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Fanfic / Bruce Has a Problem

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And this is it.

Beginning as a one-shot crackfic by Adrian Tullberg, Bruce Has a Problem tells the tale of what happens when Harley Quinn deduces Batman's identity and decides to leave the Joker for him. Bruce is in shock, Alfred is amused, the Bat-Clan is confused, and Harley's oblivious.

And the less said about what The Joker feels about this, the better.

Due to public affirmation of the idea's brilliance, this one-shot subsequently transformed into a Round Robin (as opposed to Harley, who makes for a really Stacked Robin), moderated by Andrew J. Talon, showing the deepening of Bruce and Harley's surprisingly effective relationship and the often unpredictable effect it has on everyone else.

Note: The above link is to a thread on, which is littered with non-story discussion. You can find a table of contents that links to most of the story-posts here and here.

The story is found on various threads. Links to the threads: Thread 1, Thread 2, Thread 3, Thread 4, Thread 5, Thread 6,Thread 7,Thread 8,Thread 9,Thread 10,Thread 11, discussion thread, art thread, Elsewords thread.

This story provides examples of:

  • Abduction Is Love: Averted when Roxy abducts Dr. Resch and Dr. Resch makes it clear that he has no romantic interest in her.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Harley, at least at first.
  • Action Girlfriend: Excluding the women of the Batfamily couples, there's Dr. Young to Dr. Resch, who doesn't hesitate to chase after him when Roxy abducts him.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The absurdly spacious ones in Arkham are viciously lampshaded; evidently they were originally dog runs put in by a director who thought dogs would have mental healing properties, abandoned when the director died in a dog-petting accident. They were then repurposed as vents by another director, who was looking to cut costs to fund a step pyramid he was building.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Somehow, after getting drunk at a party, Maxie Zeus, the Riddler's ex-henchwomen, and Larry and Fancy Dan arrive in the newly-declared democratic republic of Corto Maltese, where they helped to prevent a military coup of the presidential election to the extent that Nina and Deidre are now the new bodyguards for the First Lady and there's talk of making statues of them.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Multiple ways, but Poison Ivy is the poster girl for this.
  • All-Loving Hero: Alfred. He treats most people with kindness, to the extent that even most of the Rogues remember him favorably.
  • Amicable Exes: Stephanie and Tim, early in the story, discuss how they used to date, and wind up as this. Stephanie still loves teasing him, though.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Tim asks Bruce how she'll get rid of Harley, he forlornly replies:
    Bruce:“What can we do to her that the Joker has already done to her, and she still wouldn’t get the message?”
    • Tim responds by going for the bourbon too.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: When Tim, Marshall and the others at the Laughlin Garage were getting the worst of it by Black Mask's goons, Nika (using Moe's loudspeaker module) reads a letter from Penthouse Magazine, and reenacts the voices and moaning. The goons are entranced enough to be overcome by Moe and the others.
    • When Fancy asks how Tim could not be affected by Nika's voice like that, he tells Fancy, "I have a girlfriend." And when Fancy asks "One that could make you feel like that all the time?" Tim affirms it. Fancy then tells Tim, "You're my new hero, Mister Wayne, sir."
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: All of the couples.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The appropriately named Dive Bar mostly caters to Rogue henchmen/women and the less discerning sort of mobster.
  • Battle Butler: Nearly everyone who works at Wayne Manor, from the maids, to the gardener, to the mechanic are competently trained combatants, but have various reasons for not really being front-line fighters.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Subverted quite epically by Talia when Ubu and her handmaiden can't quite stop arguing.
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Tetch, losing his hat is one thing, but someone like Red Hood mockingly trying it on? He breaks down into an absolute tirade about how it's been "perverted".
    • Damian is one continuous Berserk Button for Gideon, who is in the shadow of Damian's accomplishments.
    • Gideon presses Damian's, though, when he goes, "Then your fat-bottomed, blonde whore will be mine to do with as I wish—" with Damian responding with a Death Glare and "... no one makes fun of Batgirl's fat bottom but me."
  • Bifauxnen: Cassandra Cain put on a suit for Nika, so when Tim was in one too, Nika felt like she had a pretty boy on each arm..
    • Dragged into Drag: ..and later Tim finds his "outfit" is a dress and a wig, so Nika can be matched, and Cass can get a pretty girl on each arm. Cass does tell Tim he can have the same routine next time, though.
  • Bland-Name Product: The Sundollars coffee bar, a carryover from DC Comics canon.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: During the election arc, Moe and Larry find themselves body guarding Bruce Wayne, who probably doesn't really need it.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Nika Spencer, a Catwoman cosplayer at Goth-Con, is surprised when she finds out that Cass is Tim's bodyguard but they explain that being seen with a woman is less conspicuous that being seen with a tall, macho bodyguard. They explain that Stephanie is Damian's bodyguard and she is disguised a tutor.
    • Ascended Extra: Nika (later nicknamed "Catgirl") later becomes closer to Tim (and Cass in the DEMON arc) with Holly training her to be a new Catwoman as well.
  • Bored with Insanity: The Joker of all people, after the events of Gotham Con. Sort of. He's bored with homicidal insanity. As he puts it, he's becoming just another Zsasz, and who wants to be that loser? He's still pretty crazy though.
  • Brass Balls: See "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Par for the course with The Joker. His minions get in on the fun, too.
    Joker: "What?! Where'd she go? She'd never been gone this long before! ... Or has she? Which Crisis event are we on?"
    Mook One: "Uh... Third?"
    Mook Two: "Fourth, definitely fourth."
    Mook Three: "I thought there were only two. Did that whole thing with Superboy Prime count?"
    Mook One: "Do any of them count? Or do they just overwrite 'em?"
  • Call to Agriculture: Jean-Paul Valley along with his Azrael personality has become the Wayne Manor's resident gardener as well as its security guard. Messing with the garden has become his Berserk Button.
  • Came Back Wrong: Jason has been revealed to be this. According to Bruce, the brain-damage he sustained before his death, combined with his resurrection by the Lazarus Pit has left him with a unique chemical imbalance in his brain that's made worse by the trauma he suffered. Pumping him full of meds has made him much more stable and mellow, and allowed him to rejoin the Bat Family.
  • Captain Obvious: During the DEMON arc, the Sensei keels over apparently dead during his bout with Stephanie. Gideon immediately screams that there's an assassin in their midst. In the headquarters of the League of Assassins. Stephanie can see the entire audience (who are all assassins) rolling their eyes.
  • Casual Kink: Harley seems to be very open about what she and the Bat get up to in bed. Or on the couch. Or in the Batcave. Or in the Batmobile. Much to the trauma of his kids.
    • In her latest 'catfight' with Selina, Harley takes this up to 11. Proudly proclaiming she'd do anything to keep 'Mr. B' happy. Including letting him sleep with other girls... or sleep with them herself.
  • The Cat Came Back: In the beginning, Robin feebly wonders how he and Bruce can get rid of Harley. A morose Bruce asks him what they could possibly do to her that the Joker had already done to her, without her getting the message. This ends up working to the advantage of their relationship, as Bruce simply cannot force Harley away in a self-destructive mood like he tends to do with his other loved ones.
  • Chronic Villainy: Excluding the Joker, more and more Rogues are starting to defy this trope turning a new leaf and sticking to their redemption with the occasional relapse/going to the Iceberg Lounge for Tabletop Saturday. There are still a few that do have this, such as Scarecrow or Mad Hatter, but at the same time it does make sure to show that these are people who are not mentally well.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: When Cass finds out Nika was able to turn on Tim just through her talking and not being on the same block with Tim, she realizes she doesn't want to give Tim up to Nika. Harley shows Cass how to play The Vamp with her voice alone as well, and Cass sees it work perfectly.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Stephanie suffers this during Talia's "Bridal Training" while facing ninjas.
    • Skip Tracer complains stubborn bail-jumpers have been known to set his clothes on fire. (Bane later gives Skip a referral: Kittlemeier makes Bane's outfits, so perhaps that would be good to follow up on.)
  • Combat by Champion: In the DEMON arc, Stephanie participates in this for Talia when her leadership of the League of Shadows is challenged.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Oh Dr. Hugo Strange, you poor delusional madman...
    • Hugo keeps managing to figure out EXACTLY what the Bat has planned, but keeps projecting completely erroneous motivations and reasoning to him.
  • Conditioned to Accept Horror: A mundane variant with Harley's niece and nephew, Jenny and Nicky
    Nicky: Where's the ugly guy with the hat? He said he was your friend.
    Harley: He used to be, but now he's just a creep. My new boyfriend's beating him up.
    Nicky: Hey! You said you were gonna kill him!
    Harley: Things have changed. Now he's my special bat-friend.
    Jenny: Like a backwards-daddy! Mommy used to kiss daddy now she wants him dead! And you do it backwards!
    Harley: Exactly! Come on and we'll say hello.
  • The Conspiracy: Many mobs and criminals believe Bruce Wayne is running a massive one that has himself as the secret Don of Gotham, the Batman as his enforcer in charge of controlling the supervillains, Matches Malone for the mob and mundane crime, Commissioner Gordon for the police and is the mayor after the elections, Two-Face is Gordon's replacement in the police and the Batkids are his heirs/lieutenants/bodyguards. Bruce Wayne has a finger in every pie and controls Gotham directly and indirectly. Ironically, they're right about the whole thing; save for the whole Bruce Wayne is evil part.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Amanda Waller outright calls Director Bones a paranoid nutcase for suspecting Bruce Wayne of being a monster like Lex Luthor but agrees to a joint-investigation anyway, remembering the utter disaster that was Lex Luthor's presidency.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Damien breaks up part of a riot by threatening to play William Shatner's cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds on a Tumbler's loudspeaker system.
    • Interestingly, only a few of the rioters think that the song is this. Others disagree, and what causes the riot to break up is the rioters discussing it in detail (the riot being caused by drugs, so their actions... aren't entirely rational).
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even Dick is surprised that Bruce has a contingency plan for Gotham suddenly seceding from the United States.
    • Subverted in another way, though- for all of Batman's planning skills, all the contingencies, all the various ways in which he is prepared for events... in precisely none of them did he figure "Harley Quinn learns my secret identity and falls madly in love with me."
  • Creepy Crossdresser: It was for a job interview! And much Brain Bleach was required in-universe and out afterwards...
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted, many a Rogue goes legit when they realize they have better options. Mr.Freeze works for Wayne Industries patenting cryogenic technology and now head of research for his wife's illness. Two-Face uses both aspects of his personality to run a very successful campaign for Mayor. Riddler runs a detective agency. Sid the Squid opened a bank of the mob and a union for henchmen. Lampshaded by the Penguin, who holds a private celebration with Sid the Squid and the Riddler for being smarter than most of the Rogues and getting out to put their skills for legit businesses.
  • Dating Catwoman: To be fair to Harley, she's not a bad guy anymore and reformed to prove to Bruce the seriousness of her affections.
    • Also Nika Spencer, who cosplayed as Catwoman at Goth-Con, getting close to Tim and Cass.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred is in fine form here.
    • "Master Bruce, you cannot use the good china for target practice. Master Bruce, perhaps next time we will look before we leap onto a bus. Master Bruce, sitting down for a rest in Poison Ivy's lair: This was a good idea why?"
  • Disability Immunity; Doctor Resch's exposure to anti-fear toxin, possibly coupled with post-traumatic stress, has resulted in his seeming immunity to fear and panic. He seemed completely unaffected by AMP and the Hatcasters; and it's suspected that the damage also made him immune to Ivy's pheromones.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Damian by Stephanie's "Hypno-Boobs", Tim by Cass's various actions, even Bruce is a victim of this by Harley though he hides it better.
    • The Riddler's assistants, Query and Echo, try this on Eddie but he's wise to their efforts. It's quite effective on Sid the Squid though.
  • The Don: People seem to have gotten the wrong idea about Bruce Wayne during the Election Arc. Bruce responds with a Flat "What" and the urge to scream.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Dan "Fancypants" Proxmire is really unhappy about his nickname. Doctor Doyle "Doc Ironballs" Resch probably isn't much happier about his.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: According to Harley, her pet hyenas are great judges of characters (and that's probably why they never liked the Joker).
  • Evil Twin: Gideon is a cloned brother of Damian, though shorter.
    • Compensating for Something: As Gideon holds a normal long sword like a Claymore, Damian thinks the situation calls for one of these lines. Then goes, "I think I am spending too much time with the Red Hood."
    • This Is Unforgivable!:
      Gideon: — You will be dead and mother will stop rubbing my face into your accomplishments. Then your fat-bottomed, blonde whore will be mine to do with as I wish—
      Damian: (gives Gideon Death Glare as he points his baton at Gideon) ... no one makes fun of Batgirl's fat bottom but me.
    • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Gideon gets his buttons pushed by Damian, while Damian keeps his cool.
      Gideon: I was created to be your better in every way! I was purified! Improved! I am what you should have been! Stronger! Faster! Smarter—!
      Damian: Tt. Oh, please. She obviously screwed that part up.
      Gideon: Shut! Up! Brother! I am speaking!
      Damian: You. Are. Shouting. Genetics aside, you are no brother to me.
  • Epic Fail: Black Mask hires an assassin to take out Bruce while he's attending the Gotham City Mayoral Debates. The consequences are... special, to say the least.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Rogues reflect on Alfred, Penguin's partner in the Iceberg Lounge, and how well he treated them during their heyday as villains. Then Penguin reveals Alfred was stabbed by Hugo Strange in his insane assault on Wayne Manor. Remembering their "treatments" (read: torture) at the hands of Strange, only one thing comes to mind:
    • And everyone in Gotham hates Gareth Baxter, the pedophiliac disgraced ex-federal agent in hiding. Bane in particular hates child molesters.
      • Likewise, another child-molesting bounty target of Skip Tracer's in Central City also gets on the radar of Captain Cold, who ices up the exits of where the target's holed up to prevent escape. The Flash got a good laugh out of it, saying the Captain was cleaning his freeze gun when he dropped it and "it went off by accident." (Though once the perp was delivered Skip did split the fee with Captain Cold—fair is fair, reasons Skip.)
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Harley Quinn, who is desired by Batman, the Joker and Poison Ivy. Batgirl is pretty much Ms. Fanservice for the whole of Gotham.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Hugo Strange just doesn't quite understand that not everything revolves around him.
    • One of the major reasons mobsters and government organizations like Checkmate and the D.E.O. believe Bruce Wayne is a ruthless ambitious mastermind who wants to make Gotham his own personal country is because they believe he thinks like them. To be entirely fair, they were blindsided by another super genius with massive amounts of money when Lex Luthor became president (and then turned evil), and Bruce does have plans for what to do if Gotham decides to secede from the United States.
  • Fan Convention: The setting, or at least the starting point for the Joker Riot Arc.
  • Flat "What": The latest snippet has Bruce reacting this way to rumors that he is, in fact, a secret crime boss. The Bat is his enforcer and way to deal with the crazies, Gordon for the cops, and Malone for the mobs, with the Batkids as his lieutenants/potential heirs/bodyguards to the heirs.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Damian and Stephanie go to Goth Con in costume and no one notices due to the popularity of Batgirl and Robin costumes in the conventions.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Two-Face's political party for the Mayor office: the Arkham Party, an Organization to Reform Gotham and Advance Social Morality.
  • The Ghost: Though Black Mask is the one backing DA Roger Garcetti's mayoral bid and even puts a hit out on Bruce Wayne. He never appears in any way, shape or form.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Stephanie and Cassandra. Though if Damian's photos are to be believed, they might not be all that heterosexual...
  • Hidden Depths: Maxie Zeus is crazy and views things through the lens of mythology, but he has great skill at making coffee and political analysis, assessing political ads with much detail.
    • He points out Anthony Garcia isn't trying too hard to win and is probably hoarding his budget.
    • He points out Garcetti has so much money hoarded he only loses man power should his backers leave.
    • He notes Sharpe's campaign was most likely made by his patients.
  • High Turnover Rate: The director of Arkham; apparently, every previous director went insane at some point. This trend has continued in the present, and the only person so far who (apparently) didn't succumb was killed by a patient about twenty minutes after he got the job.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Pretty much the entire story.
  • Humongous Mecha: The two robots Joker employs in the convention arc, both props from Christopher Nolan's ultra-realistic The Big O movies.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Lian thinks Stephanie used her "hypnoboobs" on Damian and mesmerized him (Damian claims Stephanie is his wife, and never mind Talia is putting the buxom blonde Batgirl through "bridal training") with said "hypnoboobs." Lian goes to Power Girl for help growing her breasts large enough to defeat Stephanie, even mentioning he got trapped in an air vent above Stephanie's bedroom (though Power Girl is trying to avoid Corpsing as she remembers hearing the story in the Watch Tower cantina).
  • I'm Taking Him Home with Me!: At Goth-Con, several twelve-year-old Supergirl cosplayers are fans of the "fifth Robin." After they Squee and smother Damian in hugs, the brunette of the group tells everyone "I want to take him home!" After Damian mumbles that he's got mace, the brunette goes, "Now I definitely want to keep him for myself!"
  • Improvised Weapon: even a few Rogues have learned to mind their manners around Doctor Penelope "Penny" Young and her $500 fountain pen with a nib of Amazonian-forged steel.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Ivy seems to want this more than romance, despite being in love with Harley and having a crush on Cass, possibly as a result of her powers. It's noted that the people she most often enjoys talking to and seeks attention from are people who are immune or highly resistant to her pheromones or in stable relationships, indeed, those who like and want to be around her for who she is, not the pheromones she can produce.
    • Interestingly, even Joker wants a friend, and against the odds and his very nature he actually manages to forge something resembling a friendship with Dr. Resch. Both are well aware Resch's fear immunity plays a hand on this, to the point that when Joker is sent to another Earth, he seeks out the local Resch and doses him with anti-fear toxin in order to get his friend back.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Bruce's initial reaction to Harley professing her love for him is to drain a bottle of twelve-year-old bourbon. Tim joins him after Harley starts making plans for bedroom shenanigans with Bruce.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Stephanie and Damian say that she forgot Damian's meds in the car to escape the chattering of Rich Bitches insulting Stephanie.
  • Intercontinuity Crossover/Patchwork Fic: The continuity is a mish-mash of comics canon, BTAS, the Arkham video games and other bits from all over.
  • Intimidating Revenue Service: Word of God says this continuity's version of Phil Coulson isn't with SHIELD, but the IRS.
    • He gives The Joker of all people an Oh, Crap! moment when he shows up with what the IRS claims Jack Napier owes them (as it's shown they've got proof they're on in the same).
    • Maxie Zeus makes book when Sid The Squid meets up with Phil on Union business (a member has to be audited).
  • Intrepid Reporter: Susan Morrow thinks she is one. She isn't a bad or corrupt reporter, she's just not as good as she thinks.
  • It's All About Me: As mentioned before, Strange's megalomania undermines his every move and his continual projecting of his own selfishness and madness onto Batman eventually come back to bite him in the ass.
  • Killer Rabbit: Killer Robot Rabbits, during the Hatter arc. Armed with switchblades. And they attack in swarms to make it worse.
  • Landslide Election: Commissoner Gordon beats all the other candidates in the five-party mayoral election by a landslide. His only real competition was Two-Face, who was a extremely popular write-in candidate despite Two-Face dropping out of the election. Also helps that several others disqualified themselves or were phenomenally unpopular.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: "Fancypants" is the only male Batdemon who was originally with Intergang in Metropolis. He's also initially the only one of them who'd also read the tech manuals that came with new equipment and esoteric tech, meaning he knew how they worked and how to keep them maintained (at least until Larry watched him and picked up on how to do so too).
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the mainstream DCU these days.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: This is Harley all over the place, at least initially.
  • Made of Iron: Skip Tracer is tough, but his clothing isn't.
  • Mama Bear: Invoked, Hugo Strange had the Hatter kidnap Harley's niece and nephew, Jenny and Nicky, so she would go crazy on the Hatter and look unstable. This way, it would seem that Harley hadn't reformed and would make Sharpe's policy seem necessary. Unfortunately for him, Harley managed to keep a level head through the kidnapping.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Batman. Played up a bit during the Election arc.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Damian whenever he gets hugged.
  • Mini-Mecha: The Batcave has these to aid in maintenance and logistics. Alfred employs one to load up weapons on vehicles.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jim Gordon, despite being an excellent detective otherwise, draws the completely wrong conclusion about his daughter and those woman friends who keep sleeping over at her place. Babs straightens him out right away.
    • Tim is also on the end of this due to his close relationship with Superboy.
  • Mooks: Moe, Larry and Curly as well as Query and Echo count. They also have Union representation.
  • More than Mind Control: According to Hugo Strange, he deliberately had Harleen Quinzeel, a promising young psychologist, treat the Joker knowing that she would be susceptible to the Joker's mind games and would become his follower. Unfortunately for Strange, the same weakness made it easy for the "BatCult" to recruit her.
  • Mugging the Monster: Tarantula inadvertently does so here while chasing after Nightwing.
  • Mundane Solution: Mr. Freeze has a new suit, which uses force fields to let him move about like a real person without bulk or a bubble of glass. Its power requirements are too much for conventional batteries. Months, large sums of money, and innumerable brilliant minds are spent trying to find a suitable exotic power storage system, until a janitor helpfully suggests an extension cord.
  • Near-Villain Victory: How Director Bones regards the extremely narrow defeat of the referendum to secede Gotham from the US. He's perfectly aware among other things that if the public knew the government released Gareth Baxter on Gotham to get him out of their hair, it's likely Bruce Wayne would already have his own country.
  • Never My Fault:
    • For Hugo Strange, nothing is his fault. When something goes wrong it is due to someone's else's carelessness or someone finding out his plans and out-planning him.
    • For Skip Tracer, all it takes is a stubborn bail-jumper to set his clothes on fire, and SKIP is the one being arrested for indecent exposure soon afterwards.
  • Ninja Maid: Ever wonder why it seems like Alfred's managing Wayne Manor all by himself? He isn't. It's just that almost no one actually sees the (literal) ninja maids.
    • To a lesser degree, the man one who manages the grounds is a) a recluse and b) a former Batman himself, so him not being noticed is practically a given.
  • No Hero to His Valet: Alfred is not being paid enough for this. Bruce tends to want to dock his pay every once in a while, though.
    • On the other hand Alfred apparently has secret fangirls, and Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons is hot for him. He's also a silent partner in the Iceberg Lounge and has the respect of most of Batman's Rogues Gallery.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Bruce is worried that Harley's willingness to do anything for him makes him not so different from the Joker. Alfred says there's no easy way to get over this, but he points out that she is clearly better off with him than the Joker.
  • The Nicknamer: Harley does this to nearly everyone, notably referring to Alfred as Obi-Wan and Bruce as Mistah Bee (which fits for both Bat and Bruce).
    • Jason Todd also tends to have snarky nicknames for everyone, most notably Velma for Tim.
  • Opposites Attract: Bruce and Harley, Cass and Tim, Stephanie and Damian...
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Dr. Young has a fountain pen made in Amazonian steel, and used it on Victor Szasz when he slipped through his straitjacket and attacked her.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally in Damian's case.
  • Post Cyber Punk: According to the author's notes, this is the DC universe as far as the Problemverse is concerned. Much of the technology seen in the animated series and the Arkham Asylum games is commercially available, though expensive.
  • Practical Joke: The members of the Batfamily seem to like to pull these on each other. Hugo Strange gets caught in it when he thinks a mini fridge might hold the source of Bruce Wayne's power, but instead it was booby-trapped with butyl mercaptan, and Hugo gets hit with the mother of all stink bombs.
  • Precocious Crush: Damian. So much. Forever.
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Inverted as Harley was the one who dumped The Joker, whose subsequent brainwashing of the people at the convention, "Harley" auditions, and giant robot battle with Batman all stemmed from him trying to "win" her back. Thing is, Joker doesn't truly realize he's this until Batman and Harley verbally and literally hammer it home for him.
  • Pun
    • "Knight Vision" for Batman's Detective Mode feature in his cowl. Spoken by Harley.
    • Jokes involving how much Babs loved Dick have finally surfaced after Commissioner Gordon accidentally makes one at Wayne Manor.
    • A nautically themed low-class bar is actually named The Dive Bar.
  • Recurring Extra: Jane Doe, the Lamp, specifically whenever Doctors Young, Resch or the Joker are nearby. They haven't yet figured out how she keeps doing it.
    • She used to be Jane Doe, Serial Killer, until Strange brainwashed her into having no memory of the past and few skills except to follow him around to hold up lights for dramatic scenes. She may or may not be in love with the (reformed) Joker, and one short snip from the future implies that she's the mother of his children... And still thinks she's a lamp.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted, as the advances in technology made by various DC heroes and villains are slowing trickling down to the mass market or they themselves are making big changes. For example, Poison Ivy uses her powers to form a small utopian village for the homeless adults and orphans inside a park.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In this reality, Carrie Kelly is the daughter that Stephanie Brown gave up for adoption.
  • Rich Bitch: A bunch of them immediately start insulting Stephanie on the quality of her make-up, her social status, call her a whore for being a teenage mother and the fact she's a Wayne charity case.
  • Right Behind Me: After The Joker gets his wrist grabbed by Batman (and fails to be able to use the joy buzzer on his palm), he notices Batman smirking.
    JOKER: (dull tone) Harley's right behind me, isn't she?
    BATMAN: Yep.
    JOKER: Mallet's right over my head, isn't it?
    BATMAN: Yep.
    JOKER: Aw what the hell, it is pretty funny. (Mallet THWACKS! Joker face-first into the dirt again; earlier it had been because he'd objected to Harley changing him from "creepy ex who won't let go" to "regular Arkham Rogue," and that was her response to him interrupting her.)
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • Hugo Strange successfully deduces that Gordon's handling of the Hatter's kidnapping at the Gotham bridge made him look competent and Sharpe look like a fool. He also deduces that Gordon will announce his candidacy for mayor. He believes it because Batman has a master-plan to humiliate Strange.
    • When Hugo finds that his files on the death of Jason Todd are missing, he correctly assumes that Batman deleted them... which he did (well, Oracle under Batman's direction, but still). He incorrectly assumes that this is because Bruce Wayne can alter history at will.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place:
    • Bruce visiting Giovanni's for lunch at the exact same time a bunch of mobsters were having a secret meeting at the place lends more credence to the otherwise ridiculous rumors of Bruce being a secret crime boss who rules Gotham from the shadows.
    • Taken even further when Giovanni, the owner of the restaurant, comments on how Bruce was mocked by Falcone in Giovanni's once, and upon leaving, was told to try the cannoli. A year later, Falcone's empire is in rubble, his bank accounts are empty, and Falcone himself is killed by Two-Face... and the very next day, Bruce Wayne walks into Giovanni's and has the cannoli. When Dick asks Bruce about this later, Bruce is completely confused, and honestly doesn't remember or know why it's important.
  • Robotic Reveal: Subverted. Joker's Captain Clown robot at the convention is seen as a legally purchased ex-military android with all the illegal stuff torn out. Except it hasn't been torn out.
  • Round Robin: Mostly a traditional one though there are chronological issues given how loosely it's moderated.
  • Running Gag:
    • Mainly used in the discussion thread, but ALL Lexcorp electronic products are programmed to attack Superman.
      • Which is a real problem when Lois buys Clark a Lexcorp Razor for their anniversary.
    • Tim's supposed previous 'relationship' with Superboy gets some mileage.
    • Blonde women, and women in general, tend to keep finding Damian adorable enough to smoosh into their bosoms.
    • Dr. Strange guessing Batman's plans right... For all the wrong reasons.
    • Steph's tendency to lose most of her costume during Talia's 'bridal training' sessions.
      • And then Talia selling videotapes of said training sessions as softcore porn to help cover the League of Shadows' operational costs.
    • Bruce saying "I'll get you for this" whenever somebody's blatantly playing matchmaker for him and Harley.
    • Whenever anyone brings up something related to current DC Canon, the immediate answer is that THIS is canon.
  • Sense Loss Sadness: A bit. Bane and Skip Tracer like eating seriously spicy foods; the latter explains the Iron Munro treatment responsible for their enhanced strength has the downside of diminishing smell and taste.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Joker's three henchmen are named Larry, Curly and Moe. Shemp is mentioned as having been killed off-screen. It's later mentioned that their names are the reason that the Joker hired them in the first place.
    • Stephanie introduces Damian to animated Disney films, including Bambi and Toy Story 3.
    • There are multiple references to Chris Dee's Cat Tales.
    • Aquaman, recently brought back to life, has become far more outrageous.
    • The Penguin and other members of Batman's rogue gallery have a Tabletop Saturday weekly in the Iceberg Lounge.
    • The Joker has taken to consulting a plushy of a certain pink pony.
    • Oracle apparently has trained Steph in marksmanship using Dino Crisis light guns.
    • One of the Arkham guards refers to Dr. Young as Lassie.
    • Sid the Squid serves as the head of the Blackgate Allied Trades Credit Union, essentially an insurance and banking service for Gotham's henchmen and hoods.
    • Maxie Zeus, Sid's secretary, refers to his boss as THE MIGHTY KRAKEN, despite the Kraken being a part of NORSE mythology. Since Maxie Zeus is crazy and the film got it wrong too, it's forgivable.
    • "Zelinski's" is mentioned in the context of a costume shopping trip, which refers to a superhero/villain tailor Leo Zelinski from JMS's run on Spider-Man.
    • Taking the place of the Batman comics and cartoons in the real world, The Big O is a popular, long-running franchise, with its own myriad adaptions and remakes over the years. The actual anime series takes the spot of B: TAS, but there are also references to an Adam West TV show (which introduced Dorothy, played by Yvonne Craig) and a modern, more realistic film series.
      • Hugo Strange gets in on the act when he thinks that the Power of God can only be invoked through The Big O and the Batcave. He even dresses as Schwartzvald.
    • When the Joker breaks out of Arkham for a second time, he purposely takes the car from Rain Man to reference it as he takes it on a short-lived journey of self-discovery.
    • "Miss al Ghul, I presume."
    • Roy Harper awakes from a really strange dream. He finds that Starfire is in his bed, and, bizarrely, fully clothed. Said beautiful Tamaranian woman goes to watch cartoons with his daughter, even singing along with the theme songs. Oh, and Batman is dating Harley Quinn. One Gilligan Cut later:
    Lian Harper: Kory? Why is Daddy watching the pinwheel spin with his gun to his head?
  • Shipper on Deck: Azrael ships Jean-Paul Valley and Charlotte "Charlie" Gage-Radcliffe aka Misfit. He's pretty insistent on it too.
  • Shown Their Work: When Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) attempts to catch Roxy Rocket's... Rocket, with a grappling hook, even with several anchors in the roof she's yanked up and taken for a ride. They even Lampshade it by referencing the MythBusters and The Incredible Hulk.
  • Show Within a Show: The Big O is often referenced as being the Problem-verse's equivalent to the Batman franchise, complete with Christopher Nolan directing a famous film adaptation.
  • Signed Up for the Dental: Larry wants to keep his Union benefits because they apparently include discounts at local strip clubs.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: When the Rogues are watching a video of Nika, Stephanie, and Cassandra preform the infamous Birds of Prey song from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, most of them comment on their skin tight costumes, all of them except for Mr. Freeze, who just stares at a picture of his wife.
  • Sock Puppet: Bruce has Harley use her Dr. Mary Andrews identity launch a counter-debate against Gordon after his candidacy announcement in the Charity Ball so he would look more competent and gain the sympathy of the voters.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Bat Clan, naturally. Gordon actually tries to booby-trap his office so they can't do as well. Bizarrely, Jane Doe also seems capable of this.
  • Swiss Messenger: Tabloid reporter Susan Morrow overhears and misinterprets a perfectly innocuous conversation at a party and singlehandedly starts the rumors that Bruce is a crime boss. This causes Bruce many headaches in the future.
  • Tempting Fate: Dan Proxmire's introduction in a henchman's dive bar has him saying that Gotham will be a piece of cake next to Metropolis because the heroes here are "just a bunch of regular folks in capes." Cue Roxy Rocket with Doctor Resch as her hostage smashing through the bar, with Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) hanging onto it by a grappling hook and screaming.
    The Metropolis loudmouth, who was covered in plaster dust and bits of what used to be a chair, finally stopped gaping long enough to ask, "What the hell was that?!"
    Moe looked the guy in the eye and said in a level tone. "Just regular folks in capes."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: One is given to The Joker of all people by the young Dr. Doyle "Doc Ironballs" Resch. In fact, that was but the first of several instances that day that generated that reputation.
    • Followed up by an even better one, also given to the Joker, by Batman.
    • Steph tears into Cheshire during their Combat by Champion physically and verbally. While beating the crap out of Cheshire, Steph calls her out on being a terrible mother to Lian, a hypocrite for calling Steph a whore, and an half-rate assassin who killed most of her victims via poison and nukes (as Steph puts it, anyone capable of pouring drinks or pushing buttons could do what Cheshire did).
      • Ra's al Ghul also berates the League of Shadows for fighting among themselves during this, and letting themselves fall as far as they have. He ends up galvanizing the League to accept him as head again. As they chant his name, Ra's thinks, "What was it that funny little fellow had said? It's good to be the king."
  • The Shrink: Harley Quinn herself, Dr. Penelope Young and Dr. Doyle Resch.
  • Springtime for Hitler: An interesting variation during the Election Arc. Two Face runs for the mayoral election, even with a criminal background and a frankly insane platform calling for Gotham to secede from the United States. Though he's running with genuine enthusiasm, he's mostly doing it to make sure Sharpe and Garcetti lose votes. However, Two-Face's platform inadvertently strikes a chord amongst Gothamites, given the events of No Man's Land, and talks of secession actually becomes serious, thus propelling Two Face into becoming a major player in the elections, and even he admits that he didn't see that one coming.
  • Tangled Family Tree: Assuming both that Bruce and Harley tie the knot, and that Batman Beyond is in continuity with this, Terry McGinnis and Damian Wayne are half-brothers, and even stranger, they're both step-uncles to the Dee Dees, who Bruce is now step-grandfather for.
  • Troll: When the Joker is sent to a parallel universe (the Nolanverse, to be precise) he proceeds to troll the local Batman by heading to a park and playing in a perfectly innocent manner with the kids, even handing out a couple of completely normal cupcakes. The Bat's forced to draw back into the darkness to avoid the glare of the massed parents who only see him threatening a normal clown.
  • Tsundere: Damian acts this way towards Steph. Actually, toward everyone, but it's most noticeable towards Steph. Thankfully, the violent tendencies most other examples of Tsundere-hood are channeled into more productive means, so instead of hitting friends and family (unless in training), he hits muggers, super-criminals, and other ne'r-do-wells.
  • Unknown Rival: Batman isn't even aware Strange is a villain till he attacks the Manor.
  • Unwanted Harem: The amount of romantic interests that Bruce managed to both attract and (attempts to at least) drive away is rather staggering. Tim Drake picks up more than a few people interested in him as well, including Cassandra Cain, Catgirl, and Poison Ivy. (With Ivy, it was his "martial arts reflexology techniques" giving her such a foot massage it has her squirming in such pleasure that Ivy is releasing her pheromones full blast — it was all part of Cassandra's Batman Gambit to both cheer up and relax Ivy while Tim would get hot and bothered at the same time, taking lots of effort on his part to focus on her foot massage.)
  • Villain Has a Point: While Two-Face does believe he would be a good mayor, he's running to make sure Garcetti or Sharpe don't get the vote. They are both equally terrible and would make Gotham worse. Also, his platform on Gotham secession makes rather valid points and is taken serious enough for it to become its own proposition.
    • How would they make it worse? Garcetti is basically Black Mask's voice, thus, the Mob, and Sharpe is planning to open up Batman: Arkham City (which he does once he becomes mayor in that game).
  • Villainous Breakdown: Garcetti and Sharpe both have one during the televised electoral debate.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Multiple examples.
    • Babs aka "Oracle" is in far more scenes as a voice on the Bat-comms than actually being physically onsite.
    • Wendy aka "Proxy" takes over Oracle's job when she wants a break. She also tends to flirt rather heavily with the Batfamily.
    • Ironically, even Moe filled in on this role during the Dive Bar Siege, although he was the voice, Fancy had the actual internet connection.
  • Weird Trade Union: Blackgate Allied Trades Credit Union. For henchmen, particularly those working for the Gotham Rogues.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The BatDemons along with Maxie Zeus managed to hijack a ship and prevent a coup d'etat in a South American country over the course of a drunken weekend following the Gotham elections. None of them remembers exactly how they managed it, but the people of Corto Maltese are grateful all the same.
  • Wife Husbandry: Inverted. When Ra's and Talia find out about Damian's crush on Stephanie, they insist she undergo "Bridal Training".
  • Would Hurt a Child: At least implied; Talia forces Stephanie to fight as her champion as part of her campaign to modernize the League by threatening Stephanie's daughter, now adopted under the name "Carrie Kelly".
  • Yandere: Harley. Oh, Harley.