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Characters / Joker (2019)

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Due to the nature of the film, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.

Character sheet for the 2019 film Joker.

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    Arthur Fleck / Joker 

    Penny Fleck 

Penny Fleck
"I mean, don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?"

Played by: Frances Conroy, Hannah Gross (young)

Dubbed by: Anne Rochant (European French), Roko Takizawa (Japanese)

Arthur's physically (and mentally) weak mother who used to work for Thomas Wayne.

  • Abusive Parents: As it turns out, she physically abused Arthur during his childhood to the point she was incarcerated in Arkham Mental Hospital decades ago. She handcuffed him to a radiator and let her boyfriend abuse him as well. However, as listed under Ambiguously Evil, there are more than enough holes in this narrative to put this into question.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Calls her son "Happy".
  • Ambiguously Evil: The records at Arkham Asylum say that she's delusional and narcissistic, that she adopted Arthur, who was actually an abandoned child, abused him, and eventually claimed that he was the result of a tryst between herself and her employer, Thomas Wayne. And yet... she never shows any signs of poor mental health outside of a single Imagine Spot from Arthur, as he reads those same records. Arthur doesn't seem to have any memory of the abuse purported to have been inflicted upon him (although he was supposedly very young when it occurred) and no effort appears to have been made in removing him from her and placing him with a more supportive family. Whether Penny truly was the mentally unwell abusive mother the records say and her subsequent, more subdued state is a result of her treatment at Arkham or whether Thomas Wayne used his wealth and influence to falsify the records in order to bury the affair and discredit Penny is left ambiguous. Muddying the waters further, Arthur later picks up an photo of her with a note complimenting her smile scrawled on the back, signed by "T.W."
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed like Randall. Abusing and letting your boyfriend abuse your adopted son is repugnant, but she seems to have also been a victim of abuse, and by the time Arthur kills her, she's a feeble old woman who can't hurt him anymore.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: If Arthur's understanding of events is correct, Penny was a crazy, ill-fitted mother in her youth. While it's vague if she changed by the time of the film (as she appeared to have mellowed), what appears to be her aforementioned flaws directly lead to Arthur's Sanity Slippage into the Joker.
  • Brutal Honesty: Flat out tells her son on multiple occasions that his dreams of becoming a comedian will amount to nothing because he simply doesn't have what it takes.
    "Don't you have to be funny to be a comedian?"
  • Canon Foreigner: She doesn't exist, along with the Fleck family name, in any previous DC comics or related media.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Believes she and Thomas Wayne were lovers and Arthur is their love child. She also refuses to believe she abused her son or let him be beaten. However, it's also theoretically possible that this was all a fake cover story by Thomas Wayne to discredit her.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Discovering through her old Arkham files that she had abused and neglected him in his youth, an infuriated Arthur smothers her to death with a pillow, before becoming the biggest menace of Gotham.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Inverted. Arthur loves her before he goes off the deep end (upon learning that she abused and neglected him), and his murder of her marks the point where he goes from being an Anti-Villain to being a Villain Protagonist.
    • Played With insomuch as it is later made apparent that she's not Arthur's actual birth mother.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Her alleged Abusive Parenting was what turned Arthur the way he is.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Considers Thomas Wayne a "great man" and "kind", and maintains that her clearly mentally disturbed and withdrawn son Arthur was always a "happy boy".
  • I Was Quite a Looker: A flashback to her being in Arkham for abusing and starving Arthur 30 years ago reveals she was an attractive woman once, even with her black eye and various injuries.
  • Lack of Empathy: According to her psychiatric files; in addition to letting her boyfriend handcuff her son to a radiator and beat him, she's not particularly supportive of her son when it comes to job opportunities. When Arthur tells her that he's going to be a standup comedian, her response is "But don't you have to be funny for that?"
  • Lonely Funeral: After Arthur kills her in the hospital, he's the only one to show for her funeral days afterward in a deleted scene.
  • The Mentally Disturbed: Was a diagnosed narcissist and delusional person.
  • My Beloved Smother: She makes her adult son bathe her despite being able-bodied. 'Nuff said. Incidentally, Arthur eventually smothers her to death with a pillow.
  • Narcissist: It's stated by her psychiatric file that she has narcissistic personality disorder, but it's not a hundred-percent clear if it's true.
  • Stalker with a Crush: She is revealed to have been one to Thomas Wayne, which was the reason she was let go by the Wayne family. She later came up with a delusion that Arthur was her love child with Thomas, and wrote him a letter to that effect with the aim of re-insinuating herself into his life.
  • Unreliable Expositor: It's left ambiguous whether she's telling the entire truth about her past with Thomas Wayne, she's really just crazy and abusive, or both.
  • Useless Bystander Parent: She did nothing when her boyfriend abused young Arthur.
  • Vorpal Pillow: While still in a coma following a stroke, Arthur smothers her with a pillow, blaming her for his insanity.
  • Womanchild: It's obvious that she expects Arthur to attend to all of her needs while neglecting any of his, and when he confronts her about her claim that Thomas Wayne is his biological father, she locks herself in the bathroom like a scared little girl and won't come out until he promises not to "get mad".

    Murray Franklin 

Murray Franklin
"Good night, and always remember: that's life!"

Played by: Robert De Niro

Dubbed by: Jacques Frantz (European French), Akio Nojima (Japanese)

"And finally, in a world where everyone thinks they could do my job, here's a guy who thinks if you just keep laughing, it'll somehow make you funny. Check out this joker."

A talk show host who unwittingly plays a big role in Arthur's downfall.

  • Actor Allusion: The film draws heavy influence from The King of Comedy and Taxi Driver, both films starring Robert De Niro. This time he plays a talk show host who is obsessed over by a psycho comedian rather than the other way around.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Downplayed; It's vague whether he was just a hypocritical jerk who pissed off the wrong person or just a mostly decent guy who had no idea how much he hurt someone with his joke and tried to make things right with the guy he mocked, unaware of how angry and screwed up he is.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed, as compared to Arthur he doesn't seem all that bad, but his cruel punching-down combined with him continuing to argue with Arthur after he's made it obvious that he's a deranged murderer when anyone else would have run far away from him make it a bit hard to feel sorry for him when he gets a bullet in his brain.
  • Berserk Button: Having his own jerkishness thrown in his face seems to be this. Note that Murray was able to keep his temper up until Arthur accused him of only letting him appear on the show so Murray could make some more jokes at his expense, at which point Murray goes from firm but fair to self-important ranting, implying that Arthur's words struck a nerve.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How he bites it, courtesy of Arthur.
  • Broken Pedestal: Arthur adores him until Murray makes fun of him on his Talk Show.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Before they begin the show, Arthur asks if he could be introduced as "Joker". The reason for this is because Murray called him that during the episode that where he casually poked fun at Arthur's "performance" at Pogo's. Despite Arthur politely (but insistently) alluding to it, Murray really didn't seem to remember doing it.
  • Canon Foreigner: Like most characters in the film, he is not from the comics. Though he does resemble the David Letterman-type talk show host David Endocrine from The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Cool Old Guy: Zigzagged. His making fun of Arthur and bringing him on solely to do it further was a petty dick move but his behavior backstage indicates that he doesn't have anything against him and thinks of his remarks as simply being good fun. He also shows no fear in dealing with him when Arthur reveals he was the one who killed the Wayne employees and he seems to get on well with his employees.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Making fun of Arthur on national television leads to him getting shot on his own show.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His brand of comedy is mostly snide deliveries. He has some pretty dry words at Arthur's expense on his talk show:
    Murray Franklin: And finally, to the world where everyone thinks that they can do my job, check out this guy:
    Arthur Fleck (archive footage): When I was a little boy and told people I was gonna be a comedian, everyone laughed at me. Well, nobody's laughing now!
    Murray Franklin: You can say that again, pal.
    • This gets rather harshly deconstructed as it's shown that, funny as such quips can be for audiences, it's less so when you're on the receiving end.
  • Everyone Has Standards: He doesn't want people joking about sensitive topics such as death and recent tragedies on his show, and he doesn't allow profanity on the air. He's also understandably horrified and outraged when Joker confesses to his murders.
  • Expy:
    • Of Jerry Lewis's character from The King of Comedy (which notably also starred De Niro in a role opposite to Lewis) from which Joker takes a lot of inspiration.
    • In a way he's also this to Batman, being a much-loved local celebrity who puts on a staged personality, possesses a sense of justice and finds himself becoming an ideological opponent to Joker.
  • Foil: To Arthur. Both are associated with humor (Arthur is a party clown and stand-up comedian, while Murray is a late-night comedy show host). Murray is a tremendously successful celebrity who is perfectly mentally stable (if a bit of a jerk); meanwhile, Arthur is a deeply mentally disturbed nobody who loses what remaining sanity he has due to his horrible misfortunes.
  • Hero Antagonist: Despite mocking Arthur's stand-up comic attempt, he's still a decent and honest person and was in the right to talk down Arthur when he admits to his crimes whilst confronting him.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His tendency to make fun of others as his style of humour is ultimately what leads to his own demise, especially at the end, when it's strongly implied that Arthur was just about to kill himself as the punchline of a morbid knock-knock joke as he had planned, until Murray makes a snarky remark about how Arthur had to pull out a joke book just to remind himself how to start a "knock knock" joke, at which point Arthur's plan switches from suicide to murder.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Tells Arthur that his views on people being all bad are wrong, but he humiliated Arthur on national television, showing the video of Arthur’s standup to his audience for the purpose of laughing at him. It never even seems to occur to him what a mean-spirited thing this was to do to somebody.
    • He also likes to keep his show family-friendly (i.e. no profanity or morbid topics). Apparently publicly humiliating an aspiring entertainer (in other words, bullying) is family-friendly to him.
    • He claims that not everyone is awful and that Arthur's problem with men like Thomas Wayne is unfounded, yet when Arthur screams to the world exactly why he did what he did, Murray's response is to simply brush it all off as "self pity", which essentially proves the very point Arthur was making in the first place; that people like him (or people in general) don't care about Arthur or people like him and are all too quick to brush his suffering aside.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Although his words to Arthur that not everyone is as bad as he says there are is hypocritical, given how Murray himself embarrassed Arthur on live television, it is still a great point, considering how there are people that Arthur keeps perceiving as horrible but are actually decent or at least not as horrible as Arthur perceives them to be (namely, Thomas Wayne or Murray himself).
  • The Idealist: If his rebuttal of "not everybody is awful" to Arthur's rant is any indication. Though the actual circumstances outside of his studionote  may put him under the category of Wide-Eyed Idealist instead.
  • Innocently Insensitive: It's very possible he thought his jokes about Arthur's stand-up routine were just harmless teasing considering that he invited Arthur onto the show and seemed to be rather polite and decent to him when first meeting him in person, not realizing that he emotionally hurt Arthur.
  • Ironic Name: His TV show is called Live! With Murray Franklin. By the end of the film, Murray is no longer living.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • While Joker is in the middle of his confession/rant, Murray points out that Arthur's terrible life experience is absolutely no excuse for cold-blooded murder. He also explains that not everyone is as horrible as the Joker says that they are. It doesn't end well for him.
    • For all his rudeness in exposing it (and targeting an obscure comedian), the criticism to Arthur's act is spot-on. Even without the complete onstage breakdown he suffered, the material simply wasn't that funny (and certainly not the way he delivered it — there's a reason Bob Monkhouse only used the "Well they're not laughing now!" line at the start of his routines). Arthur's second (live) appearance on the show is simply him making fun of tragic and heinous situations, which could charitably be called extremely Black Comedy, but the audience find it more unsettling than anything.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He mocks Arthur on TV in a pretty dickish way, never apologizes or even seems to realize how shitty his behavior was and gets undeservedly self-righteous when called out on it but he's overall not a bad guy. He honestly didn't know how much he hurt Arthur prior and even after Arthur reveals his crimes, he tries to retain some level of sympathy and to keep things calm. And he is polite with Arthur backstage and is on good terms with his employees.
  • Kick the Dog: Even if Arthur's stand-up material wasn't the best, showing a new comedian's demo reel on national television just to mock their performance is a dick move.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: At least from Arthur's perspective. After making fun of someone who is clearly mentally-ill to a society that doesn't care about him, and inviting him onto his show, he deems that violent retribution is exactly what he deserves.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: In spite of making fun of Arthur on national television, he's shown to be pretty understanding off-camera when he and Arthur finally talk in person. Murray's stage persona isn't even that mean — he is just making snarky remarks. It is then brutally deconstructed as Arthur perceives this as a public humiliation, leading to Murray's death.
  • My God, You Are Serious!: When Arthur confesses in live television that he was the killer of the Wall Street trio. At first, Murray thinks it's another one of Arthur's tasteless jokes, and questions the validity of his claims.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Johnny Carson, right down to a carbon copy of the curtains from The Tonight Show. A little bit of Jon Stewart is thrown in there for extra measure, as well.
  • Obliviously Evil: He didn't know Arthur personally when he made fun of him on his show, so he had no idea how much his comments would emotionally wreck Arthur.
  • Only Sane Man: Once he realizes that the Joker is serious when he brags about killing people for increasingly petty slights, Murray calmly yet sternly condemns his attitude, pointing out that no matter how shitty Arthur's life was, he can't play the victim once he starts harming others.
  • Parental Substitute: Subverted. One early scene, quickly revealed to be one of Arthur's hallucinations, has Murray inviting him on stage and praising him for being "special", as well as wishing he had a son like him. When Arthur (now as "Joker") goes on his show for real, he displays very little of those traits.
  • Pet the Dog: Murray points out that "somebody died today because of what you did". He's very likely talking about the clown protester that was shot by the cops on the train, showing that Murray's at least a little sympathetic to their cause.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: As part of his initial mockery of Arthur Fleck, he snidely remarks "'s a guy who thinks if you just keep laughing, it'll somehow make you funny", apparently not realizing that Arthur suffers from a mental condition that causes him to laugh uncontrollably.
  • Show Within a Show: The host of a Talk Show that Arthur watches.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Attempts one towards Arthur during the latter's Motive Rant, stating that Arthur's miserable life is no excuse for the crimes that he's committed. It ends badly for him.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: "Good night, and always remember... that's life!"
  • Stylistic Suck: Murray's comedy stylings aren't particularly creative. His jokes range from stock-standard comebacks to blatant punching-down. Compare him to the stand-up comic that appeared at Pogo's Club and you can see he lacks the skill needed to make a joke sound fresh and interesting.
  • Too Dumb to Live: He continues to antagonize Arthur even after he's revealed that he's killed at least three people, doesn't regret it, and now has nothing to lose. Unsurprisingly, Arthur doesn't take these comments sitting down and blows Murray's brains out. What makes this particularly noteworthy is that Arthur literally warns him that he's being the same thing that got those people killed (being awful), yet Murray doesn't get the hint and hightail out of the studio right then and there.
  • Two First Names: Murray and Franklin.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Making fun of Arthur's comedy act on his talk show plays a significant role in his turn to villainy, ensuring his eventual demise and escalating an already-deadly riot.

    Sophie Dumond 

Sophie Dumond
"This building... it's awful, isn't it?"

Played by: Zazie Beetz

Dubbed by: Fily Keita (European French), Momoko Taneichi (Japanese)

A cynical single mother and neighbor of Arthur, whom he is attracted to.

  • Birds of a Feather: Subverted. A big part of why Arthur fixates on her so much seems to be a belief that she shares his cynical view of the world, as she mimes shooting herself after complaining about the building's crappy elevator, and seems to respond positively to Arthur echoing the act. In reality, she and Arthur do not interact after the elevator, aside from the latter's breaking into her apartment late in the film.
  • Canon Foreigner: She's a film exclusive character. However, she has a couple of things in common with Joker's wife from The Killing Joke — such as, the wife may be a hallucination fabricated by Joker's mind, who lived in an abhorrent apartment complex.
  • Morality Pet: To Arthur. Until we learn that their relationship was all a daydreaming fantasy.
  • Nice Girl: One of the few characters to treat Arthur well and even reciprocate his affections. Though that last part happens only in his head, her actual interactions with him are amiable. Even when fearing for her life when he enters her apartment unannounced, she calmly asks him to leave.
  • The Reveal: It turns out that in one of the many cases of Trailers Always Lie, we were led to believe that she'd become his love interest and one of the lynchpins to his madness. The truth is that Sophie and Arthur only had one interaction; the rest of the film is him fantasizing about them having a relationship.
  • Satellite Love Interest: In Arthur's imagination, she supports him through thick and thin. The fact that she's a single mother doesn't seem to affect their relationship in any way.
  • Stalking Is Love: Downplayed, as she simply understands that the obviously mentally ill Arthur meant no harm by following her, and agrees to see his stand-up routine. In reality, she had no idea he was following her.
  • Struggling Single Mother: She lives in the same crappy building as the Flecks, takes care of a little girl and tries to make ends meet.
  • Uncertain Doom: The last time we see Sophie, she's alone with Arthur and clearly fearing for her life. In the next shot, Arthur is walking out of her apartment with a smile on his face. It doesn't help that when Arthur returns to his apartment, sirens can be heard in the background, and loud shouting can be overheard. Her ultimate fate seems to be up to interpretation, most likely a Gory Discretion Shot. The film's cinematographer, Lawrence Sher, revealed in an interview that she's alive because Arthur is only killing people who've wronged him in a certain way, and she never wronged him.


"You gotta protect yourself out there, or else you'll get fucked!"

Played by: Glenn Fleshler

Dubbed by: Pascal Casanova (European French), Volcano Ota (Japanese)

A clown and colleague of Arthur.

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Downplayed, since he's more of a Jerkass than a villain. Despite his bullying of Gary and throwing Arthur under the bus, resulting in the latter losing his job, Gary is still horrified at the sight of his death. Let's be honest, as much of a jerk he is, he did not deserve that death.
  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed, he may be a False Friend by getting Arthur fired and bullying Gary but he was nowhere near as terrible as the Wall Street jerks and Arthur's abusive mother.
  • Bald of Evil: Which adds to his Fat Bastard characteristic.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Gets scissors jabbed into his neck and then his eye before getting his head slammed against a wall multiple times.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He really thinks that going over to Arthur's apartment and have him do a favor for him of turning himself to the authorities after getting Arthur fired for having a gun he gave him would be that easy. The results are predictable as Arthur kills Randall for his betrayal.
  • Dirty Coward: He makes Arthur The Scapegoat for owning the gun out of fear of losing his job.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Giving a gun to Arthur was extremely dumb, but it's hard to argue Arthur doesn't need something to protect himself when he's been the target of pointless beatdowns just for dressing as a clown, twice, and street violence seems particularly bad in general in Gotham City.
  • Eye Scream: Arthur kills him by planting a pair of scissors in his eye.
  • False Friend: Randall, rather understandably given the economic situation in Gotham, is willing to do anything to keep his job. He views Arthur as a colleague, but not one who's worth losing his own job over.
    • Randall says that he's giving a free revolver to Arthur to protect himself with, while subtly implying he expects some kind of "favor" in return. When Arthur's gun is discovered during his hospital performance, Randall then tells their boss that Arthur kept trying to buy a gun off of Randall, which serves as the final straw for Arthur's termination.
    • When he and Gary visit Arthur's apartment to express their condolences for Penny's recent death, Randall reveals that the police have been asking everyone at their workplace about the subway clown murders, and Randall has been telling them about Arthur's recent conduct. This causes Gary to respond with confusion that he wasn't asked, implying that Randall was throwing Arthur under the bus again, this time for the murders, and that he likely actually came over to convince Arthur to surrender himself to the authorities. This would get Randall off the hook from potential accessory charges from initially owning the revolver used in the murders; he used the false pretense of Arthur's mother's death to come over. Randall's totally right for doing so albeit unintentional, since Arthur did kill those three men in the subway, but he has no way of knowing that to be the case. Unfortunately this revelation causes Arthur to abruptly kill Randall mid-conversation.
  • Fat Bastard: How appropriate for a guy who threw Arthur under the bus and regularly makes fun of Gary's condition.
  • Gun Nut: Gives Arthur a gun for protection and giddily mentions he has connections for more.
  • Like a Son to Me: He warmly refers to Arthur as "my boy" in his first scene when he gives Arthur a gun for his safety, and Arthur, who lacks a father figure, takes the comment at face value. Later on, after lying that Arthur wanted to buy the gun from him rather than the other way around, and letting it slip that he's been telling the police about their various conflicts to implicate him in the subway murders, he says the same thing, but this time, since Arthur knows better, it doesn't end nearly as well.
  • Only One Name: He's only known as Randall.
  • Slimeball: He's a Fat Bastard who acted as a False Friend for Arthur and then sleazily threw him under the bus to keep his job.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Asking a friend for a favor after you threw him under the bus isn't exactly a smart move, but it isn't life-endingly stupid. What is life-endingly stupid is asking a favor from a guy who has every reason to hate you for your betrayal and who also is dropping blatant hints through his mannerisms that he's grown dangerously unstable. Unsurprisingly, Arthur brutally and messily kills him with a pair of scissors for it.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Gives Arthur a gun supposedly for 'protection' despite not being allowed to have one as a mental patient.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Causing Arthur to get fired for having a weapon is a major part in the creation of Joker. Arthur kills three men, sparking riots and an Eat the Rich movement.


"Why would you do that, Arthur?"

Played by: Leigh Gill

Dubbed by: Henry David Cohen (European French), Echigoya Kosuke (Japanese)

A dwarf coworker of Arthur and Randall.

  • Alone with the Psycho: Occurs directly after Arthur savagely murders Randall, with the extra salt in the wound that Gary is too short to actually reach the doorknob on his own. Fortunately Arthur lets him go free, though he terrorizes him a little, while acknowledging he's doing this because Gary was nice to him.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: When Gary and Randall visit Arthur after Penny's death, Arthur brutally murders Randall because Randall threw him under the bus, but lets Gary go because Gary was the only one that didn't treat Arthur badly, even though Gary was a witness to Randall's brutal murder. However, it's also implied that Arthur sympathized with Gary for being ostracized for having an abnormal quality he couldn't control, like him (Gary's height, and Arthur's mental issues).
  • Big "WHY?!": As Arthur brutally kills Randall, Gary can only hide in the corner and scream a bunch of these in succession.
  • Good Counterpart: Becomes one for Arthur. Both were entertainers for hire who have to deal with setbacks that are beyond their control (Arthur's mental instability and Gary's dwarfism) and Randall's jerkass behavior, but Gary manages to keep it together.
  • Height Angst: He's too often mocked for his height.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Reacts to the mocking short jokes of his coworkers with an angry look on his face, likely due to a lifetime of receiving mockery for his height.
  • Nice Guy: He has never done anything dirty or mean to Arthur which ends up saving his life when Arthur spares him after killing Randall.
  • Only Friend: Is the only one who treats Arthur with any genuine kindness, especially apparent after the revelations about his mother's abuse and his relationship with Sophie being imaginary. This leads to him being spared.
  • Only One Name: Only known as Gary.

    Hoyt Vaughn 

Hoyt Vaughn
"How the fuck do I know? Why does anybody do anything?"'

Played by: Josh Pais

Dubbed by:

The manager of "Ha-Ha's", the clown agency Arthur works at.

  • Condescending Compassion: He starts off his office meeting with Arthur by asking him how his stand-up career is going, but from his tone, it's clear he doesn't believe he'll make it as a comedian. He also claims to like Arthur before docking his pay and disregarding his claim he was attacked.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: He doesn't believe that some kids stole Arthur's "Everything Must Go!" sign and beat him up because it doesn't make sense why they would do it. In almost the same breath he then accuses Arthur of stealing the sign. When questioned why, Vaughn answers "Why do people do anything?"
  • Irony: A man running a clown company is incredibly humorless.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It would be pretty hard to argue that he didn't have a valid reason for firing Arthur (bringing a gun to a children's hospital), even if he was vitriolic while doing it.
  • Karma Houdini: He is the only person (besides the kids who mug him in the beginning) who treats Arthur badly that does not suffer any sort of retribution. Then again, the rising stigma surrounding clowns may have hurt his business.
  • Mean Boss: He shows no sympathy for Arthur's various issues and does things such as take cuts from his paycheck to outright firing him over any problems, refusing to listen to Arthur's side of the story. His reaction to Arthur bringing an improperly secured gun to a children's hospital is understandable however.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His mistreatment of a struggling man who just wants to entertain people before giving him the boot (albeit this one for understandable reasons) factors into Arthur's eventual breakdown.

    Debra Kane 

Debra Kane
"Arthur... does it help to have someone to talk to?"

Played by: Sharon Washington

"This is the last time we'll be meeting."

A social worker who treats Arthur.

  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: She's not that effective at treating Arthur's woes...but she only has so much time to devote to him. She's also unable to stop her office from being closed due to budget cuts, bitterly complaining how the system screws people like her over.
  • Hidden Depths: At first she seems like a simple inadequate social worker who just doesn't care about her job or her patients. However, during their last meeting, she has a moment of sincerity where she admits that the system doesn't care about her or people like Arthur, expressing pity for him and clarity on the kind of place Gotham City is.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Telling Arthur society doesn't give a shit about him nor her inspires his speech at the Murray show that fuels the riot. Arthur being apolitical for most of the movie and only planning to kill Murray out of revenge wouldn't have come up without it.
  • One-Steve Limit: Canonically, Martha Wayne's maiden name is Kane as well, and she appears in the film, albeit briefly.
  • There Are No Therapists: More like "there were therapists, but they got handed pink slips". Arthur does see her early on in the movie, but while her effectiveness is already questionable — she's evidently more of a social worker than a psychologist and thus doesn't seem to be the qualified help Arthur really needed, and given the amount of files in her office, she's already swamped with cases and could only devote so much attention to him — the final nail in the coffin is when the office's funding is cut and she's forced to stop working with him.
  • Tuckerization: She's named after Bob Kane, Batman's (and the Joker's) co-creator.
  • Two First Names: Debra and Kane.

    Thomas Wayne 

Thomas Wayne
"Gotham's lost its way."

Played by: Brett Cullen

Dubbed by: Jean-Louis Faure (European French)

"What kind of coward would do something that cold-blooded? Someone who hides behind a mask."

A billionaire running for mayor of Gotham City.

  • Adaptational Job Change: Thomas was a surgeon in the comics but is a businessman and aspiring politician here.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While not an outright villain, this version of Thomas Wayne is presented as being more callous and elitist rather than his usual portrayal of being an upstanding moral citizen in a decaying city. Though in the case of his interaction with Arthur at the movie theater, his behavior is justified seeing as Arthur randomly grabbed his son and tried to strangle Alfred earlier.
  • Adaptational Wimp: When the time comes for him and his family to be cornered by a gunman in an alleyway, Thomas begs him to spare them. Compare this to Batman Begins where he keeps his cool, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice where he straight-up tries to fight his killer.
  • Age Lift: This version of Thomas is already past middle-age during his son's childhood (Brett Cullen was sixty-three when the film came out). In the comics he's stated to be much younger, as the Big Bad in Batman (Grant Morrison) was able to pass as Thomas Wayne and the man himself became Batman in Flashpoint. The fact that he's old enough to have possibly fathered someone in their thirties is a major plot point.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: His immediate response to when a stranger points a gun at him (and quite a justifiable one considering his family are with him) is to briefly plead for mercy. This being a film based on the Batman mythos, it doesn't work.
  • Ambiguously Evil: Despite the film's unsympathetic portrayal of him and being made out as a Adaptational Jerkass, Thomas is not really an outright villain, while the hints of him being such a Slimeball Upper-Class Twit are only implied. Penny claims that Arthur is his illegitimate son, while he (and Arkham Asylum's records) insists she was delusional; however, whether she was actually mentally unwell or whether this was an attempt by Thomas to use his wealth and influence to bury a tryst with a lower-class woman is never authoritatively stated one way or the other. Muddying the waters further, Arthur later picks up a old photo of his mother, with a note complimenting her smile scrawled on the back, signed by "T.W."
  • Asshole Victim: Good intentions or not, his elitism, social myopia, and abrasive personality make it hard to feel TOO bad about him getting shot by one of the very people he looked down on.
  • Bullying a Dragon: After he calls the lower class clowns, they rise up in arms and shoot him down.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Subverted. It's assumed that he never writes back to Penny no matter how many letters she sends him because he's very busy, but when pressed about it it turns out he does remember her quite vividly and not in a good way.
  • Condescending Compassion: Thomas is an elitist, but he's still making an attempt to improve Gotham City by reducing the crime rate and help the lower class. Unfortunately, he's really bad at communicating with the lower class, contributing to why he becomes increasingly unpopular with them over the course of the story.
    • His claims of wanting to help the downtrodden are shown to be little more than an easy way to score political points after Arthur kills three of his staff. Thomas immediately assumes the three yuppies were completely innocent and that their killer was acting out of jealousy or entitlement, when the reality could not have been more different.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Thomas is an elitist and the head of Wayne Enterprises who is hinted to be this, but it was never clearly confirmed.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Him referring Gotham's lower class as "clowns" leads to mass protests around the city, which eventually evolve into riots, during which one of them shoots him and Martha dead.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: The worldly billionaire trope. He isn't some man who's going to use his wealth to save Gotham, but rather a self-absorbed elitist with only a superficial understanding of poverty, and little genuine interest in helping people.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: The Waynes still get shot, but by a clown-mask wearing attacker this time (who may or may not be Joe Chill), and they are not mugged for money and Martha's pearl collar this time around.
  • Dramatic Irony: At one point refers to people who "hide behind masks" as cowards. He also tells Arthur "Touch my son again and I'll kill you." Oh Thomas, if you only knew.
  • Fatal Flaw: His abrasive and condescending attitude towards the poor. He genuinely wants to improve their lives but his harshly judgemental demeanor and willful ignorance of both their struggles and his own enormous privilege end up seriously undermining his efforts and make them see him as an enemy to the point that he and his wife are gunned down.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anybody who knows Batman lore knows the fate of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The question is simply who pulls the trigger this time, and in this case, it's a clown rioter who got galvanized by Joker's murder of Murray Franklin.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Upon getting the Adaptational Jerkass treatment, Thomas may seemingly sincerely want to help the lower class, but he's still an elitist who gives them nothing, but Condescending Compassion and this is what gets him shot dead for it.
  • Hero Antagonist: Given who the character is in general in the comics mythos and despite undergoing Adaptational Jerkass, he's automatically this towards Arthur especially in defense of his son Bruce.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: He sincerely wants to help the poor of Gotham but his abrasive demeanor, ignorance of their struggles and willful ignorance of his own privilege seriously undermine his efforts that it eventually ends with him being killed.
  • Hypocrite: He frames himself as someone who made something of his life in contrast to the poor who he sees as just wanting an easy way out. He conveniently ignores that he came from an extremely wealthy and privileged background.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Sure, he may have insulted Penny, prompting Arthur to come to her defense, but following The Reveal about her as an Abusive Parent, Thomas may have been telling an Accidental Truth and Right for the Wrong Reasons about her, making his insult turn out to be a Kick The Son Of A Bitch move. Also, he has every reason to go all Papa Wolf on Arthur after learning about his encounter with Bruce and how Arthur had attempted to strangle his butler Alfred Pennyworth at the gate of Wayne Manor- especially considering the city where they live is awash with suspicious, sketchy and even highly dangerous characters.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even after undergoing Adaptational Jerkass and being implied to be a Slimeball, Thomas still loves his wife Martha and his son Bruce very much, even going so far to go Papa Wolf on Arthur for harassing Bruce at Wayne Manor. Also, he's running for mayor to help Gotham City and give support to the lower class suffering there albeit not in a nice way.
  • Luke, I Might Be Your Father: Arthur tells him that he's his illegitimate son from Penny. Thomas claims that she was delusional and Penny adopted Arthur, but Penny's counterclaim is that he falsely institutionalized her and forged the adoption papers to cover up their affair. It's never definitively proven one way or the other.
  • Manipulative Bastard: There's the possibility that he's been gaslighting Arthur's mother to avoid taking responsibility for their affair, though there's no outright confirmation on that.
  • Mythology Gag: He and Martha are killed in 1981, much like in the DC Extended Universe.
  • Nominal Hero: He looks down his nose towards the poor, but he's making an effort to support them with his wealth and high position and genuinely loves his family. Unfortunately he isn't well-liked by the poor because of his treatment.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Despite Thomas having been born and raised in New Jersey, Brett Cullen's natural Texas accent can be heard in a few scenes.
  • Papa Wolf: Is shown to be very protective of his son, by punching Arthur for harassing Bruce at their home and promises to kill him if he ever goes near Wayne Manor again.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: He has a pretty classist view of the poor of Gotham, wanting to help but unable to see them as anything but no-hopers who want an easy way out as opposed to people struggling with crippling hardships he's never had to face.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If he had simply used wording that wasn't blatantly insulting towards the people he was supposedly trying to help, there's a good chance that many people, including himself and his wife, might still be alive.
    • His HR department probably should have warned Thomas about the track record of the Wall Street thugs before going on TV publicly condemning the murderer, despite the fact at least one female witness should have been able to confirm it was probably self-defense (initially, at least), thereby walking into a lethal political blunder. He even admits in the interview he didn't know anything about the "victims."
  • Two First Names: Thomas and Wayne.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Of his own making. Instead of trying to calm Arthur down and explain the situation between him and Penny Fleck, he acts out violently in response to Arthur's laughter and threatens to kill him if he ever touches his son again. This act of violent rejection and callousness was the final straw that reinforces Arthur's descent down the spiraling steps of madness, eventually leading to the city-wide riot and Thomas' death by proxy.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Thomas is portrayed as an elitist while also rich. At one point he refers to the lower classes as no-hopers while using himself as an example of someone who accomplished something with their life. Never mind the fact that the Wayne family had generations of wealth to fall back on, so his beliefs are quite myopic.
  • Verbal Tic: Has a tendency to call people "pal" when off the camera.

    Bruce Wayne 

Bruce Wayne

Played by: Dante Pereira Olson

The young son of Thomas and Martha Wayne.

  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Like Tim Burton's Batman, Joker is responsible for the death of his parents — this time indirectly rather than directly. As such, it seems likely that Joker ended up making the Batman once again.
  • Blood-Spattered Innocents: His own mother's blood sprinkles onto his face after she's shot down in the alley.
  • Cain and Abel: Assuming that Arthur's mother wasn't lying or deluded (which is unlikely), Arthur is his half-brother, and the city-wide riot in his name gets Bruce's parents killed.
  • Children Are Innocent: He doesn't go through the traumatic experience that turned him into the Batman until the very end of the film. Also, Thomas and Martha clearly haven't told him not to talk to strangers.
  • Create Your Own Hero: By inspiring his followers to go on a rampage in Gotham, Arthur set the stage for a young Bruce Wayne to become the Batman when his parents are murdered in front of him.
  • Creepy Child: Courtesy of the fact that nothing fazes him. Not an obviously mentally ill man sticking his fingers in the kid's mouth, not his butler getting strangled. It's only when his parents are brutally gunned down in front of him that anything can get him to express any emotion whatsoever. He reacts with shock and we can see him kneeling in shock in the alley where their corpses are, though it is minimal. Seems this version of Bruce has always been The Stoic.
  • Demoted to Extra: Since this is the Joker's story and not Batman's, Bruce is only a bit player here. We still get to see the major catalyst of his Origin Story, but not until the final act.
  • Futureshadowing: It seems that even as a child, Bruce never found Joker particularly funny.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He's wearing the exact same clothes (light brown coat over white turtleneck) when he met Arthur and his parents' murder which takes place days after.
  • Mythology Gag: The only intentional one in the film according to Word of God; he is introduced sliding down a pole to face the Joker, much like another Bruce Wayne was well-known for doing.
  • The Stoic: True to form, nothing seems to faze him. Even the murder of his own parents. He doesn't break down into tears or scream in devastation like in previous versions. He is simply shocked from the inside.
  • Two First Names: Bruce and Wayne.
  • Young Future Famous People: In his adulthood, he will become a renowned philanthropist among Gothamites by day, and a fearsome vigilante among criminals by night.

    Martha Wayne 

Martha Wayne, née Kane

Played by: Carrie Louise Putrello

The wife of Thomas Wayne and the mother of Bruce.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Much like in The Dark Knight Trilogy, she's blonde instead of the usual brunette.
  • Ambiguously Evil: It's unclear if she was involved in or aware of her husband's unethical actions. In any case, the Wayne Murderer considered her just as guilty as her husband.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: The Waynes still get shot, but this time the attacker (who may or may not be Joe Chill) wears a clown mask, and they are not mugged for money and her pearl collar this time around.
  • Iconic Item: Her pearl necklace, which is obviously present in her death scene.
  • Mythology Gag: She and Thomas are killed in 1981, much like in the DC Extended Universe.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: Once again, Martha's pearl collar gets broken in slow motion during her murder. Only this time the attacker seems to voluntarily break it, just for the sake of it.
  • Satellite Character: Her existence is never acknowledged until moments before her death. She's just the wife and mother of the Wayne family.
  • Two First Names: Martha and Wayne, and was previously Martha Kane prior to her marriage.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Probably the version of Martha with the smallest amount of screentime before getting killed. The Waynes get out of the movie theater, enter the alley behind it and get shot, and unlike Thomas, she didn't have any other scene in the film.

    Alfred Pennyworth 

Alfred Pennyworth
"Please- just go, before you make a fool of yourself."

Played by: Douglas Hodge

The Waynes' butler.

  • Adaptational Wimp: In other versions of the Batman mythos, Alfred is an ex-SAS soldier or a former bodyguard, can handle stressful situations and deal with mentally unstable people, and, at the very least, is talented in basic self-defense. Here, his only real activity is struggling ineffectually with a nearly skeletal man against a gate.
  • Age Lift: He's much younger than most typical depictions of him. Justified on the account of Bruce still being a child.
  • The Cameo: Only appears for a single scene and isn't identified by name in dialogue, though anyone remotely familiar with the Batman mythos will easily be able to tell who he is.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Towards Arthur, but not without reason however.
  • Hero Antagonist: Given who the character is in general in the comics mythos and who's destined to mentor one of Gotham's greatest superheroes, he's automatically this towards Arthur especially in defense of Bruce.
  • The Jeeves: Once again, the loyal British butler to the Wayne family. However, this time he is clearly not as level-headed as before and is visibly wary of Arthur. Justified, since he's a clearly unwell stranger touching the child Alfred takes care of.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He was perhaps overly harsh with Arthur, but only because he deeply cares for Bruce and doesn't want any harm come to him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He is immediately confrontational towards Arthur, but is justified as he is a creepy stranger. Also, Alfred could be correct in calling Penny delusional and mentally ill, therefore being a Kick The Son Of A Bitch move, especially the revelation of her being an Abusive Parent.
  • Papa Wolf: He is very protective of Young Master Bruce.

    Garrity and Burke 

Detective Garrity and Detective Burke
"Mr. Fleck? Sorry to bother you. I'm Detective Garrity. This is my partner, Detective Burke. We have a few questions for you, but you weren't home. So, we spoke with your mother."

Played by: Bill Camp (Garrity) and Shea Whigham (Burke)

Dubbed by: Paul Borne (Garrity) and Bruno Choël (Burke) [European French]

Two GCPD Detectives who investigate the murder of the three Wayne Enterprises businessmen in the subway.

  • Accidental Murder: Burke unintentionally shoots a clown rioter dead while trying to restore order.
  • Canon Foreigner: Garrity doesn't exist in the comics or any previous Batman lore adaptation. However, there is a Detective Thomas Burke, who was introduced in Detective Comics #748.
  • Expy: The two share many similarities to the common depiction of James Gordon and Harvey Bullock's younger years, so much so that some fans initially thought they were supposed to be them until their names were spoken.
  • Fat and Skinny: Garrity (Fat) and Burke (Skinny).
  • Hero Antagonist: Two police officers who investigate the subway murders and end up chasing the man who committed them and happens to be the story's Villain Protagonist.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When questioning Arthur about the subway murders and why he was fired from Ha-Ha's, Burke asks Arthur if his Pseudobulbar affect is "real, or some sort of 'clown thing'". Arthur understandably takes offense.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: They're on the receiving end of one when Burke accidentally shoots a rioter dead, sparking an entire mob of clowns to pounce them like a pack of wolves. The last time we hear of them, they're said to be in critical condition.
  • Police Brutality: Burke shoots one of the rioters accidentally, but taking his gun out in a crowded subway while chasing a suspect with no weapon drawn showcases a certain amount of trigger-happiness.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: It varies across the country and municipalities, but the most commonly held mode of thought is that police are allowed to unholster and draw their weapon (which is considered a show of force) if they are in a situation where they have reasonable fear and need to be ready to use force. But in this case, Burke (and only Burke) draws and brandishes his firearm just to quell unrest caused by a fight breaking out between two people; this could be considered a totally unnecessary measure that just exacerbated the situation.
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: A mild, but valid example. Neither Burke or Garrity have anything personal against Arthur, and are (for the most part) polite and professional when questioning him; things only go tits up when they chase him into a crowded subway train of clown protesters who are already riled up. At this point it becomes Downplayed for Burke who proceeds to recklessly draw his gun in panic and accidentally kills a rioter.
  • Those Two Guys: They're always seen together.

    Wall Street Three 

The Wall Street Three
"What's so funny, asshole?"

Played by: Carl Lundstedt, Michael Benz, Ben Warheit

Three young Wayne Enterprises businessmen who start mocking and beating Arthur up on board a subway train.

  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: They're all implied to be drunk and their bullying of Arthur leads them to all be killed.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Arthur cites both their behavior and their bad rendition of “Send in the Clowns” as reasons for killing them.
  • Asshole Victims: They all bully and beat Arthur up for being dressed in his clown costume and laughing uncontrollably. Who in turn, ends up killing all of them. They also are aggressive towards a lone woman on the train before Arthur inadvertently draws their attention.
  • The Bully: They first harass a female passenger before Arthur's uncontrollable fits of laughing and clown attire attract their attention and cause them to mock and assault him.
  • Bullying the Disabled: They beat up Arthur even after he tells them he has a condition.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Ryan unsuccessfully hits on a female subway passenger and the other two egg him on. The leader also gripes how he failed to get another woman's phone number in a passing conversation before they decide to pick on Arthur.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: They are businessmen who worked for the corporation Wayne Enterprises whose afterwork activities includes harassing a lone woman and beating up a seemingly defenseless unemployed clown with a condition.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Had they not harassed Arthur they would all still be alive.
  • Didn't See That Coming: They surely didn't expect Arthur to carry a gun, much less to actually use it against them. The first to be shot doesn't even get the time to realize what's happening.
  • Dirty Coward: They gratuitously beat and kick Arthur down while being three against him, and when he pulls out his gun and starts shooting in self-defense, They run away in fear while crying for help. Well, technically, only Ryan does so because the other two didn't get time to react.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: They pick on and beat up Arthur just for laughing.
  • Entitled to Have You: The way they talk about women has shades of this, especially the way they harass a female passenger who isn't looking for trouble.
  • Fat Bastard: Ryan is on the chunky side and isn't less of a jerk than his friends. He is the only one who Arthur didn't kill inside the train, but due to the fact that Arthur already shot him in his ass, he couldn't run far enough to save his life.
  • Faux Affably Evil: They approach Arthur in a seemingly playful manner while singing "Send in the Clowns" ... before proceeding to mock and beat him up for laughing uncontrollably in his clown costume.
  • Hypocrite: One of them calls Arthur an asshole. Let that sink in for a while.
  • Inspirational Martyr: Thomas Wayne sets them up as this after they're killed. Their violent, anti-social behavior is swept under the rug (if it's brought up at all) in order to push the belief that it's the lower classes that are violent and anti-social.
  • Jerkass: None of them show any redeeming qualities.
  • Karmic Death: Arguably the most unsympathetic victims on Arthur's hit list.
  • Kick the Dog: They sexually harass a woman on the subway who just wants to be left alone. Later they antagonistically approach him, Arthur claims to have a condition and tries to take out his card, but they couldn’t care less (one of them saying he can tell anyway) and start beating him up.
  • Lack of Empathy: When Arthur tells the men he has a mental condition, they clearly don't give a shit and have no problems giving him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the spot.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: They're terminated by Arthur in the middle of beating him up for no good reason.
  • More Hateable Minor Villain: Arthur is one of the most sympathetic portrayals of the Joker, being a mentally-ill loner beaten down by an uncaring society, and even the other antagonistic characters have some nuance to them. Except for these three, who only show up for one scene where they’re presented as rich, drunken, women-harassing scumbags who beat up Arthur for laughs, to keep Arthur likable and sympathetic in comparison when he kills them.
  • Mugging the Monster: They don't know that Arthur carries a gun until it's too late, and all end up dead.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: They try to give this to Arthur, but he kills all of them before they could (presumably) beat him to death.
  • No Name Given: They're simply credited as "Wall Street Three", however, the last one to be killed is named Ryan.
  • Non-Indicative Name: They have nothing to do with Wall Street.
  • Oh, Crap!: Their reaction to Arthur pulling a gun on them.
  • Only One Name: Ryan is the only one named, but only his first name.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: You'd think a group of grown businessmen would be too old and mature to still be behaving like high school bullies. You thought wrong.
  • Sadist: They're clearly shown taking so much joy in tormenting a helpless Arthur.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ryan does this during his final moments.
  • Shot in the Ass: This apparently happens to Ryan due to a bullet grazing him, but despite what you'd think (due to this trope and being a victim of the Joker), it's not Played for Laughs.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Their harassment of Arthur leads to him killing all three of them, not only beginning his transformation into the Joker but also sparks an uprising of rioters in clown masks.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: They're the first characters to get killed in the movie and it happens in such an abrupt way that nobody would have seen it coming.
  • Undignified Death: All three are shot to death in a dingy and decrepit subway. Extra points go to Ryan—Arthur non-fatally shoots him once, but Ryan fails to limp away because (judging from the way he holds his rear end) he got shot in one of his buttcheeks. Arthur empties the gun into him as he tries to crawl his way up the stairs.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Three yuppies belonging to the upper class of Gotham, and massive jerks at that.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Downplayed, while some characters such as Murray Franklin and Thomas Wayne sympathizes with them, a good chunk of the city only sees them as asshole victims.
  • Wicked Cultured: One of them seems to be a fan of Stephen Sondheim, as he sings "Send In The Clowns" to Arthur prior to beating him up.
  • Yuppie: All three of them are clearly identifiable as the kind of young, upwardly mobile white collar workers who became so notorious in the '80s (the film is set in 1981), and are still recognizable today.

    Clown Rioter 

Clown Rioter

Played by: ???

"Hey, Wayne! You get what you fucking deserve!"

A clown-masked rioter who pulls the trigger on the Waynes.

  • Adaptational Personality Change: This version of the Waynes' killer has a significantly different motivation compared to his traditional counterpart, Joe Chill. Instead of being a mugger or a hitman who kills for money, the Rioter kills the Waynes as a vigilante act against their and the rest of the city's elite perceived mistreatment of the city's underclass. He doesn't care about their possessions, but makes a point of ripping Martha's pearl necklace off (without stealing it) to send a message.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The Eat the Rich riots Joker's murder of Murray Franklin set ablaze galvanized him to murder Thomas and Martha Wayne.
  • Ambiguous Situation:
    • Owing to his lack of character development, it's not clear why he spared Bruce; was it Wouldn't Hurt a Child, pure pragmatism, a belief Bruce was innocent of his parents' misdeeds, a mix of both, or something else?
    • Additionally, is he actually this universe's Joe Chill or just someone else who killed the Waynes?
  • Create Your Own Hero: His murder of Bruce Wayne's parents would inspire Bruce to become one of Gotham's most feared vigilantes.
  • Eat the Rich: Implied, given the film's climax, which involves a massive riot against Gotham's elite, and the Waynes happen to be part of said elite and go out just that night...
  • Expy: If he isn't Joe Chill, he at least inherited his role as the killer of Batman's parents.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Inverted. His name should be Joe Chill if source material and most adaptations are taken into account but the film made him a No Name Given character.
  • No Name Given: His name is never stated.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You get what you fucking deserve!"
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The Rioter only has maybe a minute or two of screen time to kill the Waynes and only appears once during that duration, but his action of killing Thomas & Martha ends up becoming way more important in the long run.