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Characters / DCEU: The Joker

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The Joker
"Oh, I'm not gonna kill ya. I'm just gonna hurt ya really, really BAD!"

Species: Human

Citizenship: American

Affiliation(s): Joker's Gang

Played by: Jared Leto (Suicide Squad, Zack Snyder's Justice League), Johnny Goth (Birds of Prey)

Dubbed by: José Antonio Macías (Latin-American Spanish), Sergio Zamora (European Spanish), Paolo Domingo (European French), Benoit Éthier (Canadian French), Takehito Koyasu (Japanese)


Film appearances: Suicide Squad | Birds of Prey | Zack Snyder's Justice League

Other appearances: Suicide Blonde | Purple Lamborghini

"I'm not somebody who is... loved. I'm an idea. A state of mind. I execute MY will according to MY plan, and you, doctor...are not part of my plan."

A psychotic supervillain and mob boss from Gotham City who styles himself as a Monster Clown. He is responsible for Harley Quinn's fall into insanity and the death of Robin, among other horrible things.

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  • Ax-Crazy: Like all the incarnations before him, calling him a violent psychopath is one of the biggest understatements you can make.
  • Bedlam House: Spent some time at Arkham Asylum, where he met Harley. Then he broke free from it with the help of both Harley and his gang.
  • Chewing the Scenery: An important part of the character is his theatricality.
  • Cool Car: A bright purple sports car with underglow lights and a "HAHAHA" license plate.
  • Dented Iron: It's subtle, but the numerous scars on his body and metal replacement teeth in his mouth are clear signs that his frequent run-ins with Batman are taking their toll.
  • Disney Death: He seemingly dies in the crash of his helicopter... only to come back to free Harley from her high security prison at the end of Suicide Squad.
  • The Dreaded: In true Joker fashion, everyone is terrified of him.
    • In Suicide Squad Griggs' smug indifference about his gambling debt immediately becomes pure terror when he realizes the Joker has gotten involved.
    • He is so feared that even the likes of Black Mask would rather steer clear of him. Harley's enemies only start gunning for her in Birds of Prey when it's become clear that she's no longer with him.
  • Establishing Character Moment: One that takes place before he even makes his official debut in the setting - he killed Robin (a minor) and vandalized his outfit to mock Batman over his inability to save him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Insofar as much as the Joker can love anyone, anyway, but he does seem to genuinely care about Harley. Eventually, subverted.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He considers the brutal murder of a minor as a joke he played on Batman. When he's torturing Harleen Quinzel, he promises not to shatter her well-kept teeth while flashing his own hideous metal dentures. When Harleen later has him at gunpoint, Joker just says "please don't kill me, I'll be ya friend" in a snarky tone.
  • Evil Is Hammy: It's not The Joker if he's not Chewing the Scenery. And, sure enough, he does.
  • Evil Is Petty: The graffiti on Robin's costume seems to imply that Joker murdered him just to prod at Batman. It is confirmed in Suicide Squad that Joker and Harley killed him.
  • Evil Laugh: It's kind of his thing. One notable example is when he chuckles while surrounded by an arsenal of weapons.
  • Fake Shemp: Indie rocker Johnny Goth stood in for Jared Leto in Birds of Prey, in the flashback where he and Harley torture and tattoo the big mafia thug Harley later bumps back into.
  • Foil: To Batman as usual, but with some new additions. After 20 years, Batman became more jaded and cruel, while the Joker somewhat mellowed out and his criminal activity became more professional. Batman didn't settle down until the death of Superman while the Joker grew attached to Harley Quinn.

  • The Ghost:
    • There is an allusion to him in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ("HA HA HA Joke's On You, Batman" painted across the chest of the dead Robin's empty suit in the Batcave), but he doesn't actually appear.
    • He gets mentioned a lot in Birds of Prey, but he's only seen very briefly in some flashbacks, always from the back (including footage from Suicide Squad). There is a whole invokedDeleted Scene where he and Harley have a domestic dispute. Harley leaves the house through the window and the Joker throws her stuffed beaver out through the window. In the film proper, she's just kicked out of the house, with no shot of Mr. J.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: His role in Batman v Superman. Despite not actually appearing his murder of Robin by this point has driven Batman down a darker, more vengeful path that goes against Batman's traditional moral code; the one that the Joker is always trying to prove is wrong. Batman's rage towards Superman blinds him to the possibility of Lex Luthor being the real threat long enough for Superman to die fighting Doomsday. In a way the Joker's actions contributed to Batman's failure.
  • Guttural Growler: This Joker is noticeably more snarly than previous incarnations.
  • Handshake Refusal: He doesn't like to shake hands, as Monster T finds out.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Wears a purple crocodile skin duster at some point in the film.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Despite being a homicidal sociopath, he seems to truly love his girlfriend Harley Quinn. Then in Birds Of Prey, he coldly and violently breaks up with her.
  • Joker Immunity: He appears to die when his helicopter is shot down about halfway through Suicide Squad. To absolutely no one's surprise, he shows up alive and well in the final scene. It helps that he's the Trope Namer.
  • Knife Nut: And by God, does he have enough blades.
  • Lean and Mean: This Joker, while muscular, is quite lean, especially compared to the heavily muscled Batman.
  • Love Epiphany: Well, "love" is pushing it, but Joker realizes his affections for Harley when she dives in the chemical bath that ultimately turned Joker into what he is. Symbolic in the sense she was agreeing to join him in madness. Further adding to the complexity of the scene; Joker was tying up a loose end, having used Harley to escape from Arkham. He lead her to her demise and intended to leave her for death but at the same moment realized she had entered his world and his madness. Joker never anticipated the amount of utter devotion Harley would have for him, something inside him just couldn't walk away from her, so he jumped in to save her.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He manipulated Harley into helping him escape Arkham because she fell in love with him. When she served her purpose, he would have had her kill herself jumping into a bath of chemicals to prove her feelings. He instead saves her from this demise because he has a Love Epiphany in the moment.
  • Monster Clown: Like the previous film versions, Joker is an Ax-Crazy criminal with clownish makeup. Green hair notwithsanding, his white makeup, red lipstick and absence of facial scars make him look closer to a mime than his predecessors.
  • Noble Demon: In Suicide Squad, his whole motivation is to rescue Harley Quinn. His commitment is so strong he doesn't even waste time with pranks or petty acts of cruelty. Everything he does is for someone else.
  • Only Known By His Nickname: He's only known as The Joker, or "J" / "Mr. J".
  • Outlaw Couple: He and Harley Quinn are lovers and partners in crime.
  • Sadist: Even though there was only a few select scenes of him, one of them is him torturing Harley. It's disturbingly obvious that he is positively gleeful over it. And he doesn't seem to have lost any sleep over murdering Robin, either.
  • Pet the Dog: David Ayer confirms that while he did push Harley out of the falling helicopter, his intent was in fact to save her life.
  • Satellite Love Interest: To Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. His characterization revolves entirely around Harley, not even getting involved with the main plot.
  • Scary Teeth: Several of his teeth are made of metal. According to David Ayer, Batman punched his teeth out after he killed Robin, leading him to replace them with metal teeth.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Although he has a presence at the start of the film, The Joker appears to have left Gotham City to be controlled by Black Mask in Birds of Prey, with Roman saying that Joker has already skipped town.
  • The Sociopath: He's chaotic and remorseless, much like his previous versions. Special mention goes to his murder of Robin, which he topped off by spray-painting a cruel taunt for Batman onto the boy's costume.
  • Tattooed Crook: His torso is covered in jester-themed tattoos. He also has a few on his arms and face.
  • Villain of Another Story: He mainly appeared in Suicide Squad, but his biggest act of villainy to date — killing Robin — happened some years before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which he doesn't appear. The spray-painted message on Robin's empty suit ("Ah ah ah joke's on you Batman!") in the latter film can't be anything else than his doing.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: Is seen with a rather impressive arsenal of guns and knives. And even says to warden Griggs, at some point, "I can't wait to show you my toys." note  Notably, he manages to hijack the gunship which was sent to extract Waller and the squad so he can rescue Harley.
  • Would Hit a Girl: In the past, the Joker electroshocks and manipulates Dr. Harleen Quinzel into allowing her to fall into a vat of chemicals, in order to become Harley Quinn.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He killed Batman's sidekick, Robin, while the boy was an underage minor.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His hair is bright green.

    "Knightmare" Joker
"You won't kill me. I'm your best friend..."

Appearances: Zack Snyder's Justice League

"You need me. You... need me... to help you undo this world you created, by letting her die."

The Joker meets up once more with Batman in the nightmarish alternate future where Darkseid has conquered the Earth and Superman turned evil. But things aren't the same anymore between the two legendary foes.

See also the Knightmare page for more on that setting's characters.

  • Break Them by Talking: He deliberately tries to agitate Batman by reminding him of how many people have died on his watch.
  • Cop Killer: He wears a bulletproof vest with at least two dozens police badges on it. Whether these were good cops killed prior to the apocalypse or servants of the oppressive regime of Superman after the apocalypse is not detailed.
  • Costume Evolution: He has ditched his garish gangster suits for what looks like either a medical gown or a butcher gown, complete with orange gloves and a bulletproof vest with a dozen police badges pinned on it. He got rid of his "Damaged" forehead tattoo, let his hair grow and put red makeup around his mouth, looking closer to more common depictions of the character.
  • Enemy Mine: He and Batman had the worst kind of enmity imaginable, but the Earth being conquered by Darkseid is enough of a Conflict Killer for them to call a truce and work together to try undoing this mess.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He utters the line "We live in a society" while gazing upon the devastated landscape in the trailer. This is clearly a Meme Acknowledgement, and it's quite awkwardly used given the context (is there really any society left in this post-apocalyptic world?). It doesn't appear in the actual film, however. The line was improvised by Leto.
  • Evil Laugh: Even with the world being in such a sorry state and him still being sane enough to acknowledge how bad the situation is, he'll still let some laughs out, even though they sound more subdued than ever.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Even he sees the necessity of teaming up with Batman to try undoing what Darkseid did to Earth.
  • Future Badass: He survived the apocalypse brought upon Earth by Darkseid and looks like he's geared for guerilla actions.
  • My Card: He gives a Joker card to Batman as a symbol of their truce. Shall the Dark Knight want to break that truce, he'd just have to tear that card up. The card could be seen strapped on Batman's assault rifle in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Joker gets a high reminding Batman how costly his mistakes in the past have been.
  • The Nicknamer: He nicknames Mera "my little fish stick" and Robin "Boy Wonder".
  • Progressively Prettier: Despite being worse for wear, this Joker is arguably even better looking than his previous appearance, with his over-the-top tattooed gangster image toned down and his androgyny played up. Ironically, this version also more closely resembles the Heath Ledger incarnation.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: He has such a stare when looking at the devastated horizon as he starts talking to Batman.
  • Villain Has a Point: While he’s the one who killed Robin, he gives Batman a minor What the Hell, Hero? for sending “a Boy Wonder to do a man’s job.”
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice is much softer and higher pitched than it was in Suicide Squad.


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