Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Cat Tales

Go To

So I've got the trinkets. Brunhilda is still snoring away. Cujo, the killer schnauzer, is still locked in the bathroom. I close the safe, restore the power, slide the window back exactly the way it was – 8 minutes flat. Personal best for a private residence where I didn't have the floorplan going in. I drop down to the alley – and there… he… is…The Batman. Caped Crusader. Dark Knight. Guardian of Gotham. Crime Fighter extraordinaire. I am Vengeance, I am Justice, I am in desperate need of a personality transplant… Batman.

In full regalia – looking like Sir Lancelot dipped in tar but not yet feathered.

And he speaks: "I don't think those jewels belong to you."

I salute you, World's Greatest Detective.

A fascinating collection of fan fictions that center around the original and most widely known Catwoman incarnation, Selina Kyle, and her evolving relationship with Batman, both when masked and not. The series started in 2000. It all begins when Selina, fed up with the Gotham Post's continual smearing of her good name, starts up a stage show at the Hijinx Playhouse, named Cat Tales. Things really take off when Bruce Wayne hears about the show, and decides to go see it, supposedly just to see if it "really is her". Humiliated by her accusations that he is an uptight prig, he decides to prove her wrong. Things snowball from there.

Can be found on its own site or fanfiction dot net.

This series displays the following tropes:

  • Absurd Phobia: Discussed in Pussywhipped, when Selina finds out F. Miller is in Gotham and starts talking with a few of her fellow Rogues about ways to deal with him. Some of their ideas involve instilling absurd fears, such as making him afraid of pens or toilets (the latter was Harley's suggestion). In the last scene, a brief e-mail exchange between Selina and Lois, Lois suggests making him deathly afraid of the letter "M".
  • Action Girl: Catwoman, every female superhero or former superhero.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: In Trick or Treat, Bruce asks about the villain Cavalier. Selina replies that he retired from crime, moved to Vegas and is now doing voiceovers for local radio. When Bruce is surprised that he "went straight", Selina's response is "Not exactly", then reveals that he's living with a blackjack dealer named Stan.
  • Addiction Displacement: In Vault, Bruce mentions that his false identity of Matches Malone (whom he uses to infiltrate criminal settings like the Iceburg) used to smoke two packs a day and switched to chewing his trademark matchstick as a substitute.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Polishing Silver is narrated from Alfred's first person POV.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Scarecrow makes the mistake of subtly trying to increase Oswald's paranoia in Napoleon's Plan. When tallying up the costs of all this, Oswald sums up the reasons for Scarecrow's suddenly increased bar tab as the following:
    "Three booths shattered by a freeze ray," ... "Nine Ghost Dragons claiming whiplash injuries from sliding into each other on the resulting ice slick and demanding their bar tabs be zeroed in remuneration. We shall have to close for at least two nights to get all the foliage removed from the ventilation ducts where they fled. And I personally, taking refuge behind the bar from a fear-crazed Ubu on the one side and a fear-crazed penguin on the other, stubbed my toe."
  • Artifact Title: The title is derived from the name of Selina's stage show, which closed before the last chapter of the first story.
  • Ass Shove: Ivy inflicts this on Two-Face with fragments of a clay pot after he accidentally kills her pet flytrap Ivan.
  • Author Appeal: Trick Or Treat shows that Chris Dee knows quite a bit about Sherlock Holmes.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: To be expected, considering the source material. This comes up frequently, but is sometimes averted if the analyzer is missing key info.
  • Bad Boss: Asides from the usual candidates of Joker and Two-Face (depending on the coin flip), Ulstarn manages to gain a global reputation in D.E.M.O.N., entirely for singlehandedly turning the Gotham City posting into a punishment detail for spectacular screwups. Operatives who return from Gotham are described as broken men, purely because Ulstarn is a paranoiac control freak.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The Iceberg Lounge. Also, they have instant messaging.
    • When the Iceberg gets burned to the ground, the Vault quickly becomes the Rogue's new watering hole.
  • Batman Cold Open
  • Batman Gambit: Pretty much a given.
  • Battle Couple: Tim Drake (Robin III) and Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II) after they start dating. Mind you she could probably snap his back over her knee.
  • Berserk Button: Any reference to Bruce being accepted as part of the Rogues' Gallery extended family usually sends him into a roaring case of Psychobat. The Rogues themselves warn Bruce not to mention F. Miller's autobiography of Catwoman lest he provoke a similar response from Selina... or to even mention that she has an obvious attraction to Batman, for similar reasons.
  • Beta Couple:
    • Lois and Clark... in Clark's ideal world, Lois would be his wingman on getting the whole Bruce/Selina marriage thing happening. Unfortunately for him, Lois has got good survival instincts and knows not to tempt cat claws...
    • Dick and Barbara are also this, after they get married. They're basically an example of what Bruce and Selina could be, if they weren't both so neurotic.
  • Black Widow: The Penguin picks one up through an ad in the Personals. The Huntress recognizes her though, and warns the rogues. Knowing that if Oswald dies, The Iceberg falls down around their heads, Two-Face and Mad Hatter (non-lethally) take matters into their own hands.
  • The Butler Did It: Referenced in Trick or Treat, when the Gotham Museum of Mythology and Folklore is opening a new wing, sponsored by the Wayne Foundation, dedicated to murder mysteries. They're holding a Mystery Whodunit party for Halloween to celebrate, and Bruce and Selina attend; Alfred also agrees to attend as "Pennyworth the Butler". Selina, on hearing this, snarks that he'll be hearing "the butler did it" all night. This being Alfred, he's naturally completely innocent.
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Azrael/Jean Paul, initially. Especially when it comes to Catwoman, mostly because she humiliates him. He improves vastly after "tutelage" from Green Arrow.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: This IS Catwoman we're talking about... though Whiskers and Nutmeg, her two cats, also count.
  • Check, Please!: In An Arkham Tale, Joker starts to make one of his octopus jokes at Killer Croc, only to discover he's being ignored. Then Croc informs him he's taken his anger management sessions to heart and is focusing on something else so he doesn't dismember the man getting on his nerves (i.e., Joker himself). Joker takes the hint, makes himself scarce, and utters the trope name.
  • Cheek Copy:
    • Discussed in Knight Before Christmas when Two-Face explains why Roxy Rocket is making out with Penguin after getting drunk on Jello shots:
    "Every office party, there's one. At City Hall, it was sweet Brenda O'Shea. Roxy's just that type to get tanked and Xerox her tush. And since we don't have a copy machine…Penguin."
    • Also discussed in Pussywhipped, in an extremely negative review of E. Brubaker's works that says there are too many pages between the covers and that the paper used in it could have been put to better use, such as "on which Marietta Klenofsky might have Xeroxed her lovely derriere at the next office party."
  • Chickification:
    • Poison Ivy. In almost every single Post-Crisis depiction of her character, she has a poisonous kiss, is a skilled chemist, and while less common, is able to psionically control all plant life. Here, however, she's pretty much just a jumped-up gardener with pheromones, no skill to manipulate people without those pheromones, a weak control of plants and a massive ego. She needs to take the magical equivalent of steroids in order to pull off any large-scale manipulation of plants bigger than vines and flowers.
    • Talia is equally de-badassed. Master of armed and unarmed combat? Nope, flunked out of DEMON assassin training and can't even get into a non-lethal catfight with Selina without tripping over her own two feet. Genius-level intellect? Nuh-uh, can't even plan out something more complicated than a Missing Steps Plan. Skilled in managerial tasks and has helped keep both the League of Assassins and DEMON in the black for decades? No way, she can't even balance her checkbook and provide for her own welfare without daddy's credit card, let alone anybody else. Secretly undermined Lex-Corp during Luthor's stint as President, leaked Luthor's under-the-table dealings to Superman and blew the whole company out to Wayne Enterprises when the time came to take him down? HAH! She tanked that multi-billion dollar, multinational company all by herself, no motivation necessary! Seeing as how Talia is Selina's main rival for Batman's affections, this is blatantly intentional, especially as Talia ends up falling for an OC.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: As opposed to that tramp from the Gotham Post.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Talia to Batman, hard. Also, Ivy to Harvey/Two-Face, even though she'll never admit she actually wants him.
  • Clip Show: Discussed with a variation in "Do No Harm", which features the characters recalling events from the past that hadn't actually been depicted on screen until now, such as Barbara and Tim's reactions to Selina having learned Bruce's identity.
  • Collector of the Strange: Per canon, Batman's trophy room in the Batcave is used for displaying mementos from his stranger or more memorable cases. Selina begins adding things to it as well, eventually, such as a souvenir glass from the Iceberg Lounge and a 40,000 carat fiberglass diamond that had been used as a display piece in Falconi Jewelers. Trophies, story #63, has Batman telling her the stories behind some of the stranger pieces (such as the giant penny and the robotic T-Rex) while they rearrange things to make room for said fiberglass diamond.
  • Consulting a Convicted Killer: In Amuse Bouche, it's mentioned that federal agents occasionally get the idea to do this, and make the mistake of consulting Joker. He's manipulative enough to make them believe anything, most of which he's making up entirely.
  • Crossover: With other fanfictions hosted by the same site.
  • Dating Catwoman: Duh.
    • Surprisingly deconstructed. Selina balks heavily at every instance of Batman asserting that it has to be done his way, and Bruce slips into an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar version of himself, dubbed Psychobat by just about everybody, whenever Selina's criminal past comes around and flaunts its presence in front of him. They considered breaking up once or twice during some of the harsher episodes. they're still absurdly in love with each other, but it's not all rainbows and kittens after they hook up.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jason Blood. Just... wow. This is his reaction when Poison Ivy tries to green him: "Just because I look at you when you speak, you shouldn't assume that means I'm listening to you or care about what you say. That's just something I do to be polite." Both sides of Two-Face start a fan club for Jason when they hear about this.
    • Also: "In the interests of proceeding before the fabric of space-time erupts into a flame of un-existence, let us say that I'm satisfied with your typically female and feline assurances uncorroborated by any rational explanation whatsoever."
  • "Dear John" Letter:
    • In Women Lacking Complexity, after Two-Face and Mad Hatter use one of Jervis's hats to send Lark Starling (a Black Widow with designs on Oswald) off to Wisconsin, Hatter comes to Wayne Manor to ask Bruce (whom he believes has experience in this department, due to his old womanizing habits) to compose one of these letters, so Oswald won't get suspicious about her leaving.
    • In An Iceburg Tale, Harley Quinn decides to break up Bruce and Selina, and get Catwoman back together with Batman (she's trying to strike at Joker via his "good buddy Brucie"). As part of this, she copies the letter from "Lark" to Oswald and uses it as the basis for one supposedly from Selina to Bruce. Unlike Oswald, Bruce doesn't fall for it.
  • De-power:
    • String Theory ends with Zatanna suffering this, having previously used white magic for decidedly negative purposes anathema to its purpose, along with casually using powerful magic for mundane things, and thus the universe itself sets things up to remove her abilities out of self-defense.
    • Poison Ivy's powers go overboard in NMK Inc., to the point where she's become half-plant on one side. This power-up comes with severe consequences and starts killing her, and she's reverted to a normal human to save her life by the end of Spontaneous Generation.
  • Disaster Dominoes: In Awkward Pauses, while browsing a shop in Key West that sells cheap and fragile souvenirs, Edward Nigma/Riddler's cane accidentally hits a few things and nearly breaks them... and then hits the storeowner, sending him backwards into a shelf. At this point, Eddie decides to run for it and slams the door behind him, triggering the shelf nearest it to topple into another shelf and setting off a domino effect. By the time it's done, every piece of merchandise in the store has broken, and the storeowner has to crawl out from under a pile of rubble before he can call the cops.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Clayface getting Poison Ivy a Christmas gift of Potpourri (dead and dried-out flowers meant to smell good) resulted in him blackballed from the Iceberg for years so they didn't have to deal with Ivy freaking out and destroying the bar on a daily basis.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Something Borrowed has Jervis trying to hide his criminal activities from his maternal Aunt Maud when she comes to visit for a month, to the extent where he's told her he's a former editor who switched to running a nightclub after being downsized.
  • The Dreaded: Don't Fear the Joker has Scarecrow realize people are more afraid of Joker than him, and go about changing that.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Stephanie Brown is murdered offscreen by a serial killer between two chapters of Polishing Silver.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone who knew Bruce pre-series recognized his attraction to Selina/Catwoman. For her part, nearly every Rogue saw her similar attraction to Batman, to the point she had to make an informal rule of "don't make Bat and Cat jokes" and enforce it violently.
  • First-Person Smartass: Selina slips into this.
  • Flanderization: Pretty much any woman Batman has ever been hinted at romantically besides Selina has had their negative personality characteristics played up to eleven so that they are nothing but annoying self-absorbed harpies or immature, irresponsible idiots; there is little doubt that this is entirely intentional. Character development eventually brings (some, but not all of) them out of this.
  • Functional Magic: Rule Magic; specifically, anything you do gets paid back threefold. Doesn't work out so well for Zatanna when she tried to mind-wipe Batman, or how she basically ignores the universal rules with her brand of magic.
  • Funny Answering Machine: Joker's answering machine message is the same as in Batman: The Animated Series... meaning it's less funny and more disturbing. And Ivy hates it.
    Joker: (laughs) Boy, did you get a wrong number. Leave your message at the sound of the shriek.
    Man's voice: No! Please! Don't! (shrieks)
  • Gaslighting: Bruce of all people winds up pulling this on Joker in Fun and Games when he and Selina casually walk into the Iceberg, in costume, and treat it as if they were a normal couple on a double-date with Joker and Harley, acting like he and Joker are old pals and it's perfectly normal that they should be there helping the two celebrate what Harley claims is their anniversary, rather than trying to arrest either of the clown couple. Joker, who is unable to kill anyone (including Batman) that night for reasons that only make sense to him and Harley, finally gives in, hails a cab and checks himself into Arkham.
  • Gay Paree: Selina trained here.
  • The Glomp: In Awkward Pauses, after Two-Face has convinced Sly to return to Gotham and the Iceberg (while running his Key West bar long-distance), he flips his coin to decide how to show just how happy he is over Sly's choice. Unscarred-side would have been a pat on the shoulder and a comment about "How glad we were to have you aboard, soldier." Scarred-side, which he gets, prompts him to leap over the bar and tackle Sly with a monstrous bear-hug.
  • A God Am I: Ivy is convinced of this, which is why she suffers a Villainous Breakdown after the world decides to prove her wrong. Repeatedly.
  • Gossipy Hens: A generally male variant with the Gotham Rogues (the biggest female names are Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Roxy Rocket), who just love chatting about whatever everyone else is up to whenever they're not out committing crimes. Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter is the biggest, to the point where one of his nicknames is "Gossip Gertie".
  • Got Me Doing It: At one point, much to his consternation, Batman catches himself following Catwoman's lead in referring to Two-Face and the Riddler as Harvey and Eddie.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: All over the damn place. You can probably count the characters that get any amount of screen time and are never jealous of somebody's romantic entanglements on one hand.
  • Groin Attack: Used more than once. Among examples, Catwoman delivers a justified one to Joker during their battle in the last chapter of Don't Fear the Joker. Unfortunately, it's not enough to stop him, and he is not amused.
  • Happily Married: Clark and Lois, of course. Bruce and Selina are also this as a practical matter, lack of rings or ceremony notwithstanding ( at least, until Ever Fixed, when they're married for real). Dick and Barbara as well, after the wedding.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. Anybody who uses magic to do what regular hard work would also do gets a blast of Laser-Guided Karma to the face, as the universe settles the balance. As an example, using magic to remove a person's scars and wounds will return them to pristine condition... for all of a week, then all those wounds come back and are re-inflicted in the order they originally occurred. Batman is quite aware of this, which is one of the reasons that he really hates magic.
  • Heel Realization: After Talia Al Ghul's messy breakup with Greg Brady, she actually realizes how neurotic and obsessed she's gotten about Batman, and actually begins a slow process of shaping up her life so she can get Greg back.
  • Heroic BSoD: Bruce has a couple. The first is when he (as Bruce Wayne) is visited by Two Face, Riddler, and the Mad Hatter when he starts dating Selina, and is told that he's "part of the family now."
  • High on Catnip: In Something New, Bruce manages to get Selina's cats stoned when, as Batman, he smears catnip on his boots before visiting her apartment (having apparently decided the cats were out to get him and using the catnip as a distraction). Selina doesn't think it's funny, but Barbara starts cracking up when Selina tells her about it.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Oswald Cobblepot is, as he says in Comedy of Errors, "not adept at gizmos". Jervis recalls how Oswald is always calling one of his waitresses into his office to help with assorted electronic things, and thinks to himself that it's because Oswald's fingers are too fat to properly manipulate the equipment.
  • Hulk Speak: Killer Croc. He's not necessarily the stupidest, but he doesn't speak very well.
  • Humiliation Conga: Arranged for F. Miller in Pussywhipped.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Sly, the bartender at the Iceberg. He's dedicated to keeping the bar up and running, and it's clear that he could take over the Gotham underworld if he put his mind to it (considering that in trying to keep the Iceberg afloat, he's executed an inadvertent coup d'etat over Penguin — twice).
  • If I Had a Nickel...: In World's Finest: Red Cape, Big City, Lois tells her husband that "I can see the headlines now: Superman pisses off Batman. Gotham in Ruins." Clark just chuckles and says "If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that one."
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: During The New Black, the Arkham crowd finds that their regular psychiatrist Dr. Leland Bartholomew has begun dating the Iceberg's hostess Raven. Most have something to say about it, but it's Waylon Jones/Killer Croc's comment that fits this trope, and which Dr. Bartholomew finds strangely touching:
    Croc: "Raven always good to Croc. Doctor treat Raven right, doctor go on breathing."
  • I Have No Son!: In The New Black, Joker declares this in regard to Dr. Leland Bartholomew, head psychiatrist at Arkham, when he finds out the other man is dating Oswald's hostess Raven without Joker's approval.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Richard Flay, a flamboyant gay man and one of the regulars in Gotham high society, keeps flirting with Riddler whenever they meet. Eddie, who's utterly straight, does not appreciate the attention.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink:
    • The events of Dick and Barbara's wedding finally get Selina doing this. By the time things settle down and Bruce finds her, she's quite tipsy (which basically means she talks a lot more than she usually does).
    • In War of the Poses, Cassie's mental narration references this trope, as she thinks to herself:
    Begin to understand this "Bad day at office. Boy do I need a drink."
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: At one point, Selina recalls some of the various excuses her fellow Rogues have to leave town during January (colloquially referred to as "Hell Month" since Batman gets way more brutal), which tend to qualify.
    Ivy: "Gotham is so cold in January, I think I'll just pop down to South America and see how many species of orchids grow in the rainforest."
    Killer Croc: "Croc visit swamp now. Good time, no tourists."
    Mad Hatter: "Calloo callay, Hat Expo in Bombay."
    Joker: "I left something on the stove at the HA-HAcienda in Mexico, HAHAHAHAHAAA."
  • Ironic Echo: "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Said first by Selina to Bruce in Normal, and by Bruce to Selina later in Catfight.
  • Just Friends: Eddie/The Riddler and Selina/Catwoman. Asking the former if it's really more than friends leads to bouts of She Is Not My Girlfriend, as described below.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Demon's in the Details has Arthur doing this to one of his minsters. It's explained that some time back, he'd appointed a Minister of Surface Intelligence Evaluation, whose job is to monitor surface media and crosscheck it against the findings of younger "pier hoppers" (Atlanteans who snuck away to the surface to see the sights and find out what things are like). Minister Grah's reports, however, are becoming increasingly depressed, jaded, and bitter, so Arthur finds a way to transfer him to a meaningless counselor position where he can't do any harm and replace him with someone who actually wants to know more about the surface world.
  • Lack of Imagination: Shown to be the key thing that makes Ra's Al Ghul "a hairdo" overrated by Batman, and by extension D.E.M.O.N. due to their indoctrination. Ra's recycles the same plots and methods for handling things because he genuinely can't consider other methods (e.g. if it worked in Napoléon's time, of course it should work now), and most of D.E.M.O.N. has the creativity boiled out of them during training. This is roundly mocked by the Rogues Gallery and exploited on various occasions, such as Batman reciting every exact step that Brady goes through when Talia "gets kidnapped" for the umpteenth time, or getting Ra's to leave Gotham because Batman tells him to his face that he knows Ra's got his latest scheme from a soap opera plotline.
  • Legacy Character: Clayface disguises himself as the Monarch of Menace, an old Silver Age villain, to get around the unofficial ban from the Iceberg that Poison Ivy's freakout about a bad Christmas present caused. He later decides he doesn't care any more about tiptoeing around Ivy and returns as himself.
  • Lethal Chef: Bruce was banned from the kitchen for several years because of being one. It's not until Selina starts explaining cooking to him in scientific terms that he finally gets it, though he eventually gets banned from the kitchen again due to his obsession with examining some of Alfred's dishes at every stage of the cooking process, which Alfred is not amused by.
  • Literal Metaphor: In Something Borrowed, Jervis comes to Selina's apartment to ask for help, and when he's being as clear as possible, Selina still thinks he's speaking in riddles. Turns out he's not:
    Jervis: "Aunt Maud's coming to town."
    Selina: "And 'Aunt Maud' would be your little code phrase for…?"
    Jervis (testily): "For my Aunt Maud,"... "She's coming to Gotham for, like, a month. She wants to stay with me. She thinks I'm an editor at Harpers and Row. Selina, what am I going to do?"
  • Love Redeems: Catwoman stops stealing a short while after hooking up with Batman, though it's slightly subverted by how she keeps up pretenses in front of other Rouges.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Zatanna learns the hard way that the universe really doesn't like it when you use White Magic to do undeniably evil things... or when you keep using it for mundane nonsense and manage to dodge the costs through sheer luck.
  • Magic Versus Science: Given that this is a Superhero series, both have their merits and are given their due, but Batman's dislike of magic is proven valid more than once via Laser-Guided Karma: whatever you do with magic gets returned to you three-fold, generally in the most inconvenient time possible.
  • Malicious Slander: Pretty much every costumed Gothamite (and some others) considers F. Millar's biography of Catwoman, and everything the Gotham Post prints, to be this. Selina chalks it up to them being unable to cope with the idea of a truly free and independent woman, so they make up a version of her whose identity is shaped by men, be it because she's a prostitute, an abuse victim or something similar. The Post's articles about other vigilantes and Rogues aren't much better.
  • Mama's Boy: The other Rogues firmly consider Jervis Tetch to be one, since he insists on setting up an elaborate ruse for his maternal Aunt Maud rather than the fast and easy way of "hatting" her (also because he actually calls his mother at least once a month.)
  • Mega Meal Challenge: "World's Finest: Red Cape, Big City" has Lois Lane interview "Former Meteors Coach, three-time championship winner, now celebrity restaurateur Riff Fickly", who's opened a steakhouse in Metropolis. As part of the interview, he made her order and eat their specialty, a 48 ounce steak; she notes (as she hands a sack with a partial one in it over to Perry White, who tells her to give it to Jimmy Olsen instead) that "If you finish it, you get your picture taken and put up on the wall."
  • Mob War: Variant in The Gotham Rogues (story #65), in which Carmine "The Roman" Falcone and his associated mob bosses decide to wipe out the allied "theme criminals" for ruining a wedding that would have cemented an alliance between two crime families. The Rogues fight back, and by the time it's done, the majority of the mob members involved in the war are dead or in jail, the latter category including Carmine Falcone himself.
  • Monster Clown: J-O-K-E-R.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Miriam, the owner of the local magic goods shop, has one of these when she realizes that Poison Ivy, the woman she just sold power-enhancing magic rituals to, is the same person that caused the forest trees to attack the Highland Games.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Lampshaded by the Rogues: 'Writer's Block' hits them all from time to time in creating new themed crimes.
  • The Neidermeyer: Ulstarn, Ra's Al Ghul's regional leader in Gotham, is a huge ass-kissing paranoid Jerkass. Even Ra's can't stand him, which is why he sent him halfway across the world.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Greg "Giggles" Brady, a former Joker henchman being hired to bartend at the Iceberg Lounge, admits his real name to his new boss. Penguin finally says it sounds familiar, and is not surprised when Brady replies that "I've heard all the jokes, sir." Later, when he meets Catwoman, she reacts about the same way. He also admits that it's part of why he turned to crime in the first place, and Joker's more recent reactions (he was talking about going on a 70s-themed crime spree to launch Brady as his own supervillain) were why he got out.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • In Satori, Mad Hatter, Riddler and Two-Face show up at the manor to tell Bruce about some special rules they have for Selina, which they use to avoid getting on her bad side. One rule, which Jervis mentions Scarecrow learned the hard way, is "If she ever uses a phrase like 'Do that again and I'll set you on fire'—not an idle threat." Exactly what he did to prompt this is not explained.
    • Whatever happened at Superman's bachelor party.
    • In Riddle Me-Tropolis: How did Riddler get Superman welded into that giant robot at the museum?
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Batman does not take it well when Superman points out that both he and The Riddler, by Batman's own description, are motivated by injustice: Batman by the fact that crime exists in his city, and Riddler by the fact that the idiots and bullies of the world are the ones who always succeed over genuinely smart people.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In Blueprints, Matt Hagen/Clayface shows his true "mudman" form to Sly. Sly starts staring at him wide-eyed, and Clayface gets annoyed because it looks like Sly, despite having been able to handle people like Joker with no problem, is "gawking at [him] like Frankenstein's monster". Then it turns out Sly is gawking not because of Clayface's looks, but because the man behind the mud is one of his favorite movie stars, a fact that surprises and pleases Clayface when he realizes it.
  • Omniscient Database: Well, it is the Batcomputer... also, the Rogues seem to think Oracle is an A.I. version of this, unaware that it's a living human behind a keyboard.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten:
    • Gladys Ashton-Larraby will never let her husband, Randolph Larraby III, forget that he insisted on naming their son (who typically goes by Randy-quad) after himself and therefore "numbering" him "like a movie sequel", "rather than letting him enjoy the distinction of the illustrious Ashton legacy". She also tends to incessantly remind him how he once indulged in insider trading with aid from Ra's al Ghul, and how it's only thanks to Bruce Wayne's generosity that this didn't permanently ruin their standing in Gotham society.
    • Even years later, Selina tends to rag on Azrael over their meeting when he was acting as Batman, accusing her of stealing nerve gas for terrorists (she was really stealing it to keep it away from them).
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: As mentioned in Polishing Silver, Joker firmly believes that only he is allowed to kill members of the Bat-family. When Stephanie/Spoiler is killed by a mugger, Joker is outraged, and hunts down and brutalizes the other man to make his point.
  • Parody Sue: Nocturna seems to be Chris Dee's take on this trope. Making her debut by robbing Batman and getting away with it? Check. 'Enthralling' the male half of the Iceberg with heady monologues about the night? Check. Obsession with seducing Batman with a wave of her arm and a monologue, ignoring the fact that the other villainesses, sans Catwoman and Harley, have tried and failed dozens of times? Natch. What makes her this instead of a bad Mary Sue is that she has absolutely no respect from the Rogues, and is captured, literally, by being duped by the other villainesses into thinking Azrael was the better seduction target, with absolutely no effort expended by the Bat-crew. Her own husband even thinks she's a nutcase and wishes she'd never talked him into the Thief Of The Night/Nocturna gig, instead wanting to tour Gotham like a normal person and stick to robbing rich people outside of Gotham.
    • Just to add another layer to the whole thing; the villainesses watching Nocturna try to seduce Azrael from a nearby video rental store. In the middle of Nocturna's attempt, Harley finds a bunch of porn tapes titled, word for word, phrases that Nocturna has been using since her arrival at the Iceburg to make herself sound mysteriously sophisticated.
    • Since Nocturna/Natalia Knight is a canon character, it can also be read as another giant Take That!.
  • Persona Non Grata:
    • Clayface was banned from the Iceberg Lounge for a few years because the other Rogues didn't want to have to deal with Ivy getting pissy over his presence (due to his past act of giving her potpourri for a Christmas gift). Eventually, he forces her to accept that he's back and not going away again.
    • Catman got blackballed from most Rogue events that Catwoman would be at because they don't get along.
    • Hugo Strange has been blackballed from a few events too, because the others don't like him.
    • In Awkward Pauses, Riddler gets banned from the Iceberg for unwittingly inspiring Sly, Oswald's best and longest-running bartender, to move away and start his own bar. He sneaks back in anyway, and it's later lifted after Sly returns.
    • At the end of the same story, Oswald bans or fires a number of people after a massive fight broke out. He doesn't bother to enforce it afterward though.
    • In Riddle Me-Tropolis, it's noted that Bruce Wayne is this at STAR Labs simply because he's the owner of their biggest competitor, meaning he can only visit as Batman.
  • Put on a Bus: More than a few characters have been more or less written out over the course of the series: Clayface (who was subjected to this prior to the series' start due to Poison Ivy throwing a fit over his giving her potpourri), Talia and Greg Brady (Brady was sent to run a Yamaha dealership to keep him out of Ra's Al Ghul's sight, while Talia went with him), etc. Characters subjected to this have been known to reappear again, though, so it's hard to tell if something will stick.
  • A Rare Sentence:
    • In Heard the Latest, when Harvey/Two-Face calls her about her romance with Bruce Wayne, Selina replies with the following:
    "Harvey, there are very few people in this world I get to say this to: Your love life is far too strange for you to be giving me advice, 'kay."
    • In Something Old, Joker gets called "puritan" by Francois. On confirming that yes, he's just been called a Puritan and taking a moment to think about it, he finally says "Well that's a first."
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Overlapping with Kicked Upstairs, Ra's Al Ghul can't stand his sycophantic underling Ulstarn, so he puts him in charge of DEMON's base in Gotham City, just to get him as far away from Ra's himself as possible (and anyone else who's being punished is sent to serve under him). Later, he moves Ulstarn even further away, to Metropolis.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Catwoman doesn't like her press. What does she do? Open up an off-Broadway show where she riffs on her negative publicity.
  • Retcon: Everything about Catwoman ever written by Frank Miller and his spiritual descendants has been eviscerated, through the above concept: it's all published in a skanky newspaper (or a trashy biography) and not 'real'.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Bruce sees his public persona of a womanizing playboy, AKA "the Fop", as a necessary evil to make "Bruce Wayne" seem like the kind of person who couldn't possibly be Batman. The only times he doesn't use it are when he's doing work for the Wayne Foundation, or for serious business deals. Everyone hates the act (even Bruce), and he eventually begins working to drop it (though he backslides from time to time out of habit).
  • Saw "Star Wars" Twenty-Seven Times: When Clayface returns to the Iceberg during Blueprints, Sly recognizes him as the actor he used to be and exclaims that "I have seen Space Tempest like 60 times!" Hagen, once he realizes Sly is a fan of his and not freaking out over his looks (as he initially thought), is pleasantly surprised.
  • Secret Santa: Knight Before Christmas has Bruce and Selina attending Harley Quinn's annual Christmas party for the Rogues, where it's become a tradition for Mad Hatter to rig the Secret Santa matchings. Hence the infamous potpourri incident between Clayface and Ivy a few years back. Luckily, Selina has the sense to get Ivy a live plant as a gift.
  • Servile Snarker: Alfred, as always.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Eddie is horrified when people suggest that he's in love with Selina; not because of the woman herself (he does get rather flustered when that conversation comes up), but because they are Just Friends (and he's terrified Batman will hear about it and break his legs for casting eyes at his woman).
  • Shipper on Deck: Incredibly, Joker is this to Bruce and Selina — but not Batman and Catwoman. Harley attempts to take advantage of this when she and Joker break up by breaking up Selina and Bruce and getting her together with... Batman.
  • Shoot the Television: In "Such an Idiot", Harvey Dent/Two-Face has been having a nervous breakdown over how his philosophy on duality and life being black and white no longer fits, feeling that the concept of fate has betrayed him. While watching TV one day, he watches two people arguing about that very thing (that life isn't black and white), turns to a mirror to debate between shooting himself or his reflection, and ultimately decides to do what for him has been otherwise unthinkable and Take a Third Option — by shooting the television instead.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: This trope is used by generations of Wayne women to... influence their husbands. This is considered the mark of a true Lady of the Wayne Manor.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Alfred and the neighbor's French chef, Anatole; they're perpetually spying on one another's grocery shopping to find out what the other has planned for the week's menus.
  • Spinoff: Fans of the universe have created more than a few side-stories to the main universe. they're all listed here.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Harvey Dent and Poison Ivy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Jack Drake survives Captain Boomerang's attack on him in Identity Element, though it's a close call.
  • Take a Third Option: Harvey/Two-Face does it twice during his breakdown in Such an Idiot.
    • The first time, he declares that he'll flip his coin, and "Good side up, he would shoot the patrolman, scarred side up he would shoot himself." Then he does the third option and throws the coin off the roof, followed by the patrolman.
    • The second time, he's sitting at the mirror trying to decide whether to shoot his reflection or himself, and takes a third option of shooting the television in the room, which is blaring some sitcom in the background.
  • Take That!:
    • Pussywhipped makes it abundantly clear that Chris Dee does not like Frank Miller's take on Batman.
    • Canon developments the author doesn't like tend to be portrayed as more tabloid lies. These range from the existence of Nyssa Raatko to Killer Croc's cannibalism to Renee Montoya being a lesbian, the latter being discussed in Women Lacking Complexity (see YMMV page for details).
    • Tom Cruise gets a zing aimed at him in Blueprints when Matt Hagen says that the things he wants include "every goddamn role Tom Cruise destroyed in the last ten years that should have been mine".
  • Talk About the Weather: Discussed in narration in Armchair Detective, when Clark drops in on Bruce soon after his accident:
    First, they talked about the weather systems he'd encountered flying in. This was no act of conversational desperation for two people straining for a subject to talk about. Bruce was a pilot, and he often took an interest in Clark's views on these things, the unique perspective of one who flew without a plane.
  • Team Mom: Slowly but surely, Catwoman is becoming this to the Bat Family, after being with Bruce for the last three years in-universe. This is most apparent by how she's mentoring Cassie in relationships with boys and sneaking into buildings.
  • Terrified of Germs: Oswald spends Riddle-Me-Tropolis like this. Scarecrow also inflicts it on a handful of people for one of his schemes (a series of armored car robberies) in Don't Fear the Joker.
  • Tsundere: Harvey Dent and Poison Ivy's relationship has this by the truckload.
  • Unconventional Electives 101: After the main events of "Demon's in the Details", Tim Drake decides to switch directions away from the science track his advisor and one of his professors had him on in favor of something different. The fic ends with his spotting a "Sociology of Superheroes" class among the possible electives, which he notes has the benefit of being in the afternoon (so he can sleep in), and the next story in the series — "Do No Harm" — confirms that he's chosen to take it despite Bruce and Barbara's disapproval.
  • Urban Legend Love Life: Invoked by Bruce: he can't be the Fop without some sex exploits of him, but he can't let the 'Bimbos' he dates see all the scars he's gotten from fighting crime. Solution? get them drunk, lay them out in the manor, and let them fill in the blanks.
  • Villain Has a Point: Early in Blueprints, a recently incarcerated Scarecrow exclaims "Good God, Doc, you look like death" to his psychiatrist, Dr. Leland Bartholomew of Arkham Asylum. After their session, Dr. Bart has to admit that "Patient Crane has a point", because he's had a full schedule of appointments (what with nearly every Rogue having been incarcerated) and little time to himself to relax between them or have a proper meal, and is exhausted from overwork. He also reluctantly agrees (though not out loud), when Crane claims he doesn't belong in the criminal wing of the asylum this time — all he did was scare Jervis Tetch (and get hatted into doing his bidding for it), and that's hardly illegal.
  • Villains Out Shopping: A recurring theme is showing what Batman's Rogues Gallery do with themselves when they're not duelling with Batman, with the answer apparently being that they tend to act like a rather dysfunctional yet close-knit band of office colleagues, including romantic tensions and cringe-worthy get-togethers. The first story, for example, depicts Selina joining the other criminals for a karaoke evening.
  • Villain Protagonist: A large portion of the stories are primarily written from Catwoman's point of view, not that she acts particularly villainous.
    • Except when committing robberies just to show that she can, providing a location for the worst criminal element to congregate and lay their plans, or convincing Batman to funnel more crime into the poorest part of town while rationalizing that it's not like she has anything against orphans or anything.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Guess who, puddin'?
  • Wealthy Yacht Owner: Bruce, as part of his Fop cover. He even plans to buy a new gaudily expensive one to reinforce the public view of Bruce Wayne as a womanizing playboy in Go Rin No Sho, but winds up changing his mind and not only dropping the "Fop Initiative", but getting a smaller and more practical yacht that he actually likes (or as narration puts it, spending "three million on the boat he wanted instead of thirty on the one he didn't").
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Dick, until he gets over it.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: It's explained in Watering Hole (the eleventh story) that Gotham's heroes and villains get a lot of their costumes and equipment from a specialist shop, run by Kittlemeier — Selina was introduced to him by Riddler, as her backstory in Cattitude explains. (The character, incidentally, is not original to this series — he first appeared in the short story "Neutral Ground" in the 1989 anthology The Further Adventures of Batman.)
  • Word, Schmord!: Used in the titles for two chapters of Something Old. Chapter 1 is "Joker-Shmoker, Who’s This Frenchman?"; chapter 2 is "Harley-Shmarley, Who’s This Frenchman?".
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: In An Iceberg Tale, when Hugo Strange appears on the makeover show FAB!, one of the show's team uses this line:
    "Ugh, Hugo sweetheart — 1967 called, they want their glasses back. Wonderful invention Dearie, they're called 'contacts'. Say it slowly with me: 'con-tacts.'"
    • "Hugo, Honey, 1967 called. They want their glasses back." is also the title of chapter 3 of the same story.
    • For a variant, there's also the line "Somewhere in Minnesota an encyclopedia salesman is missing his sport coat..."

The spin-offs display the following tropes:

  • Secret Santa: The spinoff JLAin't has a yearly one for the central members of the Justice League. It's traditional that no matter who draws his name, Plastic Man always gets Silly Putty.