and "comically" talk to the corpse. He hijacks a television broadcast with an irreverent "commercial," taunting Gothamites for having unwittingly bought poisoned household items. He sends the girl he lusts after a jack-in-the-box that pops up with a handful of dead flowers, which causes her to faint because she was expecting something far more deadly.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In the Flashback scene. In the present day, courtesy of Nicholson, his voice is still deep and gruff althought not demonic-like as in Bruce's memory. Actually this is one of the few Jokers who speaks in a deep voice in contrast of many others who more often than not talk in a Creepy High-Pitched Voice.
  • Excessive Evil Eyeshadow: And a permanent one that he can't erase.
  • Extendo Boxing Glove: Uses one of these to smash a TV when Batman gets more publicity than he (the Joker) does. So he decides to create wanton chaos to grab the headlines.
  • Facial Horror: This is how Jack Napier became The Joker; a combination of being shot through the face and a huge vat of acid.
  • False Reassurance: He grabs henchman Bob by his shoulders and promises him: "You…are my number-one...guy [i.e., "You're irreplaceable"]." And that's true. But what Bob doesn't know is that their old boss, Carl Grissom, had said the same words - and in the exact same rhythm, too - to Jack Napier (the man who became the Joker) just before setting him up to be nearly assassinated. It's clearly a Foreshadowing that the Joker will scheme to have Bob eliminated the same way Boss Grissom had tried to have him eliminated...until the subversion toward the end where the Joker does execute Bob, but merely in a fit of anger when Batman foils his big murder plot. He just saw it fit to kill him at some point.
  • Famous Last Words: When he is about to make his escape via the chopper, he says "Sometimes I just kill myself!" A few seconds later, his leg is attached to a gargoyle that promptly breaks off, then he falls to his doom.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Like in his scene with Vicki at the museum and his scene with Bruce and Vicki at Vicki's apartment.
  • For the Evulz: His motive for pretty much anything.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Happens when he gets a good look at himself in a mirror after the back-alley doctor tries to repair his face.
  • Hammerspace: In the final battle when he pulls that gun out of his pants. The thing is longer than he's tall!
  • Hand Cannon: The gun with the really long barrel is both large and powerful, since it can take down Batman's plane. In the novelization, the Joker was Blown Across the Room by the recoil.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: When Jack Nicholson was brought in, his interpretation of the character was that Napier was always highly intelligent, violent and sadistic — his transformation just released him from whatever restraint he had. Everything Jack Napier fantasizes about and kept vaguely under control, the Joker does the instant it occurs to him.
    The story says, "Here's a man plunged into nuclear waste, and comes out this other identity", right? So my simple thought on it is the guy is from then on short-wired. I love that.
  • The Hyena: Laughs in pretty much every scene he's in after his freak accident.
  • If I Can't Have You...: It's never explicitly stated, but this seems to be how he feels at the climax. Once it finally becomes clear to him that Vicki Vale will never love him, he just tries to kill her along with Batman. (Being a psychopath, it's most likely he would have eventually killed her anyway once he got bored with her, like he did with Alicia.)
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: He's got to get Vicki to the church on time.
  • I Just Like Saying the Word: Always utters "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?" when he kills someone. He later comments to a confused Bruce Wayne that he always asks that of all his prey, and that he just likes the sound of it, which is how Bruce finds out who murdered his parents.
  • I Kiss Your Foot: Sort of. While being forced up the steps of Gotham Cathedral by the Joker, Vicki Vale falls and loses one of her shoes. The Joker then picks the shoe up, kisses it suggestively and throws it over the side of the bannister.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Takes down the Batwing with a revolver, albeit one with a ridiculously long barrel.
  • Improvised Weapon: He used a quill pen to kill a local mob boss.
  • Impromptu Tracheotomy: Inflicts one on Ricorso in broad daylight.
    Joker: The pen is truly mightier than the sword!
  • Insane Equals Violent: Notably averted. Unlike some other (possible) backstories for Joker, Jack Napier was a ruthless murderer even before he (completely) lost it.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Vicki Vale: You're insane...!
    Joker: (feigning surprise) I thought I was a Pisces.
  • Joker Immunity: Averted. He dies at the end of the first film and stays dead throughout the remainder of the film series.
  • Karmic Death: Jack Napier murdered Bruce Wayne's parents when he was a kid. This comes back to bite him when Bruce becomes Batman decades later and kills him by grappling a gargoyle to his ankle, causing Jack (now the Joker) to fall several hundred feet off of the Gotham City Cathedral to his demise when the gargoyle breaks off.
  • Kick the Dog: Had a number of examples of this, such as terrorizing Vicki Vale, disposing of his last girlfriend Alicia off-screen so he could be with Vicki, and gassing a museum and later a parade full of innocent people (though the last one was foiled by Batman), but the worst was probably cold-bloodedly executing Bob, his unquestioningly loyal Battle Butler, after asking him for his gun following said foiling.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: His murders of Lieutenant Eckhardt, Carl Grissom, Anton Rotelli and Vinnie Ricorso. Eckhardt was the Dirty Cop sent to murder him and Grissom ordered the hit on Napier, while Rotelli and Ricorso were ruthless mob bosses.
  • Klingon Promotion: After his transformation, he kills Grissom and takes over his operation.
  • Lack of Empathy: When Batman revealed to The Joker that he murdered his parents, thus meaning that The Joker made him first, The Joker mocks Batman for the way he explained it, culminating in "How childish can you get!?"
  • Large Ham
    The Joker: We've got a flying mouse to kill, and I want to clean my claws! (complete with wringing hand movements)
  • Laughably Evil: If we ignore his homicidal actions, he does have some success as a clown.
  • Laughing Mad: It's The Joker, for Chrissakes!
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: He was never anything other than dangerous, but once he decides to (temporarily) stop fooling around he takes a few threat levels. Like the balloon scene.
  • Mad Artist: Describes himself as "the world's first, fully functioning homicidal artist," disfigures his girlfriend Alicia and fails in his attempt to disfigure Vicki Vale. After all, death and violence are the highest and most refined art form, according to his new standards of beauty.
  • Mad Scientist: Has shades of this as it is implied that he created the binary compound (CIA files on a nerve agent classified DDID) for the Smilex poison.
  • Malevolent Mugshot: Done a lot with his face.
  • Meaningful Name: Jack Napierjackanapes, two meanings of the word being "an impudent or conceited fellow" or "a saucy or mischievous child."
  • Monster Clown: Of course, since he's The Joker.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The Joker's real name was never revealed in the comics and this is still so far one of the few adaptations that has definitively given him a real name and backstory.
  • Narcissist: Even a saner person would have a breakdown over seeing their face being bleached and reduced to a clown's, let alone someone who spent so much time looking at themselves in the mirror. After his rebirth, he grew to love the reflection that grinned back at him and instead of disappearing his narcissism went into an even more twisted direction.
  • Nice Hat: Cycles between several nice looking hats; he normally wears a fedora, but he wears a top hat as an Enemy Mime and a beret when he goes to the museum for his “date” with Vicky.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He loves the mutilated bodies from Vicki's pics taken in the Colto Maltese, and then there's his declaration of being a "homicidal artist", disfiguring pretty women to resemble modern art.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Oh, sure, he'll kill someone himself if his "prey" can't fight back, but when it finally comes to a fight with the battered Batman at the end of the movie, Joker, here, turns out to be surprisingly, painfully out of his depth in a bloody Curb-Stomp Battle, only regaining the upper hand with a last-second trick.note 
  • Oh, Crap!: Does one as Napier when his men open the vault at Axis Chemicals and the vault's empty, meaning that someone knew they were coming.
    Jack: We've been ratted out here, boys. Watch it.
  • One Degree of Separation: The movie decided that having him threatening everyone in Gotham City wasn't enough of a reason for Batman to hate him, so it turns out that he was the one who killed Bruce Wayne's parents.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Pulls an ENORMOUS revolver out of his Trouser Space to shoot down the Batwing.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Declares that "The pen is truly mightier than the sword!" after he kills one of Grissom's allies by stabbing a really sharp ink quill into the man's throat.
  • Pet the Dog: Parodied. While defacing several priceless works of art with his henchmen, he takes a liking to one of them and decides to spare it, even stopping Bob from driving a knife into it.
  • Phallic Weapon: A Getting Crap Past the Radar example that pays off twice. First, he shoots down the Batwing with a ridiculously long gun pulled from the front of his baggy clown pants. Then, immediately afterward, he uses this gun to take Vicki hostage and keeps it pointed at her throughout the film's long and sexually-charged climax.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Gets in a few of these alongside the Bond One Liners.
    • (To Eckardt): "Think about the future!"
    • (To Grissom): "And as you can see, I'm a lot happier."
    • (To Ricorso): "Hello, Vinnie. It's your uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check!"
  • Psycho for Hire: Before he became a Monster Clown, Jack Napier had already been a sadistic killer for decades who loved to make children into orphans just for kicks. Just ask Bruce Wayne.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: It's almost obligatory to depict The Joker this way, but this film takes it a step further by showing him as the apparently sane (but still very, very evil) Jack Napier prior to his transformation. In between the vicious murders he committed as Napier and then continues to commit as the clown he becomes, the Joker "punches out" two television sets with a gag boxing glove, blows into a birthday-party noisemaker (possibly the film's single funniest scene), obsessively cuts up photographs to make collages of them, hosts a parade with giant cartoon-character balloons, makes funny sound effects with his mouth, and sends the woman he's stalking a note written in crayon.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Only at the subtlest of times, and thus rarely. It's more in play pre-transformation, such as his conversation with Eckhardt early in the film.
  • Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": Laughs while committing his murders.
  • Red Boxing Gloves: He used an extendable boxing glove device.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • Favors a Colt New Service revolver as his main weapon.
    • Brings down the Batwing using a revolver with a really Freudian barrel. This one is a Smith & Wesson Model 15 with a custom 21-inch barrel.
  • Shoot the Television: Shoots a TV set whenever Batman comes on.
  • Slasher Smile: Wouldn’t be the Joker without a killer smile. In this case it’s a rictus grin, and the version that appears in flashback shows he had it down pat years ago.
  • The Sociopath: As is the case with the Joker's character in almost any form of Batman media.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Vicki.
  • The Starscream: Zigzagged. While he was the one who killed Carl Grissom, he did not do so only as part of a plot to take over. He killed Grissom out of revenge, and then decided to take over his empire as an afterthought. Then again, comments Napier made in passing to both Alicia and Lieutenant Eckhardt suggest that he may have been plotting Grissom's murder sometime in the future, or at the very least was waiting for the old man to die.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: His real name is Jack Napier, a play on jackanape, an outdated word for "fool" or "jester."
  • That Man Is Dead: Used in the reveal of the Joker's face. "Jack is dead, my friend. You can call me...'Joker.' And as you can see, I'm a lot happier."
  • This Is the Part Where...
    Joker: And now comes the part where I relieve you, the little people, of the burden of your failed and useless lives. But, as my plastic surgeon always said, "If you gotta go, go with a smile!"
  • Tranquil Fury: Has a few episodes of this, like when he confronts Grissom after his plot to kill him, and also as Batman's foiling of his plan takes it's toll.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Calls Batman out via a TV broadcast.
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: Brings in the "mob bosses" of Gotham and introduces himself as the new big boss. One of the mobsters, Antoine Rotelli, opts out, and as they shake hands, he gets the "joy buzzer" from the Joker, which rather gruesomely kills him, as a lesson to the other bosses ("I'm glad you're dead!")...then goes on to order the deaths of the other bosses.
    • He decides to kill them all on the "advice" of Rotelli's corpse note . It's the first sign that Jack, who was "just" a psychopath, is now completely unhinged.
  • Token Motivational Nemesis: This version turned Jack Napier, the man who would become Joker, into the murderer of Bruce Wayne's parents, presumably to add more chemistry to the Batman/Joker rivalry. However, the Joker got killed in the first film and never appeared in any sequels.
  • Trouser Space: He pulls an absurdly long-barreled revolver out of the front of his trousers. It's so long that he shouldn't have been able to walk with that thing down his trouser leg, at least not without a serious limp.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Wears makeup over his white skin that doesn't have the depth or shading of real skin and gives him a creepy mannequin look.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Briefly wins the city over by staging a parade and dumping cash on the crowd in an effort to upstage Batman "hogging" the press (and lure a large amount of people into the open so he can kill them.)
    Joker: Me? I'm givin' away free money! And where is the Batman? He's at home, washin' his tights.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • When Jack Napier first looks into the plastic surgeon's mirror and sees his "clown face," for a brief moment we hear a very soft chuckle, which becomes hysterical laughter...and doesn't ever stop.
      Joker: That wasn't easy to get over! And don't think that I didn't try.
    • His "Joker" persona crashes near the end when Batman steals his gas-spewing balloons that he had just unleashed on a crowd. He goes from a cackling, gleefully murderous Large Ham to staring and muttering in disbelief about his balloons, then half-wanders off of the float in a daze, all the zazz gone from his steps, before finally screaming at his henchmen, "HE STOLE MY BALLOONS!", asking Bob for a gun, and shooting Bob.
      Joker: I'll need a minute or two alone, boys.
  • Villainous Crush: On Vicki, ever since he got a good look at both her photos and the photos of her.
  • Voice of the Legion: In Bruce's memories, his voice has an echo.
  • Wham Line: Not apparent to the audience at first, his favorite Pre-Mortem One-Liner serves as this to Bruce. They were the same words Jack Napier said to young Bruce as a mugger after murdering his parents.
    Joker: You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
  • Wicked Cultured: Apparently, he's fond of Francis Bacon's art. He's also very tied into fashion — his first reaction to Knox is to comment "Bad tie!"
  • Would Hurt a Child: After murdering Thomas and Martha Wayne, Napier prepares to shoot young Bruce only for his accomplice to shout for him to leave.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Often behaves as if he's the protagonist of a wild romantic comedy and that Vicki is the Defrosting Ice Queen. This fails to explain why he's also cast himself as the Romantic False Lead!
    Bob: She's [Vicki] dating some guy named Wayne.
    Joker: (smug) She's about to trade up.
  • You Can't Make an Omelette...: He "improved" the looks of his girlfriend Alicia. After he tells Vicki Vale that Alicia threw herself out a window, this line is used, implying that he may have killed her himself to free himself for Vicki:
    Joker: But...you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. (breaks Alicia's mask)
  • You Didn't Ask: Reversed when pre-Joker Jack is preening himself in the mirror:
    Alicia: You look fine.
    Joker: I didn't ask.
  • You Have Failed Me: After Batman foils his balloon plan with his Batwing, the Joker kills Bob because Bob didn't tell him that Batman had it (as if he could have possibly known!). It's also possible that he just shot him out of anger.
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    The Penguin 

Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie1_4.jpg
"My name is not Oswald! It's Penguin! I am not a human being. I am an animal! Cold-blooded!"

Species: Human

Played by: Danny DeVito

Voiced by: Philippe Peythieu (European French)

Appearances: Batman Returns

"True. I was their number one son, and they treated me like number two."

The son of wealthy Gotham citizens who dumped him in the sewer due to his deformity, he was taken in by the Red Triangle Gang, eventually becoming their leader. Wanting to find out about his family, Oswald blackmails Max Shreck into helping him and he eventually becomes Gotham City's new darling, even running for Mayor. That is, until his true nature and intentions are exposed by Batman.


  • Adaptational Backstory Change: In the comics, Penguin was never abandoned and forced to live in the sewers by his parents, neither was he deformed.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: In the comics, Penguin is often portrayed as being well-spoken, with gentleman-like manners. This version of Penguin, on the other hand, is crude, thuggish, lecherous, unfriendly and lacking any manners.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: You'd better believe it. Despite a pudgy body, short stature and beak-like nose in the comics, he's still relatively normal-looking. This version of Penguin is a pale-skinned, hunched, disfigured misfit with messy long hair and flipper-like hands. This was done deliberately, since his monstrous appearance is a vital part of his character and the film as a whole.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While the comics Penguin was a crime boss, he was also an Affably Evil Wicked Cultured gentleman of crime and was genuinely deemed sane. Here, he's a deformed, psychotic, Ax-Crazy, sadistic, sexually-repressed child killer and would-be mass murderer, setting the stage for many future interpretations of the character to follow, including The Batman, the Batman: Arkham Series, and Gotham (and sometimes they go even further, as the Arkham Penguin is a flat-out bigot and the Gotham Penguin once ate his own stepsiblings and fed them to his stepmother after they killed his father).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After being knocked through a skylight window and nearly drowning, and then weakly emerging from the Arctic World pool burned, bleeding and vomiting up toxic waste, he dies completely unrepentant, still raving about how he intends to take Batman to Hell with him. But through it all, we can't ever forget that this is someone who was forced to grow up in a cold and lonely sewer ever since he was a baby, and for whom Bruce Wayne (who, as Batman, is largely responsible for his death) once expressed sympathy as a fellow orphan. The moving "funeral" that a group of emperor penguins hold for the villain helps to soften the blow, too.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-1.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Penguin was suspected of being this by a few particularly touchy Jewish groups, owing to his short stature, hooked nose, Moses-like upbringing and fondness for fish. And according to her tombstone, his mother's name was "Esther" (an exiled Hebrew queen from the Old Testament). Paradoxically, however, the tombstone was also topped by a huge Christian cross which gets a long, lingering closeup as part of the movie's rather unsettling biblical imagery.
  • Anti-Villain: A major type II (Woobie Variant). Penguin is far from a good person, however, at the end of it all, he is a very broken, damaged individual who wants vengeance against society for rejecting him and being abandoned in the sewers by his parents, which is ultimately what made him into who he is today.
  • Ax-Crazy: Big Time... He'll murder people for even remotely disagreeing with him (the fat clown learnt that the hard way), and is vengeful and vindictive to the point of wanting to murder babies.
  • Bad Boss: He's not above executing his subordinates if they question him.
  • Break Them by Talking: During their first meeting, he taunts Batman by suggesting that his habit of wearing a mask is a sign of his cowardice. Later on, however, he comes to believe that Batman wears a mask in order to cope with the fact that he is jealous of Penguin because "I'm a genuine freak!" Grudgingly, Batman admits that his nemesis may have a point.
  • Child Hater: Plans to murder all of Gotham's first-born children to avenge his Parental Abandonment.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Especially when running for Mayor. When asked for a platform, he proposes fighting global warming by introducing "global cooling" to "make the world a giant icebox."
  • Composite Character: With the Mutant Leader from The Dark Knight Returns.
    • His role as a societal reject living in the sewers whose genes gives him a monstrous appearance can be seen as similar to Killer Croc's backstory.
    • Penguin also has clowns and other circus freaks as his henchmen, something that is usually associated with The Joker.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: The Joker was a mass murderer who started out as a hitman, who had personal ties to Batman due to having killed his parents. While mass murder is still an element to Penguin's character, he's more of a dark analogue to Batman, and whose plan ends up hinging on becoming well-liked by the public.
  • Creepy Child: Back in his circus days as "The Aquatic Bird Boy", he was suspected of kids going missing in the circus fairground, and disappeared before he could be questioned.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Doubtlessly the most unsettling thing about his appearance. Though it's still unknown whether he was actually born with them or simply developed them from years of living underground.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Subverted. He passes himself off as this, but if anything, he's actually several magnitudes more monstrous than he looks like.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He definitely has some snarks over the course of the movie, with this line being the best example:
    Penguin: Right now, my troops are fanning out across town, for your children! Yes, for your first-born sons! The ones you left helpless, at home, so you could dress up like jerks, get juiced, and dance... badly.
  • Dies Wide Open: Is shown with his eyes open while sinking down the sewer in a cloud of his own blood.
  • Dirty Old Man: At one point, he leers at a female image consultant and utters "I'd like to fill her void" and then mimics a woman telling him "I need you, Oswald," and later puts an election pin on a young woman's jacket to secretly fondle her breast. He's completely against running for mayor, feeling it would distract him from his own plans until Shreck uses two little words: "unlimited poontang." His alliance with Catwoman is also loaded with sexual frustration.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: While it became Depending on the Artist after Returns, before it, the Penguin in the comics and other media was never shown to have syndactyly (fused fingers).
  • Enfante Terrible: Even at a very young age, he was violent and cruel. It was a big factor in his parents trying to kill him.
  • Enemy Mine: Penguin teams up with Shreck and later Catwoman in Returns.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As monstrous as he is, Penguin genuinely cares for his penguins. In the end, it's shown the feeling is mutual when they give him a Burial at Sea.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Hooooooo boy. He unleashes an army of rocketeer penguins upon Gotham.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. He's the evil "orphaned freak" to Bruce's righteous "orphaned freak". They even have similar arsenals, creepy lairs, and a bizarre multi-purpose car or boat!
  • Evil Wears Black: He dresses in a black, grey and white tuxedo.
  • Eviler Than Thou: To Max Shreck.
  • False Reassurance: Does this when he uses a swarm of bats to force the Ice Princess off the edge of a building, resulting in her death:
    Catwoman: You said you were just going to scare the Ice Princess.
    The Penguin: She looked pretty scared to me!
  • Fat Bastard: As usual with most incarnations of the character, he is overweight, and a ruthless sociopath.
  • Faux Affably Evil: When he successfully wins the town's sympathy vote (and starts to win their actual votes) and presents himself as a miserable victim of fate's hand, who nonetheless is willing to forgive the parents who abandoned him and expresses despair and outrage at the devastation caused by the Red Triangle Gang. It's complete bunk and in private, he is every bit the petty, vindictive, murderous, depraved, psychotic, misanthropic, and hideous monster he looks like. He only put his Evil Plan to murder all the first-born children of Gotham on ice because Shreck offered him the chance to be a Villain with Good Publicity, and when both those schemes are foiled by Batman, he goes so berserk that he tries to destroy the city just to avenge his own crappy life.
  • Gonk: He isn't particularly attractive.
  • The Grotesque: His plan for revenge on Gotham involves appearing to be merely this.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A lot of what his actions end up being used against him by Batman. Most notably, his Evil Gloating while hacking the Batmobile is used as an Engineered Public Confession to show his true colors, and Batman eventually defeats him in their fight by using a trick similar to what he used to kill the Ice Princess.
  • Humiliation Conga: The final act of the movie basically has one thing after another going wrong for him. After he failed to kill Batman by sabotaging the Batmobile, the Dark Knight uses an Engineered Public Confession to reveal his true face to Gotham, ruining his chances to become mayor and obliterating the Villain with Good Publicity image he had worked the entire movie to build. He then tries to take revenge by kidnapping and killing all the children of Gotham's elite, only for Batman to stop his gang, save the children before he can even get his hands on them, and taunt him with a letter just to rub salt on the wound. Infuriated, he attempts to destroy Gotham using his pet penguins as a personal army equipped with rockets, but Batman is able to steal control of the army from him and use them to destroy most of his hideout. His gang abandons him, and his final fight ends up completely one-sided, with Batman throwing him in the chemical wastes of his lair using the very same trick he used to kill the Ice Princess. Exhausted, he makes one final attempt to kill his opponent from behind, only to accidentally pick the one umbrella in his collection that was harmless, before dying from his wounds.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Clearly displays these while gobbling down a raw fish.
  • Karmic Death: Dies due to injuries sustained after Batman sends a horde of bats at him, causing him to back into a skylight while trying to swat them away. He killed the Ice Princess in a similar manner.
  • Kick the Dog: When the Fat Clown objects to his plan to kill Gotham's firstborn children (which is vile as hell in itself), Penguin just takes out a revolver and shoots him.
    Fat Clown: Killing sleeping children? Isn't that a little...err...?
    Penguin: (BANG!) No, it's a lot!
    • The Penguin also tries to run down a little old lady while going on a rampage with the remotely-hijacked Batmobile. Batman takes back control just in time to keep her from being splatted.
  • Lack of Empathy: Best shown when Max persuades Penguin to take him instead of his son, Chip.
    Max Schreck: If you have an iota of human feeling left, take me instead.
    Penguin: I don't, so no.
  • Large Ham: Danny DeVito doesn’t pull any punches as The Penguin. It’s also complete with Evil Laugh at times.
  • Laughably Evil: His crude behavior, dirty comments towards all the women he sees and crazy personality can be pretty amusing to watch.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Moreso than he does a penguin, anyway.
  • Madman in the Attic: His earliest life while his parents were still attempting to raise him.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: It's pretty obvious that Penguin has a severe hatred for everybody, going as far as to kill his own henchmen whenever they annoy him and trying to murder every newborn in Gotham.
  • Misplaced Retribution: His idea of getting back at his parents for abandoning them is by murdering all of Gotham's children, despite the fact they had nothing to do with what happened to him.
  • Monster Sob Story: His MO for gaining sympathy with the Gotham public. There are some true negative feelings, but the bitterness isn't shown and so most of it is an act.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: A villainous example of the trope.
  • Not So Different: To Batman.
    "You're just jealous because I'm a genuine freak, and you have to wear a mask!"
  • Obviously Evil: He's very sinister looking, like all the other Batman villains.
  • Papa Wolf: Goes ballistic after Batman has Alfred jam the frequency over which he is sending neurological commands to his pet penguins. ("MY BABIIIIES!")
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents dumped him in a sewer because he was deformed.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He spends a good deal of screentime wearing only a onesie-like garment stained with his own spittle and slobber. Furthermore, he rides around in a giant toy rubber-duck vehicle and amuses himself with an umbrella (among his collection of genuinely deadly ones) hung with little plastic animals reminiscent of a mobile found in a baby's crib. ("Shit! Picked the cute one!") Actually, he is more of a Type C, a quite sane and intelligent (though, again, extremely evil) man who simply has not been able to grow up because of his Daddy Issues.
  • Raised By Penguins: With a little educational help from a gang of clowns.
  • Red Right Hand: Both his hands are noticeably deformed, having a thumb and an index finger each, but the remaining three fused together in a manner that resembles the flippers of a penguin.
  • Resigned to the Call: Isn't very keen on becoming Mayor of Gotham City, and only agrees to it so Shreck will help him with his own goals. It's later subverted when the Penguin decides that he could actually enjoy being Mayor, along with all the trappings that would come with it, and "reclaim [his] birthright".
  • Rousing Speech: To his penguins.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His main motive in the film
  • Same Character, but Different: This Penguin does resemble his comics counterpart, dresses in very similar clothes and wields umbrella guns, however this version of the character is different in every other way. For starters, the comics version wasn't deformed or abandoned in the sewers by his parents, and he wasn't as crude or psychotic as this version, nor was he willing to murder all the children in Gotham.
  • Taking You with Me: In the final act, Penguin uses his penguins to bomb his own hideout, hoping to take Batman down with him.
  • Tragic Villain: Being abandoned by his parents and forced to live in the sewers has twisted Penguin psychologically, turning him into the vengeful, bloodthirsty madman he is today.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: In the Craig Shaw Gardner novelization, it's heavily implied that he was the one who ended up putting his parents into those graves, almost assuredly as "gratitude" for how they'd treated him. In which case, it clearly didn't make him feel any better in the long run, given that he's still vengeful enough to want to invoke Would Hurt a Child and/or Omnicidal Maniac at the end.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has a multi-tier one after the fallout of his campaign. First, he renounces his humanity and tries to kill all of Gotham's first-born sons. After Batman sends him a letter letting him know the children have been saved, he freaks out again and decides to nuke Gotham Square with rocket-launching penguins. When Batman and Alfred jam the signal and his goons abandon him, he freaks out again and goes out to face Batman in the Duckmobile. He then uses the penguins to bomb his own base in the slim hope he'll kill Batman along with himself.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Max Shreck and later Catwoman, both of whom ultimately turn their back on him.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: During his mayoral bid, although he is soon brought down by an Engineered Public Confession.
  • Wicked Cultured: The Penguin character was deconstructed in Batman Returns, where he's revealed to be the grotesquely deformed member of a wealthy family who dumped him in the river and left him for dead when he was still a baby. Although obviously intelligent and certainly no stranger to fine clothes, this version of the Penguin is quite vulgar, with thuggish manners and distasteful sexual appetites.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Really, you can't blame him for becoming the way he is today. He was disfigured since birth, and his aristocratic parents tried to drown him in the sewers. He was then found by a traveling circus and raised in the freak show. While the public views him with sympathy, he has become a warped sociopath, plotting to kill all the first-born sons of Gotham City. When Batman foils him, he straps rockets to his hundreds (thousands?) of pet penguins, intending to use them in a suicide bombing to kill all of Gotham which, as the only setting we see, is extremely Omnicidal in context. And yet, you still can't help but pity him at his death.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Has no problem kidnapping children to further his agenda, and wants to throw the children of Gotham's elite into a "deep dark watery grave."
  • Younger Than They Look: If the prologue is to be believed, he is 33 years old.

    Catwoman 

Selina Kyle/Catwoman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie_3.jpg
"I am Catwoman. Hear me roar!"

Species: Human

Played by: Michelle Pfeiffer

Appearances: Batman Returns

"I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier."

Max Shreck's secretary, Selina Kyle finds out her boss' plans to take energy from Gotham citizens and is pushed out a window in an attempt to kill her. She survives, but suffers a psychotic breakdown that results in her becoming Catwoman.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Selina/Catwoman is usually depicted as having dark hair, but is blonde in Returns.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In most versions, Selina is an amoral jewel thief who is mostly sane. Here, she's a revenge obsessed and mentally unstable vigilante with an even more sadistic streak.
  • Alternate Self: Had one on Earth-203.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Even though she is shown to have (or to have had) two heterosexual romances in the film (and is suspected of a third one by Bruce), there are things about Selina Kyle that make you wonder. Like when, just prior to transforming herself into Catwoman, she sloppily drinks some milk straight from the carton (a stereotypically masculine behavior), though that could be her cat-like behavior. The way she spoke to the female victim after saving her from the mugger. Or when she manhandles the Ice Princess in a frankly kinky manner with her whip. And then there's her contempt for male sexuality ("You poor guys — always confusing your pistols with your privates!"), as well as some lines in the script (cut from the film) that suggest Selina's resentment at having been born female. Back when the spin-off Catwoman film was first in development (before Michelle Pfeiffer dropped out and Halle Berry replaced her), the screenplay for that film actually ran with this and removed all doubt by having Catwoman engage in some girl on girl action... in more ways than one.
  • Ambiguously Evil: She is mostly motivated by a desire for vengeance on Shreck for trying to kill her, but she shows little care for the survival of innocent bystanders and is briefly drawn into an alliance with the truly evil Penguin.
  • Anti-Villain: Selina is a Type II.
  • Beautiful All Along: Dowdy secretary Selina Kyle goes through a near-death experience, trashes her apartment and stitches together a vinyl suit to become the evil and sexy Catwoman.
  • Best Served Cold: Kills Max Shreck at the end of the film for his crimes, making her life even worse both as a Bad Boss and attempting to kill her for learning too much.
  • Big "NO!": During her breakdown.
  • Break the Cutie: She was already unhappy due to her bad work environment and lack of social life, and Shreck trying to kill her drove her completely insane.
  • Break Them by Talking: She tries appealing to Batman's sympathetic side twice in the same scene. First she plays fragile when he hits her, then she starts seductively caressing his chest while asking if he can "find the woman behind the cat". Both times she gets the drop on him.
  • Broken Bird: Selina Kyle was already this thanks to Parental Abandonment and a poor work environment. Then Max Shreck tried to off her. And then she snapped. Her speech to Bruce before she confronts Max Shreck (see Bittersweet Ending) says it all.
  • Cats Have Nine Lives: She seems to genuinely believe that she has this, and actively counts off the number of potentially fatal things she survives.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: At least some of the time, like in the scene where she leaves unclear to Bruce and Max just how severely she might be suffering from amnesia, rambling her way through irrelevant childhood anecdotes of a pregnant nun and the time she went commando at school and a boy peeked up her skirt. And where, oh where, did the "dirty limerick" idea come from? The amnesia scene may have been Selina employing Obfuscating Stupidity to taunt Shreck.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Apparently how Catwoman is "born."
  • Despair Event Horizon: Selina crosses this after Shreck pushes her out a high window when she uncovers his plans to steal energy from Gotham citizens.
  • Determinator: Will stop at nothing, not even four rounds from a .38 revolver through her, to get revenge on Shreck for everything he put her through.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: As while comics!Catwoman has had some issues with mental illness early on, she was for the most part sane. This version is a Psychopathic Womanchild.
  • Dressed All in Rubber: Her PVC catsuit. Meow.
  • Enemy Mine: With Penguin.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She's genuinely shocked that Penguin got the Ice Princess killed.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce/Batman. She's the evil mask in the night to Bruce's good mask in the night.
  • Evil Makeover: Selina Kyle's transformation into Catwoman, coupled with Evil Feels Good:
    I don't know about you, Miss Kitty, but I feel so much yummier...
  • Forceful Kiss: While she has Batman pinned they realize that they are under some mistletoe, so she leans in and gives him a big lick from his chin to his nose (the cat form of kissing).
  • Freak Out!: Selina's transformation into Catwoman.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She was an ordinary bullied secretary before being pushed too far.
  • Girl Of The Movie: Bruce and she are strongly mutually attracted even after they know each other's costumed identities, but the moral difference between them is too much of a barrier.
  • Glass-Shattering Scream: When she gets dropped through the roof of a greenhouse, she sits up in a daze and lets out a scream that shatters all the glass.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: She just can't decide whether she wants to be a villain or...well, if not quite a hero, at least a sympathetic Anti-Villain. Michelle Pfeiffer herself said in an interview that she didn't know whether her character is "a good guy" or "a bad guy." It's this complete ambiguity that largely makes this movie feel as dark and adult and unsettling as The Dark Knight.
    Bruce: (after Selina tells him of her plan to kill Shreck) Who the hell do you think you are?
    Selina: (in tears) I don't know anymore, Bruce...
  • Heroic BSoD: Suffers one of these (complete with psychotic breakdown and terrifying music) upon returning home after Shreck threw her out the window.
  • He's Not My Boyfriend: Earlier in the film, after Max's attempt to kill her, Selina lashes out in anger when a telemarketer's message suggests a perfume that would seduce her boss. Later, when Bruce believe Selina has an interest in Max, she laughs at the suggestion and clarifies she's come to kill him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: After realising what is really her motivation, Bruce uses this argument to try to persuade her not to murder Shreck.
  • Insistent Terminology: Insists on people calling her an "executive assistant" rather than a secretary. Finally, during her date with Bruce at the manor, she resignedly admits "Secretary."
  • Iron Butt Monkey: Takes this to such extremes that she becomes heroic. She's pushed out a window to the street below, burned on the arm by a vial of acid and sent plummeting down into a truck full of sand, nearly strangled by one of the Penguin's umbrellas and sent crashing through the roof of a glass greenhouse (which rips her costume to shreds), and finally shot four consecutive times in the stomach. But all this just makes her angrier and crazier than before, to the point where (apparently) nothing can kill her.
  • Kiss of Death: After her identity is revealed to Shreck and she has two "lives" left, she grabs the stun gun she picked up near the beginning of the film, puts it in between her and Max and kisses him with it, shocking the inside of his mouth.
  • Large Ham: Michelle Pfeiffer, quite composed as Selina Kyle, goes over the top as Catwoman.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Does she really, supernaturally have nine lives? Or is it just her delusion, and she happened to get lucky eight times?
  • My Beloved Smother: Her mother keeps calling her to question her career choice and for not seeking a man.
    "This is your mother, Selina. Why haven't you called me?"
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her ultra-tight catsuit and curvaceous body get a lot of camera attention.
  • Noble Demon: She's a coward who wins fights by cheating, and can be just as mean as the men who have persecuted her. But she takes no pleasure from Penguin's callous murder of the Ice Princess, admits that she loves Bruce Wayne as he loves her, and shows Max Shreck who the real coward is by defiantly coming toward him as he cringes backward and fires bullet after bullet into her body.
  • Not So Different: She and Bruce are both traumatised people looking for costumed violence to make them feel better.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: She murders Max Shreck, but damn if he wasn't an evil piece of work.
  • Plucky Office Girl: Before her transformation.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: While vandalizing, and ultimately blowing up, a department store owned by Max Shreck, she takes some time out from her mischief to girlishly "skip rope" with her trademark bullwhip.
    • Even before her transformation, her apartment is full of things far more appropriate for a young girl instead of a grown woman.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Despite falling in love with Bruce and the idea of being with him is something she wants, she chooses revenge on Max Shreck instead, believing she can't live with herself as long as he's alive.
  • Scary Stitches: Her costume is roughly stitched together from randomly-shaped torn pieces of PVC, symbolizing the unstable and cobbled-together nature of her persona.
  • Sexy Cat Person: Inevitably.
  • She Knows Too Much: Max tries to kill her for finding out too much about his plans for his power plant. It doesn't work, and Shreck promises to Chip that if she tries to blackmail him, he'll drop her out a higher window—meantime, he has badder fish to fry.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Shreck is genuinely vile, but her quest for revenge on her sends her into some morally dark territory.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Despite her decaying mindset, she falls for Bruce Wayne, since he's the first person she's met in a long time who is nice and caring to her.
  • Spy Catsuit: Despite not being a spy.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Bruce/Batman.
  • Stepford Snarker: Honey I'm home! Oh, I forgot. I'm not married.
  • Super Loser: She was the Butt-Monkey before her transformation into Catwoman...after that, the situation didn't change and gets worse—she was attracted to a monster (The Penguin) and ended in love with another (Batman). She abandons Batman to get revenge on Shreck because she knew they will never be happy together.
  • Taking You with Me: Does this to Shreck by kissing him after grabbing a live electric wire. Still played straight even though she survives; it still "killed" her, she just had one "life" left.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Batman/Bruce.
  • Villain Deuteragonist: Former as Catwoman, latter as Selina Kyle.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
  • Whip It Good: Regularly uses a whip.
  • Wolverine Claws: Kind of. She sports makeshift claws made from sewing implements. They are very long and quite painful.

    Max Shreck 

Max Shreck

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie_4.jpg
"I am the light of the city, and I am its mean, twisted soul. Does it matter who's Mayor?"

Species: Human

Played by: Christopher Walken

Appearances: Batman Returns

"Bruce, shame on you."

A powerful and respected businessman, Shreck seeks to siphon power from Gotham's citizens and joins forces with the Penguin to do so.


  • Asshole Victim: He gets electrocuted by Selina at the end of Returns.
  • Bad Boss: He pushes Selina out of a window to her death after she discovers his Evil Plan to steal energy from Gothamites. Not to mention, he dismembered his former business partner, Fred Atkins and dumped his body into the sewer.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: With Penguin as his Dragon-in-Chief.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He might be a humble, easy going and charitable guy but beneath the masquerade?? We have a mean spirited, egotistical, manipulative and corrupt asshole. Not to mention he has no problem murdering anybody who gets in his way.
  • Canon Foreigner: He isn't in the comics... although interchangeable evil business moguls are pretty common in any Batman iteration, so it's not like he's out of place.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He sucks the life out of Gotham like a vampire, as he constructs unsafe buildings or dumps toxic waste into the environment. He has also killed several people in cold blood, and plans to create a power plant in Gotham so he can drain electricity from its power grid and stockpile it for profit.
  • Death by Irony/Hoist by His Own Petard: His plan throughout the film is to set the wheels in motion in starting an electric company to run scams through. Catwoman kills him by charring him with a very large electricity generator. Turns out that one really can have too much power.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Once he finds out who Batman is, it's not long before he lights up like a Christmas tree.
  • High-Voltage Death: Selina uses an electric generator to kill Max.
  • Humiliation Conga: Complete with a Karmic Death.
  • I Am the Trope: See the quote for this section.
  • Jerkass: On a personal level, he wasn't as personable as he presented himself in public and kept a memo on venting his frustration on his subordinates. Selina knows. Shreck is also particularly rude and condescending towards Bruce Wayne.
  • Karmic Death: "I am the light of this city!" Really? You should be careful what you wish for, Maxie!
  • Manipulative Bastard: Made a long and successful career out of it.
  • Meaningful Name: Max Shreck, a man who plans to suck the life out of Gotham by draining the electricity and stockpiling it, shares his name with the first man to ever play a vampire on film in Nosferatu.
  • Miles Gloriosus: For all his tough talk, he isn't above running away and hiding in an alley when Penguin's gang crashes the downtown Christmas celebration. What makes his cowardice even worse is that he leaves his son standing there on the stage with multiple guns and bladed weapons pointing at his throat. Sure, it's what everyone else is trying to do, and it's what his son wants anyway... but one would have expected more dignified behavior from such an eminent public official.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Possibly for Donald Trump. Both are wealthy, corrupt corporate executives with political aspirations, and Christopher Walken has a noticeable resemblance towards Trump. He even gets to belt out "you're fired!" at Selina when he finds out that she is Catwoman.
  • Oh, Crap!: Makes this expression when he sees that Selina survived his earlier murder attempt.
  • Papa Wolf: He's a ruthless, cold-blooded thug of a businessman, but still loves his son. When Selina finds out the truth about his "power plant," he tries to kill her because he views it as his legacy to leave to Chip.
  • Pet the Dog: For all their faults, he and his son Chip do indeed seem to care for each other, as when the Red Triangle Gang comes for Max, Chip stands in the way and tells Max to save himself. In an echo of the aforementioned scene later on, when Penguin comes to kill Chip, Max begs him to take him instead.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Among other things, he is quite sexist toward his main female employee, Selina Kyle.
  • Rags to Riches: He had to work his way up to get where he is. And is implied having to do unethical and illegal means to do it. Thus, has resentment to the likes of Bruce who was born into a wealthy family.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Nobody out-dresses him. His natty striped suit, fur-lined coat, black-and-white spats, and Ominous Opera Cape you will not soon forget.
  • Smug Snake: Max uses Penguin for his own agenda. Unfortunately, little does he realize that Penguin is also using Max for even more sinister plans.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Gets electrocuted leaving a clean white skeleton behind that still has eyes and hair.
  • Take Me Instead: The only moment that he doesn't come across as an unfeeling monster.
  • Villain Team-Up: With Penguin.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Invested a lot to it, knowing that he depended on this to keep his position. Penguin decided he was the best possible teacher.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He tries to murder Selina when she founds out about his plans.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Implied, since he is disturbed by Penguin's plan to drown all of Gotham's newborns.

    Two-Face 

Harvey Dent/Two-Face

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie_8.jpg
"Yes, of course you're right, Bruce. Emotions are always the enemy of true justice... thank you... you've always been a good friend."

Species: Human

Played by: Billy Dee Williams (Batman, as Harvey Dent only) | Tommy Lee Jones (Batman Forever)

Appearances: Batman | Batman Forever

"One man is born a hero, his brother a coward. Babies starve, politicians grow fat. Holy men are martyred, and junkies grow legion. Why? Why, why, why, why, why? Luck! Blind, stupid, simple, doo-dah, clueless luck!"

Gotham's former District Attorney. In the first movie, he fights to bring down the Gotham underworld headed by Carl Grissom. In Batman Forever, however, he has become Two-Face as a result of being attacked by a mobster and developing a Split Personality. He blames Batman for what happened to him and seeks to destroy him.


  • Adaptational Jerkass: Despite being more comedic than other incarnations of the character, this version of Two-Face is also arguably the nastiest and least sympathetic version of him. For starters, he lacks any of the sympathetic or tragic qualities he has in the comics, and he has plenty of Kick the Dog moments, such as responsible for the death of Robin's parents.
  • Affably Evil: His "good" side is this. Case in point when he crashes Nygma's gala and tells everyone that he's just doing a casual robbery, no need for any violence.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization of Forever reveals that he was the one who restored Batman's public reputation after the events of Returns, back when he was still one of the good guys.
  • Ambiguously Brown: In Craig Shaw Gardner's novelization of the 1989 film, Harvey Dent is described as having "brown skin," with absolutely nothing else said about his appearance. You have to watch the movie itself to confirm that Dent is being played by the African-American actor Billy Dee Williams.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Robin since he killed his parents.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the comics, he's never bit the bullet. Not the case here.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Dies after finding out Bruce Wayne is Batman.
  • Disney Villain Death: Falls to his death after Batman uses his coin toss against him.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To The Riddler's Big Bad Wannabe.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Meets his end not long after Riddler's plans are thwarted.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He is even trying to out-ham the Riddler.
  • Facial Horror: How Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face.
  • Fallen Hero: Used to be Gotham City's District Attorney, and a fairly good one, too.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Very much so, and it isn't helped by the fact that Batman survives all of his numerous attempts to kill him. For instance, he pulls his gun on the Riddler the second he walks into his hideout, and shoots in the ceiling to abridge the Riddler's flattery talking to make him get to the point.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end of Forever, Batman exploits his habit of flipping his coin with lethal results.
  • I Am Legion: With the exception of a single line, he constantly refers to himself as "we" or "us".
  • Large Ham: Both he and Riddler try to out-ham each other.
  • Laughably Evil: This iteration of the character has a lot of Joker-esque mannerisms.
  • No Indoor Voice: More often than not.
  • Race Lift: A strange case of this. In the first Batman film, Harvey Dent (a Caucasian in the comics) is played by the African-American Billy Dee Williams, but in Forever, he was played by Tommy Lee Jones.
  • Red Oni: To Riddler's Blue Oni. The Riddler is usually the one to talk him out of any berserker moments.
  • Split Personality: He would appear to be the obvious example, but we don't really see much of it in the movie.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: It seems like Harvey's gone completely bonkers, and wants to be The Joker.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Two-Face has a double-headed coin with one side scarred. Instead of always doing what the coin says, he keeps flipping it until he gets the outcome he wants. He actually seems to toss it every time he has a clear shot at Bruce, keeping it perfectly in-character for Two-Face.

    The Riddler 

Edward Nygma/The Riddler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_00003_copie_7.jpg
"Riddle me this, riddle me that... who's afraid of the big, black bat?"

Species: Human

Played by: Jim Carrey

Appearances: Batman Forever

"Soon my little Box will be on countless TVs around the world. Feeding me... credit card numbers, bank codes, sexual fantasies, and little white lies. Into my head they'll go. Victory is inevitable!"

A Bruce Wayne fanboy working at Wayne Enterprises, Edward Nygma was turned down by Wayne himself over the idea of mental experimentation. After being fired by his supervisor (and sending him to Destination Defenestration), Nygma was inspired by Two-Face's spree at the circus and decided to create a supervillain identity of his own. Utilizing his tech to team up with Two-Face and steal money to mass-produce his "Box," Nygma becomes the Riddler, draining the intelligence of Gotham's Box-owning citizens to add to his own already formidable intellect. All to get back at Bruce Wayne.


  • Adaptational Intelligence: Raised from a petty thief with a fixation on needlessly-risky crimes to a mad scientist and entrepreneur who only gets smarter as the film progresses.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-1.
  • Ambiguously Bi: His obsession with Bruce Wayne is chock full of Ho Yay and he has a large collection of green outfits with increasing levels of flair. There are a few hints that he has an interest in women, such as keeping Sugar around as arm candy (though this is implied to be for show). Edward also arranges to have Chase suggestively chained up on a lounge, with the scene cutting short just as he sidles up next to her.
  • Ax-Crazy: He becomes this after Bruce politely turns down his idea.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: The Riddler is not the least bit intimidating, but he does manage to figure out Batman's identity and utterly destroys most of the Batcave.
  • Complexity Addiction: Addressed; when he offers to help Two-Face kill Batman in exchange for money to manufacture his Box devices, he convinces him that just offing the hero quickly and simply wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as ensuring he was humiliated first by having his true identity revealed and used against him. Also referenced when Two-Face shoots Bruce Wayne, knocking him down, and as he's going to put a bullet in Bruce's brain, Riddler stops him because he wants Batman to die in a more dramatic fashion.
  • Composite Character: Of the Riddler and Hugo Strange (who invented a mind-reading machine).
    • If the rumours of his box-device turning people into zombies is true, then he's also got a Mad Hatter influence.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Bruce Wayne created the Riddler by turning down Nygma's brainwave manipulation ideas, though Stickley firing Nygma and verbally putting him down (and threatening to have him arrested, thrown in jail and then committed to a mental institution) may have been the real trigger.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with. He tries to make money honestly, but after being rejected and funding it with Two-Face's crimes, he still makes billions on the Box technology. If he wasn't obsessed with Bruce Wayne and Batman, he could have lived a very comfortable and lavish life.
    • Assuming nobody ever looked too closely at the company's initial books...
  • Death by Secret Identity: Surprisingly averted despite having learned about Batman's identity, but his insanity causes him to lose memory of it and go full Napoleon Delusion.
  • Entitled Bastard: Nygma finally got to reveal his invention to Bruce, who suggests Nygma to see his assistant to work something up. But it's not good enough for Nygma, who wants a direct answer from Bruce.
  • Evil Genius: His ability to not only create a simulator, but to also use it to scan minds and become even smarter, is incredibly impressive. He makes all the other villains here look like episodic thugs.
  • Evil Is Hammy: As a Jim Carrey character in a mid-90s summer flick, this should be a given.
  • Evil Is Petty: One rejection from Bruce drove him to a vendetta, which Chase speculates will only end with Bruce's death. After finding success, he resorts to Unsportsmanlike Gloating the next time he sees Bruce and even does something as childish as call his alter-ego "Fatman", all the while threatening to kill the two people closest to him.
  • Evil Redhead: He's red-haired and the Big Bad of Batman Forever.
  • Fan Disillusionment
  • Freudian Excuse: Hinted at by the obviously-troubled Edward saying of his device, "Why be brutalized by an uncaring world?"
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a little-known Wayne Industries employee to a Super Villain who deduces Batman's true identity.
  • A God Am I: Quoted word for word, in a ridiculously deep echoing voice, after managing to feed off the brainwaves of every person in Gotham.
    Was that over the top? I can never tell!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Batman destroys his giant brain energy-sucking machine, which causes a overload of sorts in his head and destroys what little sanity Nygma had left.
  • Large Ham: It's Jim Carrey, so this is very much expected. Best shown during the climax, where he lets loose spare ribs and hot dogs by pretending to be a game show host.
    Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly coexist? We'll find out today! But first, [with voice changer] let's meet our contestants!
    • The unnecessarily hammy way he stops Two-Face from giving Bruce Wayne direct lead poisoning.
      NO!!! Dooooooon't kill 'im. If you kill him... [sets down riddle box next to Bruce] He won't learn nothin'! (cue Evil Laugh from Two-Face and Riddler)
  • Laughably Evil: Yes, Riddler is a villain, but his antics are often very funny.
  • Loony Fan: Is a big one of these for Bruce Wayne, to the point of obsession. See Mad Scientist and Yandere below.
  • Mad Scientist: Invents a brain-reading machine and tests it on his boss. Wayne Enterprises' corporate system, his unhealthy obsession with Bruce Wayne, and Wayne's negative answer to his project pushed him over the edge of sanity.
  • Madness Mantra: "Too many questions...too many questions..."
  • Man in White: Near the end when he dons a glittery white-and-green leotard.
  • Meaningful Name: Openly acknowledged by the characters with Edward Nygma as in...E. Nygma or...enigma. Also Mr.E or Mystery.
    • In the comics, his birth name was "Edward Nashton" and he changed it to Nigma(/Nygma) himself, both for the pun and to distance himself from his abusive father.
  • Napoleon Delusion: After his arrest and institutionalization in Arkham Asylum, he goes insane and believes he's Batman. Lampshaded when an off-screen prisoner yells in response "Yeah, and I'm Napoleon!"
  • The Nicknamer: Enjoys referring to Harvey as "bifurcated one."
  • No Indoor Voice:
    Has anybody ever told you you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
  • Not Good with Rejection: His descent into madness begins with Bruce rejecting an idea for an invention.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: He may have been a Large Ham, but all things considered, he managed to figure out who Batman was on his own and launched an assault on Wayne Manor that completely destroyed the Batcave and left Bruce for dead. If not for his need to utterly screw with Bruce serving as his downfall, he could have flat-out killed him.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he realizes Batman has foiled his plan.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Excitedly munches on some popcorn while watching the chaos unfolding at a circus Bruce is attending.
  • Sadistic Choice: Poses one to Batman at the climax—either save Chase or save Robin (a choice that also represents his two personas, Bruce and Batman).
  • Sissy Villain: He loves him some spandex. He's also physically weak and relies on Two-Face's goons for protection.
  • Smug Snake: Once the box goes on the market, Edward goes from socially awkward to gloating in his former employer's face. In the final confrontation he takes extra joy in being a wiseass over his perceived advantage.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To Bruce.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Due to various circumstances, he gets increasingly loopy throughout the film. Not that he wasn't clearly demented at the start...
    Nygma: (after his hero rejects his Box) You were supposed to understand. I'll make you understand.
  • Villainous Friendship: He actually seems to get along quite well with Two-Face, and they're clearly having a blast robbing jewelry stores to fund Nygma's factory.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Rivals Bruce Wayne once the box goes on the market.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Clearly one at first, since he only wants to patent and market his virtual-reality invention (without approval from his superiors, if necessary) to spare the people of the world from "being brutalized by an uncaring world" (which is a correlative to his own loneliness and sense of worthlessness). It's not until he accidentally discovers that "The Box" can extract information from human minds that he decides to go down the criminal route.
  • Why Won't You Die?: "Why? Why can't I kill you?"
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The second half of Forever wouldn't have been nearly as dramatic if Bruce had the time to talk over his designs and his supervisor wasn't such a buzzkill.
  • Yandere: Nygma can go from wanting to break Bruce Wayne into a million pieces, to unintentionally showing his fanboy side again through trying to one-up him by imitating his look, down to the mole.
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    Mr. Freeze 

Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4f9c0f8d_5cbf_435d_9a70_38a67a5dfa57_1.jpg
"Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last."

Species: Human

Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Voiced by: Daniel Beretta (European French)

Appearances: Batman & Robin

"My name is Freeze. Learn it well... for it is the chilling sound of your doom!"


  • Academic Athlete: Bruce notes that, before his accident, Fries was a decathlete who won a Nobel Prize for his work in molecular biology.
  • Adaptational Badass: Unlike previous versions, he's much more physically formidable. While some iterations say his suit also augments his strength for fighting, there's no indication of that here- instead the movie mentions he's an athlete to imply his physical power is all raw.
  • Affably Evil: Unlike his predecessors, Freeze is a Noble Demon who just wants to save his wife. He's a faithful husband who refuses the advances of his Sexy Secretary. His reasons for stealing aren't out of greed, but necessity as both he and his wife require immense funding to sustain themselves. He had several opportunities to kill Batman and Robin, but gives them a fighting chance simply because he's not Ax-Crazy, even telling Batman that his victims can be saved within 11 minutes of freezing them. In his downtime he enjoys watching animated musicals and his old wedding videos, while all the other villains were either obsessed with their schemes or had sadistic hobbies.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization of Batman & Robin establishes that he had met a young Bruce Wayne during his decathlon days.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-1.
  • Anti-Villain: He has a tragic, sympathetic backstory and a noble motive, namely trying to cure his terminally ill wife. But of course, the movie also portrays him as a Card-Carrying Villain who yells "Go! Kill the heroes!".
  • Badass Boast: The above quote.
    Mr. Freeze: Surprise! I'm your new cellmate. And I'm going to make your life a living hell. Prepare for a bitter harvest. Winter has come at last!
  • Badass Creed: "In this universe, there is only one absolute—everything freezes!"
  • Bald of Evil: As a result of the accident that made him what he is.
  • Blizzard Of Puns: ALL of his puns have something to do with ice or winter.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: During his Evil Gloating to Batman, he outright refers to himself as "the villain."
  • Cigar Chomper: Briefly during his off-time.
  • Composite Character: He is the 60s Mr. Freeze with the backstory of BTAS' Mr. Freeze.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: With Poison Ivy at the end of Batman & Robin.
    • The tie-in comic reveals that he bribed the Arkham Staff into arranging this with his few remaining diamonds.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Almost rivals Batman with the amount of gadgets he has. His suit contains glider wings, a small hose that serves as a miniature version of his gun, and even a little compartment for the MacGregor Syndrome medicine.
  • Declarative Finger: "It's winter forever here in Gotham!" and later "You LIE!"
  • Despair Event Horizon: Freeze crosses this after Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife, and he decides to freeze not only Gotham but "THE WORLD!"
  • Dragon-in-Chief: To Poison Ivy.
  • Dying Curse: "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!!!" Subverted in that he survives.
  • Endless Winter: This becomes his goal after Poison Ivy tells him Batman cut his wife off life support.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Freeze loves his wife so much he turns down the advances of his female minion.
  • Evil Gloating/Sadistic Choice: When Batman and Robin catch up to him, Freeze fires his ice-gun at Robin, freezing him, and then gives Batman the choice of pursuing him (Freeze) or saving Robin.
    Mr. Freeze: Can you be cold, Batman?! You have eleven minutes to thaw the bird. What will you do—chase the villain, or save the boy? Ha-ha! Your emotions make you weak! That's why this day's mine! Ha-ha!
  • Evil Is Hammy: He's an absolute Laughing Mad lunatic and doesn't hold it back at all.
  • Evil Laugh: Just about any time he has even a spark of happiness.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How he became Mr. Freeze.
  • Genius Bruiser: A Nobel Prize winner who not only builds a freezing engine, but can hold his own decently in physical combat, even without his ice gun.
  • Healthcare Motivation: Fries turned to villainy to seek a cure for his sick wife.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of Batman & Robin when he gives Batman a cure for MacGregor's Syndrome so the latter can help Alfred.
  • An Ice Gun: His main weapon, built from the cryonic technology that he specializes in.
  • An Ice Person: Freeze became this as a result of a Freak Lab Accident.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Literally. And done with contact lenses, given Arnie's eyes are green.
  • Large Ham: Arnold Schwarzenegger is clearly having an absolute blast playing a cackling supervillain.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: His motivation is to cure and later avenge his Human Popsicle wife.
  • Mad Scientist: A medical doctor specializing in cryonic application turned supervillain.
  • No-Sell: In one of his better moments, when Ivy tries to seduce him with her pheromones, he smiles, identifies the chemical makeup, then informs her that her poison has no effect "on the cold-hearted".
  • Oh, Crap!: When he sees Batman survived his freezing of the Batmobile.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Becomes this when Poison Ivy tells him Batman killed his wife.
  • Pungeon Master: All of his puns have something to do with ice or winter. A few notable examples:
    • "I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy!"
    • "You are not sending me to the cooler!"
    • "What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!"
    • "Stay cool, bird-boy!"
    • "Cool party!"
    • "It's a cold town."
    • "If revenge is a dish best served cold, then put on your Sunday finest! it's time to feast!"
    • "FREEZE IN HELL, BATMAN!"
  • Single-Target Sexuality: As he tells his henchwoman who tried cozying up to him:
    My passion thaws for my bride alone!
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poison Ivy manipulates him into wanting revenge on the world so that his goals suit her more destructive ends.
  • Villains Out Shopping: His idea of off-time? Making his minions watch and sing along with a Christmas musical!
  • Villain Team-Up: With Poison Ivy halfway through Batman & Robin.
  • Voice of the Legion: His voice has an odd reverb to it at times. Might be an effect of wearing the suit.

    Poison Ivy 

Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ivyandisley.jpg
"Oh, and Jason—one other thing. I probably should have mentioned this earlier: I'm... poison."
Click here to see Poison Ivy's second costume 
Click here to see Poison Ivy's final costume 

Species: Enhanced Human

Played by: Uma Thurman

Appearances: Batman & Robin

"It took God seven days to create paradise. Let's see if I can do better."

A botanist working in a South American lab under the employ of Wayne Enterprises, Dr. Pamela Isley is seemingly murdered in a Freak Lab Accident when she stumbles upon her eccentric colleague's secret experiments, rebuffs his sexual advances, and threatens to ruin his career. However, after prolonged exposure to the Super Serum known as Venom, she becomes a full-on murderous vamp with a pheromone dust concoction and poisonous lips who seeks to pit Batman and Robin against each other and rid the earth of mankind's toxic influence.


  • Admiring the Abomination: Discussed in the principal screenplay and the official adult novelization by Michael Jan Friedman; She finds herself admiring Bane's penchant for violence and destruction on numerous occasions (even before her villainous transformation), and reveals in exposition that what attracts her to Freeze is his inhuman appearance and powers, even calling him 'fabulously elemental' and good-looking and masculine 'in a grotesque sort of way'.
  • All There in the Manual: One of the major plot holes people found in the movie was that Freeze's plan would have killed plant life in the ecosystem. Going along with said plan was in fact a conscious choice on Ivy's part, as in the script and the junior novelization, there is a part where she crushes a flower after proclaiming, "Sorry, hon', this is for science." This actually does make some sense to Ivy's characterization since one of her defining traits from the comics is that, for as much as Ivy professes she cares about the environment, she's also a sadist who tends to overlook her own hypocrisy so long as she gets to hurt people. This was especially prominent in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Almost Kiss: She attempts to kiss Robin twice while at Freeze's hideout, but both attempts are thwarted by Batman, the first accidentally and the second due to his warning right as they were leaning in. Averted with the third attempt, where they finally kiss in her lair once they are alone.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Goes from vengeful eco-terrorist to genocidal megalomaniac who plans to use Freeze's weapon to wipe out all human (and most plant) life so that she can rule over a race of mutant plants with Freeze by her side. There's definitely a Broken Aesop in there somewhere. Yikes.
  • Alternate Self: Has one on Earth-1.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Her numerous (and we mean numerous) sexual references are just about the sole reason for Batman & Robin's PG-13 rating, save a few swear words here and there.
  • Awkward Kiss: Zigzagged with Robin and only really awkward on her side. The kiss itself is passionate, but immediately after it she ruins the romantic mood by revealing she was lying about loving Robin and expects him to die. When Robin reveals he won’t die, Ivy is shocked and stunned silent for awhile, realizing she just revealed herself to Robin and kissed him for nothing.
  • Backstab Backfire: She finally gets Robin alone in her lair and shares a kiss with him, believing that she has finally poisoned him. But she has actually played right into his hands, and he survived thanks to wearing rubber lips for protection. Therefore not only did her attempt to kill him fail, she revealed the whole plan to him and revealed that she has been deceiving him the whole time.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Rises from her grave with her garments fashionably tattered in a less-than-practical manner thanks to Instant Costume Change.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: With Freeze (Brains) and Bane (Brawn). Potentially averted in that, while Freeze is clearly a bit of a Genius Bruiser by way of Informed Intelligence, Ivy does the lion's share of the scheming amongst the three.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Pamela Isley found out her boss Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own megalomaniacal ends and announced her efforts to get him fired and blacklisted. After becoming Poison Ivy, she seeks to do exactly what Dr. Woodrue planned to do (that is, Take Over the World).
  • Big Bad: Acts as the main antagonist of Batman & Robin. She is the main force driving Batman and Robin apart and she is the one who tricks Freeze into wanting the duo dead by lying about his wife.
  • Big "NO!": Gives one when Batgirl defeats her and her throne closes up on her.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: She acts like a normal beautiful woman during her seductions but is actually luring her victims to their death by convincing them to share a poisoned kiss with her. She drops the act the moment she believes she has won and taunts her victims as they die by her side. In Robin's case, she convinced him she loved him and revealed her plan to him, only to reveal her true colors after their kiss, and then try to drown him after realizing her kiss didn't work on him.
  • Bond Breaker: Her pheromones cause tension between Batman and Robin.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: She crosses into this towards the end of the film. She tells Robin what she and Freeze are planning to convince him to kiss her, believing he won't live to make use of the info. But after Robin reveals he survived the kiss with rubber lips, and removes them while sitting next to her, she angrily shoves him into the pond to drown him instead of grabbing him and forcing a second kiss on him. She also leaves Robin instead of staying to make sure he dies, and mockingly waves him goodbye while shouting "see ya!" to him, treating it more like she's breaking up with him than trying to kill him.
  • Burlesque: Stripteases in a Blonde Venus-inspired magenta gorilla suit in her Big Entrance at the Rainforest Ball. Also features Shaking the Rump, Sexy Walk, and a small Three-Point Landing onto a bed of male performers.
  • Came Back Wrong: Her death at the hands of Dr. Woodrue early in the movie resulted in her toxic rebirth as Poison Ivy.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: She enjoys chewing the scenery and making a big reveal of her evil side once she believes her victims are doomed. She revealed her true colors to Robin after their kiss, believing he would die, not expecting he would have a way to counter her kiss, and openly bragged to Batgirl about killing Freeze's wife. This comes back to bite her when a recording of her confession is given to Freeze, and he takes his revenge on her in prison.
    So many people to kill SO LITTLE TIME!
  • Chair Reveal: Zigzagged. She is shown many times before this in the film, but when Robin comes to her lair he makes his way to the center where there is a giant rose. The rose blooms to reveal Ivy sitting in it like a throne, greeting the sidekick seductively.
  • Clark Kenting: An extreme case; she wears leafy eye masks to conceal her identity. That's right: eye masks. At least the heroes have the decency to at least wear domino masks. She even loses this "mask" by her last costume, instead wearing heavy eyeshadows that match the color of her hair and new red dress.
  • Conveniently Cellmates: With Freeze at the end of Batman & Robin.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She is on both the giving and receiving end of this during the final scene in her lair.
    • She delivers this to both of the Dynamic Duo in quick succession. After her kiss fails to kill Robin, she angrily shoves him off her throne and into her lily-pond, where her plants immediately begin to drown him. As she smugly walks away she runs right into Batman, who ambushes her in his own trap. She immediately defeats him before he can do anything by having her vines ensnare him and begin crushing him. She begins to leave the Dynamic Duo trapped and defeated, and would have escaped if not for Batgirl's arrival. Although both Robin and Batman survive their traps and manage to escape, Ivy would have still managed to escape from them and join Freeze had Batgirl not arrived.
    • She is on the receiving end when Batgirl arrives in her lair before she can leave. Batgirl knocks her around while giving her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for using her charms to get her way. Batgirl disarms her of every weapon she uses against her and eventually knocks her back on to her own throne. The flower-bed then closes on her, trapping her until she was arrested and damaginf her beauty greatly.
  • Dating Catwoman: She invokes this with Robin. She gets him to fall in love with her after just their first meeting, and convinces him that she will even change sides to be with him. She manipulated him and drives him and Batman apart just by flirting with him. Though they officially “break up” after their kiss when Ivy realizes Robin has tricked her and she shoves him into her pond to drown him.
  • Death Glare: After Robin reveals he Out-Gambitted her, tricking her into telling her plan and surviving her kiss, she gives him a very dirty glare. She's so angry and humiliated she shoves him from her throne and into the pond to drown him instead of forcing a second kiss on him.
  • Designated Girl Fight: With Batgirl. She easily disposed of both Robin and Batman in her lair, but once Batgirl shows up she is the only one to actually put up a fight against Ivy, being immune to her charms and forcing Ivy to get her hands dirty.
  • Didn't Think This Through: After Robin survives her kiss and removes his rubber lips, she angrily shoves him into her pond to drown him, when she could have forced a second kiss on him. Then she walks off and taunts the drowning hero instead of staying to finish him, treating it like she's just mocking him by "breaking up with him". As a result Robin survives and knows her plan.
  • Double Entendre: If Mr. Freeze is the King of Puns, then Poison Ivy is the Queen of this trope.
  • Dying Curse: "Curses!" Subverted in that she survives.
  • Emotional Powers: In a way, her plants react to how she is and change with her emotions. At her lair they help set the romantic mood when Ivy seduces Robin, slowly closing the exit behind him and opening up to reveal Ivy the way a curtain closes and opens and raining flowers from the ceiling. Once Ivy is angered by Robin's trickery, fooling her into revealing her plan and kissing him, they violently try to drown him when she shoves him into the pond.
  • Enemy Mine: With Mr. Freeze.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: With the aid of her pheromones, if some of the gazes of female partygoers at the Rainforest Ball are any indication.
  • Evil Gloating: She can't help but gloat when she believes she is in control. This has actually worked against her. After kissing Robin she immediately mocks him and his upcoming death instead of waiting for the effects to start. This proves to Robin her love to him is fake, and since he wore rubber lips to protect him from her kiss he wasn't poisoned, which Ivy would have realized if she waited longer before revealing her true colors to him. Then during her fight with Batgirl she brags about how she was the one who tried to kill Freeze's wife, which Batman recorded and presented to Freeze.
  • Evil Makeover: One of the more interesting side-effects of Venom is its ability to turn a Shrinking Violet into Ms. Fanservice. Over the course of the film, her costume, hair, and makeup choices become more bold, brazen, crazy, over-the-top, drag queen-flamboyant.
  • Exact Words: Right as Robin is about to leave her lair, she grabs him and asks him for a kiss "for luck". After the two share a quick passionate kiss, Ivy pulls away and sneers "Bad luck I'm afraid."
  • Expy: Poison Ivy is a mixture of Catwoman's rebirth origin story from Returns and The Riddler's Mad Scientist origin story from Forever. Stated by Joel Schumacher that his original intent was to have Nicole Kidman portray Ivy in Batman Forever, hence why (aside from Elliot Goldenthal's recycled score) Ivy and Chase's Sexophone motifs are so similar.
  • Fantastic Flora: Poison Ivy has a plethora of killer mutant plants that giggle, sigh, moan, hiss...and kill. They can crush a man, engulf a building in mere minutes, and swallow somebody whole. Audrey II, eat your heart out.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She acts sweet and lovingly around others, but it is all just an act to lure them in for a kiss before revealing her true colors as they slowly die. The best example is with Robin, who she seduces throughout the film and convinces him she loves him. Once she succeeds in kissing him tough, she stops the act and taunts him as she believes he will die shortly and becomes enraged when she discovers he's the one who tricked her.
  • Femme Fatale: A beautiful but evil women, who uses her sexy looks to her full advantage. She had Robin completely in love with her since he first saw her at the Ball, and she had been plotting his and Batman's deaths since she began flirting with them.
  • Fourth Date Marriage: She invokes this on Robin during her seductions. Robin quickly falls in love with her in the short time they meet and is completely convinced that she loves him too. They have a total of three meetings/dates together: first when they meet at the charity ball where Robin gets into a bidding war for Ivy against Batman and she blows Robin a kiss goodbye, then at Freeze's hideout Ivy ambushes and flirts heavily with Robin when he is supposed to arrest her, only for their flirting to be interrupted by Batman, and finally when Ivy calls Robin to her lair where they admit their "love" for each other and share their first kiss. This last meeting is when Robin, only a tells her he "wants them to be together", despite only being in a "relationship" with her for a few days and neither of them knowing each others real name. However, this is all somewhat justified as Ivy was using her pheromone dust on Robin, which slowly turned his crush on her into blind devoted love and interfered with his judgment, and she herself was purposely rushing things to get him to kiss her faster. Ultimatly it is subverted though, as Robin never actually asks Ivy to marry him, nor does she accept any proposals from him. The two only flirt together and say how much they love each other and want to be together. Ivy ultimately ends their "relationship" with only one kiss shared between them.
  • Freak Lab Accident: How she became Poison Ivy.
  • Forceful Kiss: She does this to most of her victims. After seducing them she grabs them and pulls them in close to deliver a fateful kiss, though after overcoming the shock of this they are usually kissing back, only to drop dead moments later.
    • Her only victim that wasn't subject to this was Robin. During her seductions of Robin she never grabs him and forces herself on him. Instead she takes a slower approach and makes him fall in love with her until he willingly leans in for a kiss with her. When Robin confronts her in her lair he willingly kisses her after she tells him what he wants to know. She doesn't even force a second kiss on him after he removes his rubber lips, instead shoving him into her pond to have her plants drown him, apparently enraged that he actually managed to see through her ruse and trick her and humiliated that he stole a kiss from her.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: She invokes shades of this trope in an impassioned speech after killing Dr. Woodrue with her poison kiss as she prepares to burn the lab to the ground.
    I am Nature's arm, her spirit, her will. Hell, I am Mother Nature.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A good deal of her dialogue is made up of veiled references either to coitus or her own genitalia. Considering the notoriously family-friendly nature of this film, this can be a bit jarring.
    • "I've got some wild oats to sow." (An old English saying about a young person - usually associated with young men - engaging in frivolous activities and promiscuity.)
    • "My garden needs tending."
    • "Some lucky boy is about to hit the honeypot."
    • "I'll bring everything you see here, plus everything you don't."
    • "I'll help you grab your rocks."
    • "Is your thumb the only part of you that's green?"
      • "You'll just have to find out."
    • "I need a sign."
      • "How about 'slippery when wet'?"
  • Glamour: Her pheromones can affect entire crowds, as noted at the Rainforest Ball.
  • A God Am I: Makes a variety of Blasphemous Boasts and seeks to destroy the world and rebuild it in her own image.
  • Gone Horribly Right: One possible reason her human-hating plants turned on her.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Pulls the plug on Nora's life support in an attempt to keep Freeze all for herself.
  • Green Thumb: Being that, for better or worse, she's still Poison-freaking-Ivy, this trope is practically a given.
  • He Knows Too Much: After Robin survives their kiss and now knows what her plan is, ruining her Just Between You and Me, she angrily shoves him into the pond to drown him. Though she doesn't bother to stay and make sure he drowns.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Batgirl defeats her by knocking her back onto her Rose Throne, which then closes up on her and leaves her trapped. For added irony, she used the throne as part of her seduction of Robin, being part of her Chair Reveal, leaving a space for him to lay next to her, being where they finally shared a kiss and she shoved him from it after learning of his treachery. The symbol of her false love for him was ultimately her own undoing, and she shoved him out of its range of harm in anger.
  • Hypocrite: She claims she wants to save plant life and undo the damage done to the environment, yet her schemes with Freeze would ultimately end up doing far more damage to Earth's ecosystem than it would save.
  • I Am the Trope: "Hell, I am Mother Nature!"
  • I Lied: Played straight mostly, with the final case being more a case of Exact Words. She reveals what she and Freeze have planned to Robin to gain his trust, that much was true, but was also the only truth she told him. After asking for a kiss "for luck" from him, and finally sharing a quick romantic kiss, she mocks him that it was for "bad luck", revealing her entire love story about switching sides so they can be together was a lie.
  • Informed Attractiveness: The script actually calls her "the most beautiful woman in the world." Between that and Joel Schumacher's confession that he chose Uma Thurman because he was infatuated with her Venus in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, one could almost be excused for thinking that this film was made by Quentin Tarantino.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: A great deal of her attraction to Freeze seems to be his predisposition for chaos.
  • Insult Backfire: A negative remark by Batman on Ivy's personality is received with a seductive smile.
    Batman: (pinned down by her) Why are all the gorgeous ones homicidal maniacs— it is me?
    Poison Ivy: Enough sweet talk...
  • Just Between You and Me: She tries this on Robin, luring him to her lair and agreeing to tell him what she and Freeze are planning in exchange for a kiss. Robin gives her her long awaited kiss after one too many flirts. Subverted in that Robin survived their kiss thanks to wearing rubber lips to protect himself.
  • Kick the Dog: She spends a majority of the film seducing Robin and making him think she's in love with him. Once they finally share a kiss at her lair, she immediately drops the act and rubs it in his face that he's going to die. Shortly afterwards when she realizes he outsmarted her, she shoves him from the throne they were sharing into her pond to drown him, and as he struggles against her vines she walks off, waves him goodbye and smugly says "see ya!" as if she were breaking up with him.
  • Kiss of Death: Her lips are filled with poison as a result of her Freak Lab Accident. Rubber lips are immune to her charms, however.
  • Knife Nut: She pulls out a knife during her fight with Batgirl, though it is subverted as it does nothing to help her and Batgirl immediately kicks it out of her hand.
  • Kubrick Stare: Uma seems to be a fan of this in photoshoots and promotional materials.
  • Lady in Red: Although she wears a green outfit similar to what she wears in the comics for most of the film, she wears a red dress during the final confrontion with her in her lair. She is also seen wearing a slightly different red dress in promos.
  • Lady Macbeth: To Mr. Freeze. She lies to him, telling him that Batman has killed his wife, and convinces him to take his vengeance out on Gotham and the rest of the world. Freeze is quick to agree to this plan.
  • Love Is in the Air: Her pheromones, or love dust, makes men around her more susceptible to her beauty and seductions to the point that Robin falls in love with her even with out her using them on him. Though Mr. Freeze is completely immune to them and those with a strong will like Batman can resist them.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Invokes a bit of this in Robin. She definitely becomes a victim of this herself with Mr. Freeze which leads to her eventual Villain Decay from Not-So-Harmless Villain to a Green-Eyed Monster who winds up rotting away in Arkham while her beloved, now her cellmate, vows to make her life a living hell as retribution for the attempted murder of his ill wife.
  • Love Potion: "Pheromone dust: designed to heat a man's blood."
  • Love Redeems: She invokes this with her seductions of Robin, promising to guide him into being his own man and "turn over a new leaf." Averted however as she was lying to Robin the whole time and never really loved him.
  • Lover, Not a Fighter: She invokes this trope.
  • Mad Scientist: Before her transformation, she was appalled to learn Dr. Woodrue was using her research for his own evil ends, but after becoming Poison Ivy, she aims to eliminate humanity and replace them with plant/animal hybrids.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The flower throne that Ivy reclines on in her lair doubles as one. It is also ultimately her downfall, as when Batgirl knocks her on to it during their fight it closes on her, trapping her and apparently doing a number on her beauty.
  • Manipulative Bitch: She serves as the primary Big Bad of the film to drive the conflict, raises the stakes by convincing Mr. Freeze that Batman killed his wife, and manipulating him into using his freeze gun as a doomsday device.
  • Moment Killer: She suffers this constantly during her seductions of Robin.
    • At Freeze's lair, she ambushes Robin and quickly seduces him for a kiss. But right before their lips can meet, Batman accidentally startles them when he lands right in-front of them, being thrown over the side rails by Bane.
    • Later, she manages to make Robin fall completely in love with her and convinces him she will guide him to being his own man and switch sides for him. But right as she leans in for a kiss, Batman shouts at him not to kiss. The ensuring fight between him and and an enraged Robin though, allows her to escape unnoticed.
    • At Ivy's lair though, she and Robin actually kill the moment themselves. After gaining Robin's trust and finally sharing a passionate kiss with him, Ivy mockingly reveals her true colors and condemns him to death while mock flirting with him in a fake sad voice. Robin then kills it further by revealing he wore rubber lips, revealing that he didn't actually trust Ivy completely and was immune to her poison, meaning she just exposed herself for nothing. Both of them exposing their lies and deceptions to each other kills the romantic mood between them, and Ivy, enraged that Robin managed to trick her and steal a kiss from her, ends their "relationship" by shoving him off her throne and into her lily pond to drown him, then mockingly waves him goodbye and leaves him to die, just to rub in that she's "breaking up with him."
  • Motivational Kiss: Though not in the spirit intended Ivy isn't beneath using this kind of "heartfelt gesture" to manipulate her victims. Especially Batman & Robin. When Robin learns from Ivy that Freeze is going to destroy Gotham he attempts to make a sharp exit, only for her to stop him and tells him to kiss her quickly, "for luck" against Freeze. This ends up being Double Subverted though since even though Ivy was trying to kill Robin, he was actually wearing rubber lips to protect himself from her poison, thus surviving his kiss with her and tricking her into sharing a passionate kiss with him.
    Robin: (turns to leave) I've gotta stop him-!
    Poison Ivy: (pulls hims back) One kiss. My love. ... For luck...
    (They lean in and share a kiss, with Robin unaware of Ivy's evil smirk)
    Poison Ivy: (mock sadness as she rubs noses with Robin and strokes his chin) Bad luck I'm afraid.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: She attempts this with Nora Fries. Batman later reveals to Freeze he (Batman) was able to save her.
  • The Muse: Joel Schumacher stated that he specifically chose Uma Thurman because of his infatuation with her portrayal of Venus when he was younger.
  • Near-Villain Victory: She actually comes close to achieving her plans. Despite Robin surviving their kiss, she quickly immobilizes him by shoving him into her pond to drown him, then has her plants try to crush Batman when he jumps her. She managed to defeat the Dynamic Duo in a matter of seconds and if not for Batgirl's timely arrival, she would have escaped to join Mr.Freeze in his plan to freeze over Gotham.
  • Nobody Can Die: Averted. Despite the film's aim to be more family-driven than Batman Forever, Ivy kills three men in a fairly PG-gruesome manner and the audience is informed of a fourth victim as well.
  • Not-So-Final Confession: When Robin confronts her in her lair she tells him what she and Freeze have planned to gain his trust, believing he won't live long enough to make any use of it. Then, after finally kissing him, she immediately taunts him by telling him it is time to die. However, Robin survives thanks to his rubber lips, meaning Ivy revealed her plans to him and admitted her love to him was a lie for nothing.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: She gets very close and touchy with each of her victims. She pulls in Dr. Woodrue and the Arkham guards by the face to force a kiss on them. She also gets very close to the Dynamic Duo when she first meets them and does it more when she really starts flirting. At Freeze’s hideout she pins Batman down when flirting with him and later corners Robin on a rail walk, pulling him into a hug before slowly leaning in for a kiss with him. The only scene she flirts where she doesn’t seem to invade personal space is her scene with Robin at her lair, where he willingly walks over and lays next to her and she only leans in for a kiss with him after he finally submits to her, never actually forcing a kiss on him like her other victims.
  • Not Good with Rejection: After Batman resists her seduction she focuses all her attention on Robin and has Bane try to kill Batman. After Robin tricks her into revealing her plan and reveals how he survived her kiss, she shoves him into the pond to drown him instead of forcing a second kiss on him.
  • Not So Different: To her old boss, Dr. Jason Woodrue. When she discovered what Woodrue was using her research for he offered her a place by his side and when she refused he tried to kill her by shoving her into some chemicals. After she became Poison Ivy she offered the same thing to Mr. Freeze and Robin. She offered to rule the world with Freeze and tried to kill his wife so she could have him all to herself, and during her seductions of Robin she offered to guide him into becoming his own man, and after realizing he had seen through her seductions and ticked her she angrily shoved him into her pond too have her plants drown him the same way Woodrue tried to kill her.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Narrowly averted. While Freeze and Bane are presented as the greatest physical threat to Batman and Robin, she's the film's primary schemer and presents a much more serious threat to the heroes' mortality by way of her Kiss of Death. Unfortunately, her Idiot Ball levels of arrogance and Genre Blindness keep her from being able to make good on her threats.
  • Oh, Crap!: She has this reaction a few times:
    • After realizing Robin tricked her into telling him her plan and survived her kiss with rubber lips, though this quickly changes from shock to anger.
    • When she learns Freeze is her new cellmate at Arkham.
  • Orgasmic Combat: Ivy's plants are prone to making rather indelicate noises that often sound like uncontrollable sighing, giggling, hissing and moaning, even when attacking their prey. It has been stated that this is because Ivy's plants are sentient, but they are also primitive creatures with clear predatory behaviors and no social filters who are new to the sights, sounds and pleasures of the world.
  • Out-Gambitted: Her charms and seduction ultimately failed to break apart Batman and Robin. When she thought she had Robin wrapped around her finger in her lair she thought all he needed was one more push before they shared a kiss, and willingly told him her plan because she didn't think he'd live to make use of it. She finally got her kiss with Robin, but since he finally listened to Batman and protected his lips it was useless and she revealed herself by bragging too soon. Her tactic to kill Robin by seducing him failed and worked against her when she couldn't tell he was now faking his love the same way she was, and Robin beat her with her own kiss.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: When in her civilian identity of Pamela Isley she wears a blond wig. As Poison Ivy, she hides her identity with beautiful dresses, different hairstyles and wearing ivy leaves on her eyebrows as a "mask." She even loses the "mask" with her last costume change in her lair, instead wearing heavy eyeshadows.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Poison Ivy's superhuman sense of self-satisfaction and confidence means she rarely seen without some kind of smile on her face, from her birth right up to her incarceration. She smiles when she talks; she smiles when she plots; she smiles when she fights; she smiles to seduce people- even when she kisses them sometimes she can't help but flash a little smirk.
  • Psychotic Smirk: She does this usually after having manipulated someone or killing them with her kiss. She can be seen with a nasty one while leaning in to kiss Robin.
  • Sadist: After she's reborn as Poison Ivy, most of the crimes she's responsible for have little to do with the Earth and stem more jealousy and bloodlust. This fits with Ivy's comic characterization, as she's more prone to using ecoterrorism as a front to kill whoever displeases her or just for the fun of it even if she does care about saving plants.
  • Same Language Dub: Although still portrayed by Uma Thurman, she re-dubbed all of her lines for the final theatrical release, as evidenced by the slightly higher-pitched, breathier intonations of her speech in trailers. According to the director, this was to give her a more sultry baritone as well as a more visibly-pronounced drawl. She has stated that she worked with a vocal coach on the voice, and that the original voice was 'less Mae West, more Marilyn'.
  • Sexophone: Poison Ivy's recurring leitmotif is built around this, usually when she appears in the room and goes into seduction mode. It starts off bold, sultry, and alluring before trailing off into eerie, dark territory and rising to a crescendo at the end.
    • The music reflects the actions on screen; the hapless victim becomes seduced by Ivy's charms (sax) and they share a kiss (foreboding drone), whereupon the poison slowly works its way through the body and kills him (crescendo).
  • Sex Sells: In the Blu-Ray commentary, Joel Schumacher admits that much of Ivy's character was written "for the dads."
  • Ship Tease: She spends most of the movie seducing Robin and making him fall completely in love with her.
  • Ship Sinking: She ends up with neither of her would-be-love-interests by the end of the film, all because of her own lies and manipulations.
    • Her efforts to have Mr. Freeze for herself fail when Batman saves his wife and shows him a confession of her attempted murder.
    • Despite her romantic flirting with Robin, she "breaks up" with him after they finally share a kiss. Robin protected himself from her poison and she shoved him into the pond to drown him, angered by his trickery and betrayal of her trust.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: She does these while seducing Robin.
    • At Freeze's hideout she ambushes Robin after Bane knocks him aside. When Robin tries to place her under arrest, telling her to surrender, she interrupts him, completely unintimidated by him, with a mocking "to you?" and blows her love dust in his face and offers him a kiss.
    • At her lair, she and Robin declare their love for each other and she gains his trust by revealing what she and Freeze planned. Before Robin leaves, she finally succeeds in seducing him and plants a passionate kiss on his lips with a smile. After the kiss, she mocks Robin that it was for "bad luck" and condemns him to death with a smirk. When Robin reveals he was wearing rubber lips that protected him from her poison, she glares at him for outsmarting her and stealing a kiss from her and quickly shoves him into her plant-infested lily pond to drown. As Robin struggles for air, Ivy watches for a moment with a smile before walking away, leaving him to his fate. Just to add insult to injury, she officially "breaks up" with him by quickly waving goodbye and mockingly shouting a final "see ya!" to him.
  • Slouch of Villainy: Decides to kick her feet up when she discovers the Turkish Baths. By the time Robin discovers them, it's a little different.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Uma Thurman is six feet tall all by herself; add heels to the mix and she's taller than both George and Chris, who had to be stood on pedestals for the rainforest ball scene. In fact, in heels she stands at almost the same height as 6'2" costar Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Stunned Silence: Part of her Oh, Crap! moment to discovering Robin outsmarted her into revealing her plan to him and managed to steal a kiss from her, is to stare in shock at his rubber lips before glaring at him.
  • Supervillain Lair: Runs out a gang of violent squatters to take over an abandoned Turkish bathhouse and make it over into her own private paradise.
  • Tainted Veins: Her victims show this after ingesting the Venom from her poison kisses. As shown with Woodrue, the tongue also becomes a discolored shade of green.
  • Take Over the World: Aims to do this with Freeze.
  • "Take That!" Kiss:
    • When she first becomes Poison Ivy the first thing she does is take revenge on Woodrue for trying to kill her. She gives him a big kiss on the lips and taunts him immediately that she's poison, pushing him backwards as he dies.
    • Once she finally kisses Robin she reveals her true colors and taunts it is time for him to die. However, it turns out she was the one who received this, not Robin. Robin was pretending to still be in love with her until he knew if she could be trusted and tricked her into revealing her plan to him first. He just stayed long enough to share a kiss with his crush like he wanted. Ivy was pissed once she discovered not only had Robin outsmarted her, he stole a kiss from her.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: She uses her beauty and charms to flirt with different men and lure them to their deaths all to get what she wants. She spends a majority of the film seducing Robin, tricking him into thinking she loves him and manipulating him romantically, all just to lure him to his death and break him and Batman apart. She however becomes angered once she discovers Robin has betrayed her trust, tricking her into revealing what she and Freeze are planning and stealing a kiss from her while his lips are protected. For once she was the one being romantically manipulated, and she didn't take too kindly to it.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She has several pet names for Robin when flirting with him, calling him "Pretty Birdie", "Polly", "My Love" and "Little Robin".
  • The Vamp: She sweet talks any man she can and lures them in for her deadly kiss.
  • Villain Decay: By the end of the film, she's literally wilting away in a prison cell as she picks away the petals of a dead flower and pines over Freeze.
  • Villainous Crush: She becomes attracted to Mr. Freeze after meeting him and breaks him out of Arkham to achieve their plans together, even trying to murder his wife so she can have him to herself.
    • She plays with this during her seductions of Batman and Robin, flirting with them to drive them apart and lure them in for a kiss. It works better on Robin, who falls completely in love with her and convinces him she feels the same way about him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
    • At Freeze's lair she escapes while Batman and Robin are distracted fighting over her (or more specifically Robin fighting Batman over her) and laughs at them as she gets away.
    • She attempts this again at her lair. After Robin survives her kiss she shoves him into the pond to have her vines drown him and she waves goodbye as she attempts to leaves. This attempt is stopped by Batman and Batgirl though.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: With Robin. Though subverted. She only pretends to be in love with Robin to drive him and Batman apart. After Robin survives her kiss, she shoves "her love" off the romantic rose throne they were sharing and into the pond, essentially breaking up with him.
  • We Can Rule Together: Her idea of a big, romantic gesture with Mr. Freeze, complete with killer plants and vengeance.
    • Part of Ivy's machinations to turn Robin against Batman was inviting him to join up with her instead. Robin buys it; at first.
    Poison Ivy: Living in the shadow of the big, bad Bat... You don't need him. You're the star! I can see it now- you're own big, bright signal in the sky...! Let me ''guide'' you...
    Poison Ivy: Let me kiss you...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She starts this way, at the very least; although it doesn't take long before this ends up as a major subversion. Bruce even notes this when she, in her guise as Dr. Isley, tries to talk to him about how humanity is destroying the planet.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated word-for-word in-script; invoked via the magic of Informed Attractiveness.

Minor Villains

    Carl Grissom 

Carl Grissom

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/grissom.jpg
"My friend, your luck is about to change."

Species: Human

Played by: Jack Palance

Appearances: Batman

"Jack....smart thinking. That's the way to go. In fact...I'd like you to handle this operation personally."

An infamous Gotham mob boss and Jack Napier's employer. Grissom has Napier set up due to having an affair with his mistress Alicia; this backfires on him when Napier survives the confrontation at Ace Chemicals and kills Grissom in revenge, proceeding to take over his operation.


  • Affably Evil: While Grissom may be a reviled crime lord, he is also charming and polite. Grissom is shown to treat Alicia with respect, in contrast to Jack Napier, who seems to regard Alicia as a trophy.
  • Asshole Victim: A powerful criminal who corrupted the Gotham Police Department and coordinated many heinous crimes, including the murders of a wealthy family, isn't going to be missed when one of his own turns on him and disposes of him.
  • Backstab Backfire: Sells out Jack Napier to the police to remove a man who was cheating with Grissom's girl. It didn't work and comes back to kill him.
  • Dirty Old Man: His mistress is much younger than he is.
  • The Don: Grissom is the old-school leader of a good set of thugs in Gotham early in the film, but his Backstab Backfire of Napier/The Joker leads to him getting pumped full of lead and the Joker to take over as The Don and Big Bad for the rest of the film.
  • Expy: He takes over the role of Carmine Falcone, the crime boss of Gotham before the "freaks" take over.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: He set Jack Napier up to be captured by the police because he was having an affair with his (Grissom's) girlfriend Alicia. This backfires when Batman's intervention leads Napier to turn into the Joker and then come back to kill Grissom and take over his empire.
  • One Last Drink: He noticeably slurps down his glass of scotch upon being confronted by Joker.
  • Outside-Context Problem: At the beginning of the movie, the city officials are concerned with him and want to nab Jack Napier only because he's his "number-one guy." Even after Napier has become The Joker and killed Grissom, and he and his goons have targeted them for assassination, Vinnie Ricorso and his lackeys think that Grissom is still alive and are busying themselves with taking care of his operations while (they think) he's on vacation. It takes until almost the end of the movie for the media and the police to finally confirm that Grissom is dead and that the Joker has taken control of Gotham City's underworld:
    Joker: Joker here. Now, you fellas have said some pretty mean things, some of which were true, about that thief Carl Grissom. He's dead now, and he's left me in charge.
  • Sanity Slippage: The film hints that Carl might have a few screws loose himself. In fact, the first thing a newly Jokerized Napier tells him is that he must be insane.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His vengeful actions lead directly to the creation of The Joker, and his own demise.
  • Uriah Gambit: When he discovers that his mistress has been sleeping with his right-hand man Jack Napier, he sends Jack to go steal the books from a mob front under investigation by the authorities, then tips off the Dirty Cop on his payroll and orders him to kill Jack. This backfires magnificently when Jack is dunked in chemicals and becomes the Joker, then returns to Grissom's office to shoot him.

    Bob Hawkins 

Bob Hawkins

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/00000_000001_3.jpg
"Check his wallet!"

Species: Human

Played by: Tracey Walter

Appearances: Batman

"And Bob- remember...you..are my number one...guy!!"

Jack Napier/The Joker's main henchman.


  • Canon Foreigner: He was created for the movie so that joker would have someone to privately talk to about his plans and motivations.
  • *Click* Hello: During the Axis Chemicals shootout early in the film, Bob manages to sneak up on Commissioner Gordon and puts a gun to his head, forcing Batman to give up Napier, swiftly.
    "Let him go, or I'll do Gordon!"
  • The Dragon: He's the Joker's "number one guy".
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Eckhardt meets Jack Napier in an alley, Bob is in the background diligently polishing Jack's car. Then, when Eckhardt pulls a gun on Jack, Bob is immediately at Jack's side, pulling out his own, bigger gun and pointing it at Eckhardt. The Death Glare he fixes Eckhardt with makes it clear that if Eckhardt tries to shoot, Bob will be faster on the draw.
  • Glasgow Grin: Has a scar that starts from the left corner of his mouth.
  • Nice Hat: A black fedora.
  • Perma-Stubble: Bob always has a day’s worth of stubble or so.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Batman has just finished wiping out several of the Joker's mooks. Bob appears holding a knife. When Batman makes a Bring It gesture to him (beckoning with his index finger), Bob drops the knife and runs away.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Poor Bob, after Joker has just been decisively pissed off and now wants to blow off some steam. He's had his little outburst, but there's a Tranquil Fury brewing under his crackpot exterior — something his loyal lackey fails to notice.
    Joker: Bob? Gun.
    Bob: (unquestioningly hands his boss his gun, not realizing Joker's in a killing mood; Joker coldly pops a bullet in his chest)
  • Undying Loyalty: He's the kind of staunchly loyal henchman that most any villain would be grateful to have, which makes Joker's shooting of him a major Kick the Dog moment.
  • Weapon of Choice: Always shown wielding a M1911A1 handgun.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Joker responds to his own master plan's failure by requesting a handgun from Bob, only to shoot Bob point-blank for not telling him Batman "had one of those...things!"
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    The Red Triangle Gang 

The Red Triangle Gang

Species: Humans

Appearances: Batman Returns


  • Badass Bookworm: As violent, sociopathic gang members go, they also have some good mechanics.
  • Carnival of Killers: They even employ a bewilderingly diverse array of weapons.
  • Circus of Fear: In the past the Gang had a hand in both circus and fear given the kids who disappeared thanks to a certain aquatic boy
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Fat Clown raises his concerns with the Penguin's plan to kidnap and murder children, and is killed in response.
  • The Family for the Whole Family: Played with. Depending on the scenario, they're seen either riding around on unicycles while firing guns harmlessly into the air and grabbing people and slapping them on the head...or blowing up buildings with gigantic rocket launchers and kidnapping sleeping babies and children to be executed.
  • Fat and Skinny: The Fat and Thin Clown.
  • Gang of Hats: They dress up every day in "old-timey," Victorian-era circus costumes. Seriously. It's as if Hamas had a "children's birthday party" faction. Their weapons vary, as normal clowns utilize blades, nunchaku and machine guns, while some performers use objects they would use in the circus, like firebreathers and jugglers using torches, The Sword Swallower using his shortsword, or the The Knifethrower Dame using her knives. Others are more outlandish, such as the Organ Grinder's Gatling gun disguised as a big music box, or a clown strapped with a cartoonish time-bomb. Lampshaded in that Bruce Wayne does research on them and learns that they once really were circus performers and apparently didn't bother to change their costumes after taking up a life of crime. note 
  • Monster Clown: Some circus members go beyond doing harmless yet threatening acts of vandalism and terrorism, and attempt to hurt people. They include the Terrifying Clown who threatens to taze Selina Kyle, the stilted jugglers with threatening masks who burn an innocent man, and the large and imposing Strongman who knocks out a mall Santa with a toy sled.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villains: Despite being clowns who once performed in a circus and kept their costumes, the Red Triangle Circus members are still menacing enough to serve as an effective terrorist army for The Penguin.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: They don't actually perform anymore. Justified in that they're fugitives from the law and generally act as criminals now. Subverted (albeit briefly) when a few of the performers use their skills as tools of terrorism during the Gotham Plaza sequence, proving that they've "still got it."
  • Psycho Poodle: One member is a poodle trainer lady. Her small poodle, which she is always seem with, functions as an attack dog.
  • Red Right Hand: Some of them appear just as ugly as Penguin himself (although, unlike him, they are obviously sporting masks and face putty).
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the final act when Batman is approaching the Penguin's zoo hideout, the last remaining members of the Red Triangle Gang abandon Penguin.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Subverted. On the surface, they appear to fit this trope due to the observation that their acts of arson and vandalism and the bullying of innocent citizens don't appear to serve an ultimate purpose; they don't even garner any loot from their crimes, even though they're living in near-poverty. However, all this anarchic violence does accomplish something: it humiliates Gotham City's Mayor, making him appear to be soft on crime and providing a justification for Penguin to run against him for office.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: The Fat and Thin Clown.
  • Western Terrorists: A Type I example (or, given their name, perhaps a Type VI example). One of them is even a suicide bomber!

    Bane 

Antonio Diego/Bane

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/banebr_1513.jpg

Species: Enhanced Human

Played by: Michael Reid MacKay | Robert "Jeep" Swenson

Appearances: Batman & Robin

"BAAAAAANE!"

After a series of ruthless experiments conducted by Dr. Jason Woodrue, South American serial killer Antonio Diego is transformed into the monstrous, mindless, hulking brute known as Bane. Played by late wrestler Jeep Swenson, this iteration of Bane is an In Name Only version of the character, serving as a monosyllabic Giant Mook for Poison Ivy.


  • Achilles' Heel: The largest tube supplying Venom to Bane's head is this. Once Robin and Batgirl kick it out, he reverts into his much smaller form.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Whereas the comics Bane was smart enough to come up with a plan to beat Batman, this Bane is barely able to speak, only engaging in Hulk Speak and saying one or two words at most when he did.
  • Adaptational Name Change: Sort of. Bane's father in the comics is Edmund Dorrance, a D-List villain named King Snake, so Bane's surname would by default would also be Dorrance (even if he himself never uses the name). However, this incarnation ignores this completely, giving him the name of Antonio Diego (which crosses over with Named by the Adaptation, since Bane has never been given a first name in any other media).
  • Adaptational Origin Connection: This version of the steroid drug Venom was created by Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), and Bane was created by experimentation of Venom by Dr. Jason Woodrue (Floronic Man in the comics). In the comics, neither of these characters had anything to do with Bane.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Nowhere near as strong or as good a fighter as he is in the comics, where he was a Genius Bruiser who actually manages to defeat Batman, but here he's just a dimwitted minion of Poison Ivy.
  • Bald of Evil: He has no hair under that mask.
  • The Brute: He's the muscle for Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze's scheme.
  • Composite Character: This Bane resembles a character named Ivan, later known as Ivor, more. Like this Bane, Ivan doesn't speak much except for short and simple sentences. The scene where Ivy disguises herself with a wig and Bane/Ivan drives her from the airport comes from 1981's Batman #339. Just like Bane, Ivan is turned into a powerful half man, half plant (as evidence in 1982's Batman #344) that's enhanced with a formula that is based on Ivy's (which she developed to create carnivore plants).
  • The Dragon: To Poison Ivy.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Last ten minutes longer than his boss.
  • Dumb Muscle: Bane's not exactly a bookworm. Case in point: When Poison Ivy and Bane break out Mr. Freeze, Bane breaks into the lockup, forgets what he’s supposed to be doing mid-task, goes all the way to Poison Ivy to ask what he needs to do (he can be seen through the cell door while Ivy talks with Freeze, suddenly remembers, then takes an even more difficult route back to Mr. Freeze’s cell, needing to break through a lock and run past multiple guards to do. Plus, he can’t punch correctly.
  • Hulk Speak: He can only say one or two words at a time.
  • Made of Iron: Survived a 700-foot drop.
  • Mighty Glacier: Very strong and hard to damage, but very slow in his movements.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Bane's real name (if he even has one) was never revealed in the comics.
  • Serial Killer: Used to be one of these.
  • Super Serum: Venom, the source of his strength.
  • Tainted Veins: After being injected with Woodrue's Venom.

    Lt. Eckhardt 

Lt. Max Eckhardt

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lt_eckhardt.jpg
"Where you been spendin' your nights?"

Species: Human

Played by: William Hootkins

Appearances: Batman

"I answer to Grissom, not to psychos!"

A dirty cop, part of the GCPD. Although a partner of Commissioner Gordon, he is also working for crime lord Carl Grissom.

  • Asshole Victim: Shot dead by Jack Napier during the raid on Axis Chemicals.
    Jack: Eckhardt! [Eckhardt turns around with a gormless look on his face] Think about the future! [shoots Eckhardt dead]
  • Beard of Evil: A faceful of stubble which fits perfectly into his slovenly looks.
  • Dirty Cop: One of many police officers on Carl Grissom's payroll; also on close enough terms with him to get a personal phone call ordering Napier's death.
  • Expy: Lieutenant Harvey Bullock without the positive qualities.
  • Fat Bastard: An overweight, dirty, cigar-chomping Dirty Cop straight out of a noir story.
  • Grumpy Bear: This man is never in a good mood.
  • Jerkass: For him it comes naturally to harshly insult and dismiss almost everyone. He's even one to Jack Napier.
  • Kill 'Em All: When his men arrive at Axis Chemicals, Eckhardt tells them "Shoot to kill."
  • Nice Hat: Say what you like about Eckhardt, but his hat looks cool.
  • The Stool Pigeon: It is heavily implied that it is he who tells Grissom about (or at least confirms) the affair (Alicia) Grissom's mistress is having with Jack Napier, in retaliation for his and Napier's scuffle and standoff in the alley.

    Dr. Jason Woodrue 

Dr. Jason Woodrue / Floronic Man

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dr_jason_woodrue_5947.jpg
"Join me: the two of us entwined, side by side."

Species: Human

Played by: John Glover

Appearances: Batman & Robin

A scientist employed by Wayne Enterprises, and Dr. Pamela Isley's boss.



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