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Film / Batman Forever

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"Riddle Me This...riddle me that...who's afraid of the big, black Bat?"

Gang Leader: Who the hell are you?
Dick Grayson: I'm Batman.
(The entire gang laughs at him.)
Dick Grayson: Hey, so I forgot my suit, all right?!

After the release of Batman Returns, Warner Bros. was in something of a difficult position. While they wanted to wallpaper their holiday mansions with $100 bills and Batman was obviously the franchise to bet on, the extremely dark and depressing storyline of Batman Returns made it a harder sell to their intended audience, namely everybody in the world. It wasn't exactly a family movie. By now, they wanted something different for the next film, limiting Tim Burton to the role of producer and hiring Joel Schumacher to take over directing duties. And for good or for ill, 1995's Batman Forever, the third movie in the Batman Film Series, was certainly different.

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Val Kilmer) battles Harvey Dent/Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), a struggle that gets tougher when Edward Nygma/The Riddler (Jim Carrey) enters the picture, as both have personal vendettas against the Caped Crusader and his secret identity, respectively. Bruce finds an ally in orphaned acrobat Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell), who discovers his secret and becomes Robin to take revenge against Two-Face, who killed his family. As a sub-plot, Bruce deals with a budding romance with psychologist Dr. Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman), something that naturally causes some problems because of his double-life.

Continued with Batman & Robin.

Batman Forever provides examples of:

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    Tropes #-H 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Bruce attempts to give up on being Batman in order to have a normal life with Chase, realizing the psychologist wants him over his crimefighter persona. Too bad it's short-lived after Two-Face and Riddler raid Wayne Manor with their knowledge of his secret. That and moments before, he relived the pain of his parents' death while trying to tell Chase his secret, reminding himself why he became Batman to begin with. By the end of the film, while he may still desire for a normal life, he realize he can't give up being Batman either.
  • 11th-Hour Costume Change: Batman dons a silver batsuit with sonar capabilities before his final confrontation with Riddler (justified, as his standard batsuits had been destroyed earlier). Also, after wearing a fabric version of his classic costume throughout the film, Robin is given an armored version when he joins Batman.
  • 90% of Your Brain: In the novelization, when the Riddler shows off his neon jacket, Chase gets an extra line where she warns Nygma that he's frying his mind with information: "There's a reason we only use twenty percent of our brains."
  • Actionized Sequel: The movie ramps up the action elements in comparison to the previous two films, both by way of having more of them, and because of how significant the non-action sequences were in Batman Returns.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Jim Carrey once performed a standup routine about impulses and how important it is to control them. In this film, the Riddler calls Two-Face out on having a serious impulse control problem.
    • When Bruce insists Robin should be called "Dick Grayson, College Student." To which Dick replied "Screw you!" It's hard to blame Chris O'Donnell seeing how the last college he was in, involved nearly getting expelled and putting up with Al Pacino.
    • After the Batcave is destroyed, Batman is left to choose between a boat and an aircraft to go after the Riddler. You just know Val Kilmer would pick the aircraft.
    • The novelization gives Riddler one when you remember who plays him in the movie; during his triumphant raid on the Batcave, at one point he whispers, "Somebody, stop me!"
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The integration of Robin merged together his younger, more carefree days with his older incarnation (before he became Nightwing) as a Deadpan Snarker foil to Batman's Unfunny. See also Composite Character.
    • Many superhero movies (especially sequels) have a hard time managing the villains' origin and Evil Scheme while still making it feel like it is the hero's movie (even The Dark Knight has been criticized on that part). This movie actually dedicates a good portion to specifically Bruce Wayne and not just "Batman stops the bad guy."
    • While the Tim Burton movies are for the most part praised and loved, many people were unnerved with Batman's willingness to kill. Batman Forever manages to set up Batman's "no kill" rule rather plausibly, strongly suggesting that after killing the Joker for killing his parents, Bruce wasn't satisfied and kept killing criminals before he realized he had become a monster and learned to let go of revenge.
      Bruce: will happen this way: you make the kill, but your pain doesn't die with Harvey, it grows. So you run out into the night to find another face, and another, and another, until one terrible morning you wake up and realize that revenge has become your whole life. And you won't know why.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Bruce Wayne has consistently been portrayed in comics and other adaptations as dark haired (or at the least with brown hair). Kilmer isn't quite as blond as in his other films but he is certainly much more fair haired than the regular.
    • Dick Grayson also usually has black/dark hair in the comics, but here his hair is more brown.
    • The Riddler also typically has either black or brown hair in the comics, yet here he goes back and forth between red/orange hair and brown hair.
    • Two-Face has pink hair, which is a first for him. Typically his scarred side's hair is either greying or white (that is when he has hair at all.)
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Peter David novelization, based on the shooting screenplay, adds four prologues to the story, including the partnership between Batman and Harvey, who helped restore Batman's reputation following the events of Batman Returns. The novelization also ties in with the Burton movies much further.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: The version of Harvey Dent/Two-Face in this movie, despite being more comical and sillier, is also even less sympathetic and more sociopathic and unrepentant than his comic book counterpart. In the comics, he was more of a tragic Anti-Villain with sympathetic qualities, while here, he's more of an unambiguously evil villain with the "Anti" part and redeeming traits almost completely omitted, and he has enough Kick the Dog moments (such as killing Robin's parents) to make his fate at the end completely well-deserved.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Boss Maroni's name is changed to Moroni, which is what it was in the earliest versions of Harvey Dent's origin.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: This happens by way of Composite Character, as the Dick Grayson version of Robin sees his circus acrobat parents killed by Two-Face instead of Tony Zucco, much in the same manner the first movie made Jack Napier (a.k.a. the Joker) the murderer of Bruce's parents rather than Joe Chill. This makes him a bit like Jason Todd in the Post-Crisis comics, whose gangster father was murdered by Two-Face.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul:
    • Dick and Two-Face have had a very personal enmity against each other in the comic books but it was based around Two-Face brutally beating Dick at a young age when he was still Robin. Here, they have a different personal enmity, based on Two-Face murdering Dick's parents.
    • Likewise, Dick and Bruce's relationship differs significantly as Dick is already a young adult by the time Bruce takes him in as a ward, not giving them time to form a deeper adoptive father/son bond. The result is that they have a thorny relationship from the start as Dick is already older and has a more fully formed mind of his own. And since Dick already has an independent "Nightwing" mindset to begin with, this trend of them butting heads would only carry on to the next movie.
    • Two-Face and Riddler have shown up in the same comic book stories together prior to Batman Forever but the two have never been this close of partners or friends until this movie.
  • Adapted Out: The comic tie-in leaves out Dick's brother Mitch Grayson.
  • Age Lift: In the comics Dick Grayson was a pre-teen when his parents were killed, much like Bruce, and started his career as Robin soon after. Here Dick's age is left vague but implied he is or at least approaching college age. Batman: The Animated Series did something similar, except making him the same age as when his parents were killed but a college aged adult in the present stories (which, by that time, he had taken up the name Nightwing, see Composite Character).
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: "I'll bring the wine..." *opens coat* "You bring your scarred psyche." Sexy enough for even Batman to do a quick Male Gaze before composing himself.
  • All in the Eyes: The deleted scene showing Bruce finding his father's red book again has a light shone to his eyes to highlight him discovering shocking revelation from within its pages.
  • All There in the Script:
    • Sugar and Spice are only named in tie-in materials and the film's closing credits.
    • Dick's older brother is named Chris in the shooting screenplay.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Riddler invades Wayne Manor along with Two-Face, and there he enters the Batcave. To top it off, he uses a skywriter to turn the Bat-Signal into a giant question mark.
  • Alphabet News Network: Gotham News Network (GNN).
  • Alternate DVD Commentary:
    • Rifftrax recruited Doug Walker for it.
    • DVD Podblast also took a swipe at it.
    • Kevin Smith and his Fatman On Batman co-host Marc Bernardin did one for this film as well as the other three films in the Batman quadrilogy; it can be streamed or downloaded for free on his Smodco podcast website.
  • Always Need What You Gave Up:
    • Due to the Graysons' forgoing the safety net for their death defying stunt, Dick's family ends up falling to their deaths when Two-Face shoots them down.
    • Almost immediately after Bruce Wayne foregoes his Batman identity, Two-Face and The Riddler invade Wayne Manor, nearly kill Bruce, kidnap Chase Meridian, and destroy the Batcave.
  • Always Save the Girl: Dick almost dies fulfilling this trope. He even snogs the girl at the end... but forgets to wait until he's safely out of the alleyway.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Jim Carrey plays the Riddler as a nerdier and somewhat more bloodthirsty Paul Lynde. He'd played creepy stalker roles before, most notably in The Cable Guy (which came out a year after this film), so nobody asked any inconvenient questions. He does show a modicum of interest in Chase, though his primary motivation is to make Bruce jealous (he actually has to deepen his voice when inviting her onto the dance floor).
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The bank guard taken hostage by Two-Face. Think you can kvetch a little more, guy?
  • Americasia: Gotham City is portrayed vaguely like Tokyo (whereas in the previous films, it had looked either like New York City circa 1940 or a "grim" Eastern European city).
  • And Then What?: Riddler's attitude to Two-Face simply wanting to kill Batman and be done with it. Bruce also gives this to Dick Grayson when the latter still won't let go of his need to kill Two-Face.
  • And This Is for...: When Robin confronts Two-Face. "That was for my mother!" (punch) "My father!" (punch) "My brother!" ("punch") "And this is for me!" ("headbutt")
  • Arc Words: "Too many questions."
  • Arrow Cam: The camera switches to the Sonar Batarang's POV after Batman throws it at The Box's central transmission antenna.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Robin snooping around the Batcave entrance, which is disguised as a silver closet. "What's in there?"
    Alfred: Master Wayne's dead wives.
  • Asshole Victim: Fred Stickley. There's dealing with a difficult employee, then there's going out of your way to verbally put him down at any opportunity you can find. No wonder Nygma snapped.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Joel Schumacher saw fit to include shots of Batman's and Robin's asses when trying on the new suits, zeroing in on rubber nipples and a wedgie. Schumacher is utterly unrepentant on his commentary track, advising viewers to "get out more."
    • Schumacher is apparently also quite fond of black lights, pastel colors and rave lighting. Both of his Batmobiles (Forever and Batman & Robin) were tricked out with LED undercar lights, much like an illegal street racer, and the mooks are all wearing neon in some form or fashion (the Neon Gang's clothing, makeup, graffiti and glowsticks, as well as the "Yin Yangs" on Two-Face's SMGs).
    • And then there's the Riddler's factory, which doesn't pretend to be anything besides an evil discotheque.
    • Gotham itself is a lot more colorful than in Burton's day, brightening more and more as the night goes on: at dusk, the city is cloaked with pastel light fixtures, suggesting a Japanophile's take on the Dark Knight. (Indeed, the exterior shots of the Second Bank of Gotham borrows liberally from Blade Runner.) Even The City Narrows — where no light can even penetrate — is wallpapered with glow in the dark paint.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Kiss from a Rose" by Seal, although it wasn't written for the movie (it's from his self-titled album released the year before. It even appeared on the movie The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, which was released the year before). Schumacher served as director of the music video.
  • Baby Carriage. Subverted. The Batmobile is stopped mid-pursuit by an elderly crone pushing a baby stroller. After the vehicle screeches to a halt, the "Old Crone" whips off a shawl to reveal Big Bad Two Face, who then takes a rocket launcher out of the baby carriage.
  • Badass Family: After Two-Face unveils the giant bomb in the grand circus event, the entire Grayson family immediately and without question springs into action to successfully save the day. Unfortunately, it costs most of them their lives.
  • Badass in Distress: Even after donning his official Robin-suit, Dick's still new to crime fighting, and has to be rescued by Batman in the climax.
  • Badass Normal: Dick earns his stripes well before he becomes Robin.
  • Ballroom Blitz: Two-Face gets itchy feet and crashes Edward Nygma's gala, to Nygma's consternation — He had been carefully luring Bruce Wayne into an expo booth to read his mind. The electricity shorts out as soon as the goons arrive; it's just dumb luck that Bruce didn't leave the booth in time.
  • Bat Deduction:
    • Bruce discovers who the Riddler is through a series of riddles left to him, which he discovers is meant to indicate a series of numbers corresponding to letters of the alphabet. They spell out "M-R-E," which Bruce deciphers as "mystery" and "Mr. E," leading to the conclusion of Edward Nygma. However, there was more to his conclusion than just the riddles, not the least of which is that Nygma started up a company to rival Bruce's in the wake of a crime wave from the Riddler and Two-Face, and combined with the circumstances under which he left Bruce's company, the leap wasn't hard to make.
      Alfred: You really are quite bright, despite what people say.
    • The Riddler gets his own variant, presumably using The Box on various crooks around town in order to glean the location of Two-Face's hideaway. In the novel, the explanation makes a bit more sense: He simply traced back the anonymous orders of custom two-toned suits, half-and-half pizza, and the like.
  • Batman Cold Open: The movie begins with Batman moving out to stop Two-Face committing an overblown bank robbery, where Two-Face declares, "Let's start this party with a bang!"
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Lampshaded when Chase tells the Riddler that Batman will come to his base to rescue her.
    • Nygma showed this during his expo for his Box device. Before dancing with Chase, Edward constantly tried to goad Bruce Wayne into trying out his new invention (which to him raised too many questions, if you recall). He fails spectacularly, but Bruce decides to check out the mechanics behind the images. When Bruce takes out the battery for the machine with Sugar's help (Sugar is Nygma's companion for the night), he walks into the room with a deactivated Box...until Sugar reveals that she had a spare battery on her, courtesy of Edward.
    • Appropriately, the trope namer himself pulls one to beat Two-Face. Two-Face has Batman and his friends dead to rights, until Batman helpfully reminds him that he always flips his coin to decide if he's going to kill somebody...then, when Two-Face makes the flip, Batman pulls a handful of extra coins out and throws them into the air. Two-Face, panicking, tries to catch them all and falls to his death.
  • Bedlam House: Arkham Asylum makes its cinematic debut here (albeit at the end of the film).
  • Benevolent Boss: Bruce Wayne is shown here as being a little less dotty and reclusive. In the wake of Stickley's death, he personally canvasses the scene and insists on full insurance coverage for Stickley's surviving family even though their company policy normally wouldn't cover such a thing.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Bruce/Batman is this for Chase, and forms her character arc through the film.
    • Sugar and Spice fill these roles for Two-Face. Sugar is a stereotypical Prohibition-era moll, and Spice is a whip-cracking goth Dominatrix. Later, at Nygmatech's launch party, Sugar hangs on "Eddie's" arm while Spice crashes the party with Harvey.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Two-Face and The Riddler. Who's in the dominant position (as well as who chews more scenery) varies over the course of the movie. At first, the Riddler is subservient to Two-Face, relying on his mooks and somewhat limited criminal resources to fund his Box ventures. However, as he grows legitimately richer and smarter, the Riddler begins to overtake the Big Bad slot. By the third act, the Riddler has his own island lair, death laser, mines, scuba henchmen, and elaborate deathtraps while Two-Face more or less plays The Dragon off to the side as Riddler goes into ham overload.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Batman gets a few, with Robin later repaying him by saving the Caped Crusader's bacon in the subway.
  • Big Entrance:
    • Two-Face and crew crashing Nygma's party. Batman promptly one-ups them by coming through the skylight. In fact, Nygma unflatteringly compares Batman's cool skylight leap with his partner's trademark entrance: shoot guns in the air like Yosemite Sam.
      Nygma: [to Two-Face] Your entrance was good; his was better. The difference? Showmanship!
    • Near the climax of the film, Commissioner Gordon finally gives up on Batman after patiently waiting beside the Bat-Signal all night. He sadly tells a nearby cop to "shut it down"...whereupon the Batplane suddenly appears out of the clouds.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The film flat-out lampshades this when Riddler asks Two-Face for a lesson in how to throw a punch. Two-Face lays out a security guard with one jab, while another guard barely flinches when Nygma swats him.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": The Riddler yells this before he remotely shuts off the Batcave's alarm system.
  • Black-and-White Insanity: Two Face's good side, if he even has one, seems to be an excuse at best. To emphasize the point, he has two henchwomen named Sugar and Spice, a pair of attractive women who are supposed to represent his good side (Drew Barrymore) and his evil side (Debi Mazar) in very sexy ways. However, Sugar, the one who is supposed to represent his good side, is just as evil as Spice. Two-Face's actions show that rather than having a good side and an evil side, he only has the evil side but becomes obsessed with wanting the world to be fair. He only looks to commit murders but everyone gets a coin toss for a chance to be let go. Made worse by scenes showing him repeatedly flipping a coin until it comes up the way he wants it to. This makes it seem less like this trope and more like an OCD-type behavior.
  • Blasphemous Boast: The Riddler. "For if knowledge is power, then a God am I..."
  • Blatant Lies: When Dick claims to the gang he confronts that he’s Batman. After they laugh it off he shouts that he just forgot his suit.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The Graysons lying dead on the circus floor. Also, Bruce's head wound.
  • Body Horror: Riddler's facial warping after Batman destroys his Box hub. It's not just a funny-looking effect. When Batman retrieves him after his defeat, his skull is lumpier than it was before, and his left ear is a full length lower than it should be.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    • The Riddler whacking his boss with a coffee pot: "Caffeine'll kill ya!"
    • And then after letting him fall down: "OOOO! Nice form, but a little rough on the landing. He may have to settle for the bronze."
  • Book Ends: It's implied the Riddler winds up in his partner's old cell at Arkham, but the prologue featuring Two-Face's escape was cut.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • In the original draft, Two-Face's henchwenches were nicknamed "Leather" and "Lace" (instead of "Sugar" and "Spice" in the final draft). Apparently this was too risque for a film featuring overt sexual themes with Nicole Kidman's character and a close-up shot of a jiggling Bat Butt.
    • Two-Face's logo was censored in the console game, with the bleeding side replaced with a scrawled line, like the ones on his famous coin.
  • Brains and Brawn: Jones' Two-Face is a rabid dog, prone to violent mood swings and howling at the moon. He's intrigued by possibilities offered by the Box, while admittedly not grasping how it works or the logistics of Riddler's plot. By the end, he finally has enough of Nygma's silly games and resorts to old-fashioned gunplay.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Subverted. While he isn't imitating anyone in particular, while joyriding in the Batmobile, Robin for some reason says to the women on the Gotham strip "How about a ride in my love machine, eh?" in a vaguely Hispanic accent.
  • Broad Strokes: The film's connection to the prior installments. Batman, the Batmobile, Wayne Manor and Gotham itself look drastically different from their appearances in the Burton films, but none of the changes are acknowledged onscreen apart from Batman's new attitude toward crimefighting. There's no direct references to the events of previous films, as all Call Backs are veiled (such as Chase hinting at Catwoman) and when Bruce discusses his past, he makes no reference to the fact that his parents' killer was the Joker (Forever's flashbacks to the Waynes' murder are new footage and do not include Napier's partner) and are vague enough that they could be construed as referring to a Joe Chill-esque figure instead (dialogue implies he was the first person Batman ever killed, which was not the case in the first film).note  There's also no reference to Batman being framed as a criminal in Returns, though this could be explained by Penguin's machinations having been exposed and Batman's role in saving the children from his plot.
  • Broken Ace: This film emphasizes Bruce Wayne as this. Everyone wants to be with him and Ed Nygma wants to be him. Deep down, he is an emotional train wreck.
  • Broken Aesop: Bruce spends the entire movie telling Dick he can't kill Two-Face because it's wrong and won't fix anything. Finally, towards the end, Dick (as Robin) learns his lesson and saves Two-Face from dying even though it results in him getting captured. And then Batman kills Two-Face anyway.
  • Broken Pedestal: Bruce Wayne becomes this for Nygma, who becomes the Riddler as a result of not taking well of his rejection regarding his mind manipulating invention.
  • Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Two-Face holds the entire circus hostage with the (fairly reasonable) logic that, since the audience is filled with the richest and most notable citizens of Gotham, one of them must surely either know Batman or be Batman—and sure enough, Bruce is watching the performance. He immediately stands up and tries to give himself up, but no one can hear him in the panic.
    Two-Face: Surely one of you knows who Batman is. Hell, odds are one of you pasty-faced twits is Batman!
  • Bullying a Dragon: Fred Stickley threatens to haul Edward Nygma before a federal tribunal and have him incarcerated in an insane asylum after Nygma has not only disobeyed a direct order from Stickley, but also hit him in the head with a coffee pot, tied him up, and subjected him to a highly unethical and potentially life-threatening neurological experiment. And on top of all that, he fires Nygma; Edward does not take this well, and his reaction is swift and terrible.
  • Call-Back:
    • Bruce points out to Chase that he hasn't had much luck with women, directly referencing his prior encounters with Vicki Vale and Selina Kyle, respectively.
    • "Harvey! I'm Batman!" It's a little campy here, but still. "I'm Batman!" is also repeated by Dick Grayson (see page quote) when he encounters a street gang. Finally, Nygma shouts "I'M! BATMAN!" at the end after he gets committed in Arkham Asylum.
    • At one point Batman is embroiled in a car chase with some of Two-Face's Mooks. Batman slows down to avoid hitting what appears to be an old baglady pushing a cart, but it's really Two-Face, who immediately whips out a rocket launcher and tries to blast the Batmobile. This scene is reminiscent of the "helpless old lady at 12 o'clock high!" instance from Batman Returns.
  • Call-Forward: Dick suggests Nightwing as a possible sidekick name.
  • Calling Your Attacks: There wasn't a particularly good reason for Dick to exclaim, "Now!" just before leaping from the balcony to try getting into the Batcave.
  • Camera Abuse: One of the film's creepier moments is Nygma grinning into a Waynetech camera as he cuts the feed.
  • The Cameo:
    • Dick attracts a couple of curious hookers while joyriding in the Batmobile. These ladies of the night are played by the nineties R&B group En Vogue.
      Dick: I could definitely get into this superhero gig.
    • Gossip Gerty is portrayed by Elizabeth Sanders, Batman co-creator Bob Kane's wife.
    • Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, a longtime Batman fan, appeared as a guest at Edward Nygma's gala.
  • Camp:
    • This put Joel Schumacher's love for camp on display, which was a breath of fresh air after the extremely grim overtones of the previous film. By and large, the camp was mostly the good kind - there was a lot more restraint than the next film, as the story, villains' plan, and Batman's issues were still taken seriously enough to care about. For example, the Box evolves from "random accumulation of wires and junk" to "sleek glowy spinny thing," but never stops looking like a blender, in a nod to the silly props of the TV Batman.
    • Batman himself is noticeably the same character as the previous films. He takes the job seriously, doesn't joke around (besides deadpan quips), and patiently mentors Dick Grayson. In truth, besides the color scheme the only difference between this film and Batman Returns is that Forever seems far more aware of itself while Returns takes everything much more seriously (compare Penguin's circus-themed gang to the neon-paint gang in this film).
  • Canon Discontinuity: With the creation of Batman '89, especially with its own interpretation of Two-Face based on Billy Dee Williams' performance in Batman (1989), this movie and Batman & Robin have been moved into its own continuity.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Chase Meridian was created for the film.
    • Dick Grayson never had a brother (not that his brother lived very long in the movie).
    • Sugar and Spice are more or less Two-Face's answer to Harley Quinn. They were later made Canon Immigrants in the Arkham City #1 comic (suggesting further use for the duo), though they don't appear in the game itself.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Nygma has four different Riddler costumes over the course of the film: green suit w/ bowler, green spandex, black jacket with light-up question marks, and silver-and-glitter bodysuit based on 1970's David Bowie (with a question mark in place of the lightning bolt). Even his hairstyle keeps changing color and length, beginning with wacky Einstein Hair before progressing to a flattop (switching intermittently with a GQ haircut like Wayne's), and then back to a longer, electrified 'do reminiscent of Gozer the Gozerian. The last two costume/hairstyle combos occur minutes apart during the climax.
  • Chaos Architecture: Carrying over a trend that started with Returns, Gotham City has a noticeably different design aesthetic; in this case, it has an Americasia flavor, and Art Deco is taken to surreal and impractical extremes.
  • Chekhov's Classroom: In the first act, Chase mentions that Two-Face's obsession with his coin can be exploited.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • Dick does his own laundry by using moves adapted from martial arts, showing that he is more than an acrobat.
    • Alfred mentions quickly that Bruce's prototype suit is equipped with sonar capabilities. Bruce uses this to his advantage when he turns it on to not blind himself when destroying Nygma's power source.
  • Chopper on Standby: Two-Face and his henchmen use a helicopter to escape from their bank heist. They also fly the helicopter through an electronic billboard (in order to try and shake off Batman) without the helicopter suffering any damage at all...
  • Circus of Fear: Two-Face's goons dress up as two-sided clowns when they attack the circus.
  • Cloak of Defense: During one of his battles with Two-Face, Batman uses his cape to shield himself from an explosion caused by the villain.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Dr. Meridian is undeniably smart and perceptive, but too often can't see the forest for trees. She refers to Edward Nygma as "a wacko" for being obsessed with Bruce Wayne, but fails to realize at first that she has a similar fixation on Batman! (Assuming that Nygma is in fact a big queen, this gag works on two levels.)
  • Collapsing Lair: Lobbing a Batarang at the Riddler's antenna makes the entire base go up in smoke.
  • Colour Blind Casting: Similar to Catwoman in the 1966 series, Harvey Dent was recast for this film, once again with an actor of a completely different ethnicity than his predecessor: Tommy Lee Jones succeeding Billy Dee Williams.
  • Complexity Addiction: Addressed; when The Riddler offers to help Two-Face kill Batman in exchange for money to manufacture his Box devices, he convinces him that just offing the hero quickly and simply wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying as ensuring he was humiliated first by having his true identity revealed and used against him. Also referenced when Two-Face shoots Bruce Wayne, knocking him down, and as he's going to give a fatal shot, the Riddler stops him.
    Riddler: Doooon't kill him! If you kill him... he won't learn nothin'!
    [Two-Face cackles in sadistic agreement]
  • Composite Character:
    • Strangely enough, the Riddler is a unique combination of the hyperactive spandex trickster of the Silver Age and the suave businessman-like personality of the Bronze Age. This was partially explained in the novelization by having his mind getting fried from using The Box; he is the trickster when in the Riddler costume and the businessman when acting as the CEO of NygmaTech.
    • Before he dons the bowler, Ed going postal on his supervisor is more reminiscent of Post-Crisis Scarecrow than anything.
    • Brainwashing the people of Gotham with high-tech headgear seemed more like a job reserved for the Mad Hatter (who more casual fans often mistake for Riddler, given the latter's fondness for bowler hats in the comics), and discovering that Bruce Wayne is Batman by using a machine that creates visuals of a person's mind was a move made famous by Professor Hugo Strange on Batman: The Animated Series.
    • Robin's origin is actually a composite of two comic-book Robins; in the comics, Two-Face killed Jason Todd's parents, and that element (along with Jason's desire for revenge) were imported into Chris O'Donnell's Dick Grayson character. In addition, his personality in being more confrontational with Bruce was more common after he left the Robin name and became Nightwing (which namedropped as a Mythology Gag). Batman & Robin also conflates the two, with "Robin's" symbol (normally a stylized R on a black circle) looking more like a red version of Nightwing's.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Bruce has stockpiled a fleet of ultra-rare, unused vintage motorcycles in his garage in case he ever needed to tempt an orphaned acrobat not to embark on a life of vengeance.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Conveniently Empty Roads: During a chase between Batman and some of Two-Face's goons, there are no other vehicles in that part of Gotham.
  • Cool Car:
    • Batman's new, sleeker Batmobile. 'Cause chicks love the car.
    • Two-Face's gang has three vintage cars with miniguns mounted to the tops of the fenders.
    • Bruce Wayne drives a Jaguar XK 120.
  • Cool Guns: In keeping with his odd personality, Two-Face wields a pair of German-made revolvers, one blued, one stainless, when he crashes the Riddler's reception. The stainless revolver has pearl grips. Two-Face proves to be quite the gun nut, packing everything from an RPG-7 (in a baby carriage!), to a grenade launcher, to a minigun mounted onto the hood of his car.
  • Cool Plane: The Batwing, which is introduced roosting like an actual bat.
  • Copycat Mockery: It starts with Nygma mockingly repeating "There's just too many questions" over and over while he illegally finishes his brain-drain prototype after hours. It progresses to him fashioning himself into a near-duplicate of Bruce Wayne, down to a facial mole.
  • The Coroner Doth Protest Too Much: The doctored security tape shows Nygma's boss running toward a window — complete with jazz hands — laughing cartoonishly and then jumping to his death. Subtle.
  • Costume Copycat: Nygma showing up Bruce Wayne by wearing the exact same tuxedo and hairstyle. He's also donning and removing a pair of reading glasses at the exact same times Wayne does and has a matching artificial mole put on his face to match Wayne's.
  • Crash in Through the Ceiling: Batman crashes the party being thrown by Edward Nygma this way after it's already been crashed by Two-Face.
    Riddler, to Two-Face: Your entrance was good... his was better.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • After The Riddler has his way with the Batcave, we find out the Bruce doesn't keep all his wonderful toys on the main floor, but there's actually more underneath in the depths of the cave, including the Batplane and Batboat. In the comic novelization, Alfred explicitly calls it "The Cave Under The Cave."
    • The Batmobile comes equipped with grappling hooks of its own so it can escape dead ends by climbing walls.
  • Create Your Own Villain:
    • Bruce Wayne created the Riddler by turning down Nygma's brainwave manipulation ideas.
    • In addition, Batman couldn't save Harvey Dent from getting a glass of acid in the face and becoming Two-Face.
  • Crime Spree Montage: After the Riddler and Two-Face forge an alliance, there is a montage of the two of them going around Gotham City and robbing jewelry stores.
  • Cut-and-Paste Note: The Riddler writes some of his riddles this way.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon:
    • Two-Face's introduction to the Riddler. *click* "Let's see if you bleed green."
    • He also says that he should crush Edward's "bones into powder" for invading his lair.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Played with. The Riddler tries to make money honestly but after being rejected and funding it with Two-Face's crimes he still makes billions on "The Box" technology. If he wasn't obsessed with Bruce Wayne and Batman he could have lived a very comfortable, lavish life.
  • Damsel in Distress: Two-Face and Riddler crash Bruce's private Halloween evening with Chase Meridian and kidnap her to lure out Batman for a proper showdown.
  • Darkest Hour: Say what you will about the "lighter and softer," but in this film Batman comes closer to defeat than he does anywhere else in the series.
    Alfred: They've taken Dr. Meridian. Master Dick has run away. The Batcave has been destroyed. And there's another riddle.
  • Dartboard of Hate: In a deleted scene, Dick is seen punching a picture of Two-Face during his training sessions.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: When Two-Face falls to his death in Riddler's Drowning Pit, the last we see of him is his hand sinking into the water as his Two-Headed Coin falls into its palm (Tails up) before it goes under.
  • Deadly Game: The Riddler wheeling out his two hostages, Chase and Dick. He reads off smarmy, game show-like biographies of each (using his cane as a microphone) while Harvey does his Ed MacMahon impression in the back.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Batman on the job is this, almost crossing into The Comically Serious.
    Chase: What is it about the wrong kind of man? In grade school it was boys with earrings; high school, motorcycles; college, leather jackets. Now... [feels up the rubber suit] black rubber.
    Batman: Try firemen; less to take off.
  • Death by Adaptation: Batman is forced to exploit Two-Face's obsession with his coin, which leads to him falling to his death.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Both Two-Face and Riddler aren't able to do much with their information, which is disappointing since The Riddler had all that tech to broadcast Bruce's secret, but he went insane instead. And Two-Face was even unluckier. However the film doesn't explain why none of their cronies leak word of Bruce's identity, as they were present during the raid on his manor.
  • Deathly Dies Irae: An In-Universe usage; Wayne Manor's doorbell is a major-key version of the four dies irae notes.
  • Death Trap:
    • The interior of the bank safe in which Two-Face locks Batman is filled with acid nozzles, which will kill Batman but keep the money pristine and secure, which is actually clever.
    • Later on, the Riddler rigs an elaborate pit with sharp rocks and a descending ceiling, all of which ends up claiming Two-Face instead.
  • Destination Defenestration: Nygma kills Stickley by sending him crashing through a window (pausing the deed momentarily to retrieve some equipment), whose murder is covered up to look like a suicide plunge.
  • Destroy the Security Camera: Edward Nygma does this. "WHY HASN'T ANYBODY...put you in your place?"
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Riddler asking a coin-flipping, duality-obsessed, indecisive, crazed killer to become partners with him. Can't see where that could go disastrously wrong. (Lucky for him, Two-Face always slaps the coin on the back of his hand, reversing the verdict.)
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In the novelization, Two-Face commits suicide by leaping off the girder after he flipped his coin.
  • Dingy Trainside Apartment: Nygma lives in a very cramped one before becoming the Riddler fully.
  • Disney Villain Death: After saving Robin and Chase from falling to their deaths, Batman is then confronted by Two-Face. Batman then tricks him to fall down instead with a fistful of coins that he throws in the air when Harvey makes another of his signature coin tosses.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: After Batman coolly rebuffs Chase's advances on the rooftop, there is a moment of being taken aback when Chase opens her coat, revealing a negligee underneath. All he can manage is a "Direct, aren't you?"
  • Dominatrix:
    • Chase suggests that dressing and acting like Catwoman would entice the Bat.
    • Spice, Two-Face's henchwoman who represents his scarred side, wears this getup, and is even shown with a whip when Two-Face crashes the social gathering organized by Nygma.
  • The Dreaded: Dick goes off on his first night as a vigilante and quickly gets overwhelmed by a gang. Then Batman shows up and the entire gang scatters in terror.
  • Driving Up a Wall: Batman manages to evade one of Two-Face's attacks by firing a grappling hook from the Batmobile at the top of a tall building, allowing him to drive up the building's side.
  • Dunking the Bomb: A bomb gets set up by Two-Face at the circus; it gets disposed by being dropped into the nearby harbor.
  • Einstein Hair: Dr. Burton's shock hairdo hardly seems calculated to calm his patients' nerves.
  • Empty Elevator: Two-Face's men blast away at the elevator which arrives at their floor, perforating the door and riddling its interior with bullets. The doors open to reveal — nothing. Three seconds later, Batman bursts out, starting the first fight scene. It's not explained how he avoided the gunfire, although he probably just hid above the car.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Both Batman's and Bruce's first scenes establish the new depths to him not seen in the previous films. In the opening scene, Batman saves a mook from going down an elevator shaft, and Bruce's first scene is not him holed up in the Manor but actively involved in the daily operations at Wayne Enterprises.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Edward Nygma gets the idea for his alter-ego from a carnival fortune teller game he keeps in his apartment. We even get a light bulb flash.
  • Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting: At one point, an entire street gang who spend most of their time threatening and mugging teenage girls are all skilled at kendo and various forms of hand-to-hand combat.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Both villains. Hard to know which one overacts the most.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Nearly half of Jones' and Carrey's dialogue consists of cackling at the ceiling.
    • In Two-Face's stronghold, when the crime boss holds a hapless Riddler at gunpoint, it is Spice who giggles like a schoolgirl while fondling her whip.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: After being short-circuited by his own device, Nygma's bumpy head is swathed in bandages, meaning he won't be imitating Bruce Wayne, CEO again anytime soon.
  • Exact Words: Right at the start.
    Officer: B-B-But you said you'd let me live!
    Two-Face: Too true! And so you shall! Nothing better than live bait to trap a Bat!
  • Face-Revealing Turn: Our introduction to Two-Face. He delights in grossing out a security guard with his scarred, veiny side of his head.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama:
    • Batman is introduced gearing up, and then standing next to Batmobile, ready for action. Then Alfred asks him if he'd like to take a sandwich with him (a pretty blatant product placement tie-in ["I'll get drive-thru" was on every channel in 1995], but still in-character from Alfred).
    • Edward Nygma unveiling his pet project: a blender full of Styrofoam peanuts! Stickley looks ready to gnaw on his knuckles in embarrassment, while Edward holds it aloft like the Holy Grail.
    • Bruce mistaking the sound of Chase's training with her punching bag for her being in trouble. It rivals "COME ON!!! Let's get nuts!" as his dorkiest moment ever.
  • False Reassurance: Nygma wheels Stickley straight into an office window, but as he's still connected to a God helmet, he dangles precariously from the ledge. Nygma, seeing this, rushes over to save the day — but only to retrieve his helmet.
  • Fan Disillusionment: Nygma, after Bruce rejects his project.
    Nygma: You were supposed to understand. [furious] I'll make you understand.
  • Fantastic Drug: Taking hits from Nygma's machine is apparently quite addictive. The Riddler himself spends hours on a stylized throne shaped like "The Thinker," jittering like a coke fiend as he sucks up more thoughts and knowledge.
    Two-Face: The Bat's taught you well. Noble. (pulls his gun) Stupid, but noble.
  • Fantasy Landmark Equivalent: The movie ups Gotham City's Big Applesauce aesthetic by giving it Lady Gotham, its very own Statue of Liberty. There's no difference apart from the Lady having "GOTHAM" across her crown, though the statue's since migrated into other pieces of Bat-media with more creative designs.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: There's a scene where Robin saves Two-Face from falling to certain death and he gets rewarded by having a gun pointed at his face and used as a hostage.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Two-Face's scarred side wears a single fingerless glove, along with a second wristwatch.
  • Female Gaze: The movie provides the audience with loving close-ups of the dynamic duo's chest, crotch and rear every time they suit up.
  • Femme Fatale:
    • Invoked by Nicole Kidman playing Dr. Chase Meridian as a stereotypical 40's film noir heroine, with a raspy voice and seductive mannerisms. Subverted because she is not evil or even morally ambiguous; she is just fascinated by people with Split Personality.
    • Sugar briefly acts as one to the Brucester himself, making eyes with him at the gala...and later convincing him to try out a Nygmatech trade show booth.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: The movie ends with Batman and co. running past a light to the camera in homage to the beginning of the 1960's series.
  • Frivolous Summoning: Chase Meridian switches on the Bat Signal to tell Batman that Two-Face's coin is his Achilles heel, and having made this Captain Obvious statement, starts hitting on him. Batman realises that Chase just wanted an excuse to chat, and tells her "You called me here for this? The Bat-Signal is not a beeper."
  • Food Porn: We don't get to see much of it onscreen, but Two-Face's extravagant six-course dinner, as described by Sugar and Spice, sounds incredibly tasty, if not a little bizarre (and given the ladies' sexual tone when describing it, this Trope is taken quite literally).
    Sugar: I made your favorite tonight: sparkling champagne, yummy poached salmon with little itty bitty quail eggs, and a creamy, dreamy lemon soufflé.
    Spice: No, I made your favorite: a charred heart of black boar, a side of raw donkey meat, and a sterno and grain alcohol, straight up, baby! Hahahahahahaha!
    Two-Face: Mmm, perfect! Ladies, you spoil us. We're two minds about what we eat first.
  • Fooled by the Sound: At Chase Meridian's office for an appointment, Bruce Wayne hears sounds of a struggle through the door (blows landing, Chase grunting with effort). His heroic instincts kick in and he smashes the door down... and is embarrassed to see her doing some boxing practice on a heavy bag.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe:
    • First appearance of the bat-nipples. Good God, the frickin' bat nipples. As one critic pointed out, whose idea were those supposed to be, Alfred's?
    • The bat buns. Apparently, the bat-suit comes with a bat-wedgie.
    • Jim Carrey's Riddler spandex is a little TOO form fitting...
  • Frozen Face: Fitting for a movie franchise which kept trying to reinvent Jack Nicholson's Joker, the corner of Two-Face's mouth is twisted into a permanent 'smile.'
  • Gang of Hats:
    • The glowstick gang. (Also colloquially known as the Neon Gang or Blacklight Gang.) Their skull makeup and tassels call to mind a Voodoo Cult as filtered through a modern lens.
    • And then there is Two-Face's gang, which is sizable. Each mook is a variation on the standard leather vested, heavily-pierced biker type, with a Deathstroke-style ski mask to complete the picture.
    • In the game version, Two-Face has a separate set of mooks in orange zoot suits, to match his unblemished side.
  • Gatling Good: Two-Face mooks give the Batmobile a chase with 1950 Buicks that have pairs of miniguns on their hoods.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Nygma struggles while coming up with a supervillain persona for himself. Among the rejected names are "The Puzzler" (themed around crossword puzzles...groan), "The Gamester" (wearing a giant chess piece outfit), "Captain Kill" (a Rambo knockoff), and finally "Question Mark Man," (wearing nothing but a shoulder-hanging sign covering only his front and backsides to about thigh-level) an awful name and costume combo which he immediately regrets but gives him an idea when his carnival game machine approves.
  • Girl of the Week: Dr. Chase Meridian (the only Girl of the Movie that wasn't lifted from the comics).
  • A God Am I: The Riddler quotes these words exactly in regards to the power his mind-reading "Box" devices have granted him. He also finishes the exact phrase by intoning "I" in a sinister dark voice. Naturally, given his character, he promptly follows it up with some lampshading:
    Riddler: Was that over the top? I can never tell!
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: The Riddler does one ("You'll find the handwriting matches his exactly, as does sentence structure and spelling.") for a guy he killed. It consists simply of:
    To: Whom It May Concern
    From: Fred Stickley
    RE: My Suicide
    Yours faithfully,
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: One of the perks of being a dual-themed supervillain is that you can do both. Sugar lights up Harvey's cigarette like he's a gumshoe detective, while Spice (on his opposite side) uses a blowtorch.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: The Riddler, fittingly enough. At first, his fixation with his boss is simple hero worship, but it becomes a desire to Kill and Replace Bruce in Gotham's social circle after Bruce rejects his dangerous product idea. Even at his launch party, after Nygma sculpts his hair and dons a fake mole and identical suit to match Bruce Wayne's, the press still flocks around the Waynetech CEO. Edward is shown standing off the side, absolutely fuming.
    Sugar: Oh, Eddie, he is too cute. ...How come you don't look so good in that suit?
    Nygma: Shut up. You're here to work...How's my mole?
  • Groin Attack: For real. Jim Carrey got a little carried away with his cane-twirling and clobbered co-star Jones right between the legs.
  • Halloween Episode: There is a Halloween party here in the Wayne Manor, and while Bruce and Chase reminisce, Alfred hands out the candy to trick-or-treaters. Two of them, however, are more than just begging for candy...
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: The movie buries the needle on the Ham-o-meter when Tommy Lee Jones (Two-Face) and Jim Carrey (The Riddler), team up in the middle of the movie. Observe.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: During a Batmobile chase with Two-Face's cars, Two-Face himself steps out into the street disguised in a ratty shawl and pushing a baby carriage(!). This causes Batman to slow down a bit, like a good Gotham citizen, before Two-Face pulls a rocket launcher.
  • Hero Ball: Lampshaded by Two-Face after Robin saves him.
    Two-Face: Good boy. The Bat's taught you well. Noble. [draws a gun] Stupid, but noble.
  • Heroic Bystander: Dick and his family, while they try to get the bomb out of the circus. Dick's family gets killed by Two-Face while he's able to throw it into the ocean.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Batman stalls both Riddler and Two-Face with separate gambits.
      Batman: [to Riddler] I have a riddle for you.
      Batman: [holding Two-Face's coin] Aren't you forgetting something, Harvey? [Batman tosses the coin over a pit, causing Two-Face to fall]
    • Batman smashes the Riddler's giant Box, causing his brain to overload with information. The novelization shows Nygma Brought Down to Normal again, unable to remember how his gadgets worked and feebly trying to piece them together.
  • Hollywood Psych: Nygma is a total whacko, but that's beside the point. On the other hand, she's probably making a joke, a professional using a highly unprofessional term.
    "In my professional opinion, this guy's a total whacko."
  • Holy Blacklight: Shown in the movie's ending, with the Bat-signal filling in for the light.

    Tropes I-Q 
  • I Am Legion: Two-Face refers to himself as either "we" or "us."
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Nygma has a base on Claw Island ("subsequent supervillains will have to make do with building their bases on Gumdrop Island, or Fluffy Bunny Atoll.")
  • Idiot Ball: It never occurs to Bruce to update the Batcave's security after Dick finds his way in. Thus, the Riddler finds the entrance and enters with no difficulty. For that matter, he enters a machine that can read his mind in front of a crowd of people who can watch it on a screen. Through this, the villains discover that he's Batman.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!:
    • Robin's decision at the climax regarding Two-Face is based on this trope — he winds up captive due to sparing the villain.
    • Words of wisdom from Bruce:
      Bruce: ...but your pain doesn't die with Harvey, it grows. So you run out into the night to find another face, and another, and another, until one terrible morning you wake up and realize that revenge has become your whole life. And you won't know why.
    • Humorously averted by Riddler.
      Riddler: NO!!! Doooon't kill him! If you kill him... he won't learn nothin'!
  • Ignored Confession: Two-Face is about to detonate the bomb in the circus when Bruce Wayne stands up and proclaims that he's Batman in order to stop the murder, but the audience has erupted into a frenzy and nobody notices Wayne's confession.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: It's implied in the movie that the Riddler wants to do this to Chase Meridian
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder: The Bat-Signal gets commandeered by Chase as part of an odd, superheroic version of OKCupid, leading to the popular line "The Batsignal is not a beeper!"
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Harvey Two Face, natch. He (or "they," as he may insist you call him) wears a variety of two-toned suits throughout the film: a patchwork of garish animal prints (in pastel, no less); a Judas Priest getup with leather and chains; and his comparatively mild ringmaster outfit and tuxedo. The left side of the tux is patterned to resemble blood streaks.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: "Spice" channels the Bride of Frankenstein by way of Peg Bundy. She even has Hair Antennae, quite a feat for live-action.
  • Incoming Ham: Two-Face first appears doing his usual dramatic coin toss while saying "You're counting on the winged avenger to deliver you from evil, aren't you, my friend?". And Nygma first appears as the Riddler shouting "I hope you made extra" (regarding the duplicate multiple course meal Sugar and Spice cooked for Two-Face) and standing in the hammiest way possible.
  • Inkblot Test: Bruce comments on a Rorschach Test on Chase's wall, mistaking it for a painting of a bat.
    Bruce: Do you have a thing for bats?
    Chase: That's a Rorschach, Mr. Wayne. People see what they want to.
    Chase: I think the question would be, do you have a thing for bats?
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Two-Face somehow smuggles a wrecking ball-sized explosive into the Hippodome.
  • Inkblot Test: When Bruce Wayne breaks into Dr. Chase Meridian's office because he mistakenly thought she was being attacked, he attempts to change the subject by turning attention to her various psychiatric tools. This backfires when he asks why she has a picture of a bat hanging on her wall, only for Chase to answer that it's an inkblot.
    Bruce: Do you have a thing for bats?
    Chase: That's a Rorschach, Mr. Wayne. People see what they want to.
    Chase: I think the question would be, do you have a thing for bats?
  • Instant Soprano: Batman rescues Robin from barely even touching the spikes at the bottom of the Riddler's hideout, and he squeaks out a "thanks" to Batman, which makes you wonder how Robin would have been impaled.
  • Ironic Echo: Edward Nygma twists with this trope after Fred fires him and Nygma has him dangling off a window.
    Edward: Fred... baaabe! YOU are fired! Or should I say... terminated?
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: An example that leads to Disproportionate Retribution.
    Fred Stickley: You are going up on charges, to courts, to jail, and then to a mental institution for the rest of your twisted little life! But first and foremost, Nygma, you are fired! Do you hear me? Fired!
    Edward Nygma: *gives Death Glare to Stickley* Oooooh.....I don't think so! *pushes Stickley out of a window*
  • It Always Rains at Funerals: The funeral of Bruce's parents is shown to have been stormy, according to the flashbacks.
  • It Will Never Catch On: After Nygma shows off his brainbox, Bruce is put off by the ethical implications of digging into peoples' minds. Later with enough capital backing him up, Nygma manages to turn his invention into a lucrative business that rivals even Waynetech.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Fred Stickley goes out of his way to verbally put Nygma down at every opportunity he can find. However, he suspected that Nygma's project was an example of unethical brain manipulation, and when Nygma uses him as a guinea pig those suspicions are confirmed. He then pulls no punches in telling him exactly what's in store for him on account of his use of the company's resources for something as unethical as brain manipulation. Nygma does not take it well. However, it's not explicitly clear which came first: the abuse, or the unethical brain manipulation.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Tim Burton, the previous films' director, is now a producer...In Name Only. In fact, Burton himself only helped approve the screenwriters before leaving the project altogether (and had no involvement at all in Batman & Robin).
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Two-Face conveniently suffers a Disney Villain Death after discovering that Batman is Bruce Wayne.
  • Kinda Busy Here: Alfred interrupts an intimate liaison to report that "Master Dick" has... borrowed "the other car."
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Two-Face has Sugar and Spice — Sugar for his healthy, "normal" side, Spice for his twisted, acid-scarred side.
  • Large Ham: Both Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey, both of whom seem to be trying to be the Jack Nicholson's The Joker of this film, which leads to some Ham-to-Ham Combat that can't be measured.
  • Laughing Mad: Riddler doesn't take his defeat well.
    Riddler: I'M Batman! [flaps strait-jacket sleeves]
  • Laughably Evil: The Riddler's example is contagious. Two-Face gets into the gleeful spirit before long, especially during the Battleship game.
  • Legion of Doom: Riddler joins and eventually leads Two-Face's gang in their mission to kill Batman.
  • Leitmotif: "Nygma Variations (Ode to Science)," especially the last part of it which utilizes a One-Woman Wail. As the movie progresses, you can hear his theme music transition from a trashy carnival medley (reflecting the "Guesser" arcade game in his loft) to a full-on Frankenstein dirge.
  • Licensed Pinball Table: One made by Sega Pinball. Tropes of it here.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the first one, and jarringly so compared to the previous installment, which in some ways was as good as it is gross. It's also more psychological than the first two, going into greater depth on why Bruce is Batman, his realization of what the superhero lifestyle has done to him, and the possibility that he might give up the mantle.
  • List of Transgressions: Shortly before Edward boots him out a window, Stickley lists off about a million federal agencies that will soon know of his illegal brain tampering. During this tirade, Eddie prances around shivering and biting his nails in mock terror.
  • Literal Metaphor: This exchange, meant to serve mainly as a reference to the campy '60s show:
    Robin: Holey rusted metal, Batman!
    Batman: Huh?
    Robin: The ground, it’s all metal. It’s full of holes, you know? Holey!
    Batman: Oh.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: The opening suit-up sequence, as well as another one when Bruce puts on the prototype Sonar Batsuit.
  • Locked into Strangeness: According to the latest science, there is no precedent for acid damage causing root follicles to grow electric purple hair, so this was likely an aesthetic choice made by Schumacher in keeping with the film's color scheme.
  • Lonely Bachelor Pad: Inverted with Edward Nygma's cramped apartment, whose every surface has been infused with his unhinged personality - it's so excessively "decorated" that there's barely an inch not covered by some piece of paraphernalia related to Bruce Wayne, riddles, puzzles or Ed's various gadgets and toys (including a stack of rebuilt tube-TVs broadcasting various closeups of mesmerized human faces, and a terrifying life-sized Riddler mannequin inside a fortune-telling machine which Edward occasionally talks to).
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Elliot Goldenthal's score for the movie was cut down from over two hours of music to just forty-five minutes, in order to accommodate more licensed singles on the soundtrack. Until recently, even all of the album releases have failed to include the entire track listing, instead splicing multiple pieces together and leaving others out entirely.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Dr. Meridian is gaga for Batman, kind of "meh" on Bruce. Subverted when she changes her mind mid-movie, then again when she learns his secret, which is justified since she's fascinated by men with split personalities. She has clear reason to suspect Batman has a split personality, but no reason to think Bruce does.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Done hilariously with "Bad Days," while we see for the first time where Edward Nygma lives.
    The Flaming Lips: You hate your boss at your job / But in your dreams you can blow his head off!
  • Mad Scientist: The Riddler, in a change from his comic book origins, is a brilliant scientist who develops a machine—the Box—that transforms any television image into a three-dimensional example of virtual reality—and, quite by accident, pulls neural energy from anyone viewing the images and broadcasts it directly into his head, making him smarter and exposing all of their secrets to him. The "mad" part is hinted at throughout his introduction, and by the time that both Stickley and Bruce reject the Box, he's gone completely off the deep end.
  • Madness Mantra: Bruce Wayne's verdict on the Box technology is that it raises too many ethical "questions." This remark definitely shakes up Nygma; he's heard repeating it to himself while sitting amidst his smoldering lair.
  • Magical Security Cam:
    • Bruce has archive footage of Chase doing a slo-mo Hair Flip. He has even more screens in Batman & Robin, prompting Bill Corbett to wonder how many security cameras Bruce Wayne has secretly installed around Gotham to get all this footage.
    • Maroni's murder trial must have been an even bigger media circus than O.J. Simpson's. The cameras perfectly capture the acid attack, Batman's intervention, and even a close-up of Dent getting splattered in 800 ISO. (A similar narrative device would be used for Mr. Freeze's origin story in the following movie.)
  • Male Gaze: Nicole Kidman's, erm...interesting pose on the movie poster.
  • May Contain Evil: The Riddler's "Box" devices sap people's intellect/thoughts and feed it to him; they don't notice because they're so transfixed by the virtual reality imagery it beams into their minds.
  • Manipulative Editing: Edward Nygma, the future Riddler, murders Fred Stickley by throwing him out a window. Then he edits the security footage to remove himself and make it look like Stickley committed suicide.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Chase (she chases Batman) Meridian (the balancing middle).
    • Also openly acknowledged by the characters with Edward Nygma as in..E. Nygma or...enigma. Also Mr.E or Mystery In the comics, his birth name was Edward Nashton and he changed it to Nigma(/Nygma) himself, for both the pun and to distance himself from his abusive father.
  • Mental Picture Projector: The Riddler has a device capable of controlling the minds of the people who are watching the device's images via TV screens. He sees that Bruce Wayne is thinking about bats and concludes that Bruce Wayne must be Batman.
  • Merchandise-Driven: A big reason the films decided to lighten up was to make it easier to sell them and related products to families. Some also think the growing character count was due to this.
  • Metapuzzle: Shortly before the climax of the movie, Bruce discovers via Bat Deduction that the seemingly-standalone riddles that were put to him by the Riddler were part of a greater-scope riddle whose solution reveals the identity of the Riddler himself. Namely, the hints given upon solving each riddle are numbers, which are associated with letters from the alphabet: 13 (from the first riddle) becomes M, 18 (from the second) becomes R, and 5 (from the third) becomes E. So, MRE, or Mr. E (as in Mr. Edward Nygma). It also helps that Mr. E is pronounced identically to mystery, which is synonymous with enigma and relates to riddle, further connecting the Riddler and Edward.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The movie just has the movie's logo over a plain background with the release date at the bottom.
  • Misapplied Phlebotinum: The Box, a 3D peripheral for television and a way to steal secrets via brainwaves. Nygma might have had more success if he'd sold it as a passive interrogation tool rather than a mass-market toy: No more of this messy enhanced interrogation; simply set your captive in front of a Box-enhanced television and let it do its thing.
  • "Miss X" Pun: A double one. When solving the riddles he's been sent he realises that, numerically, they represent M,R & E or Mr.E ("Mystery") for Mr Edward Nygma whose name is already a pun on Enigma which means mystery.
  • Money to Throw Away: When Two-Face makes his final toss of the coin to determine whether or not to kill Batman near the end, Batman throws a handful of coins in Two-Face's direction to cause him to fall to his doom down the long shaft.
  • Monumental Damage: Two-Face crashes a helicopter into Lady Gotham (more precisely, a replica of the Statue of Liberty), making its face look a lot like his.
  • Mood-Swinger: To the Riddler's chagrin. When the District Attorney side is in control, Two-Face speaks in an oily voice—that is, until something irritates him. Then he immediately snaps back in a decibel-blasting roar.
  • Mood Whiplash: It can be for some viewers. The film bounces back and forth between the zany antics of Riddler and Two-Face and the Dark and Troubled Past of Batman and Robin. It's no wonder Schumacher vocally decided to jettison the seriousness of Wayne Manor in the next film.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The "solution" to the Riddler's riddles seems to stray into this territory, where the solution is to ignore the actual answers to the riddles and focus on the numbers in them, which when transposed to alphabetical letters give you "M-R-E," which is a homonym for "mystery," a synonym for which is "enigma," which added to the original answer gives you a rough approximation of "Mr. E. Nygma," or Edward Nygma. The jump in logic comes with there being four numbers given, 13-1-8-5, which translates to M-A-H-E on the alphabet. Somehow, Bruce immediately puts together that "1 and 8 are 18", as opposed to finding a sum of a combination of numbers, which produces the correct M-R-E answer Edward was giving.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Nicole Kidman in her hottie prime naked under a silk bedsheet, and using the Batsignal to strip in front of Batman and try to seduce him.
      Chris Sims: She does everything but strip right down in front of Commissioner Gordon in that first scene, and gets progressively naked every other time she meets Batman until she's making out with him in a sheet.
      David Uzumeri: Really, she's your self-insertion character.
      Chris: "Chase Meridian" is an anagram for "Chris Sims."
    • Drew Barrymore as Sugar and Debi Mazar as Spice, or as the script originally referred to them, Leather and Lace. Of all of Barrymore's screentime, she has exactly one scene that is not spent in lingerie, and except for a sheer coat, Mazar spends the entire movie in a dominatrix getup that would make Dr. Frank N. Furter jealous.
  • My Brain Is Big: The Riddler grows steadily smarter as he robs neural energy. It backfires on him when Batman destroys the machine, leaving his skull warped into an ugly shape.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Papa Grayson's life flashes before his eyes seconds before he dies. And to his surprise, there's nothing he would've done differently.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: Though a bit vague, Riddler seems to be doing this. (That, or using other people's brainpower to amp his own mental function, or both.) It makes him a megalomaniac and a malfunction of the machine physically warps him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • There are a few of these regarding Robin. The "holey rusted metal" bit is a reference to the '60s show, and when pondering what his superhero alias should be, Dick Grayson considers "Nightwing." The Flying Graysons outfits are a combination of the original Robin costume and the one from Batman: The Animated Series (which was in turn based on Tim Drake's Robin costume in the comics). Finally, Bruce's suggested nickname for Dick was "Dick Grayson, College Student"; in the 70s comics, Dick did go to college.
    • Also one to the greater DCU, when Bruce mentions the circus must be half way to Metropolis.
    • Robin's conflict with Two-Face is a reference to Jason Todd, the second Robin in the Bat-comics, who was confronted with the same decision.
    • Finally, the "R" logo on Robin's costume was taken from Tim Drake, the third Robin.
    • One of the alter-egos Nygma came up with was "The Puzzler," who was a villain in the 1960s Batman series.
    • The exterior shot of Nygma's apartment shows that it's located next to a sign advertising the Criss-Cross Cleaning Company. In his first comic appearance, the Riddler hijacks a similar sign to pose a riddle to Batman.
    • The character of Dr. Burton was intended, visually and name-wise, to be a shout out to previous Batman director Tim Burton.
    • The imagery of Thomas and Martha Wayne's deaths, as well as Bruce falling down a cave, was taken from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One (specifically, the cover to Batman Vol. 1 #404).
    • The ending shot of Batman and Robin running towards the screen with the Batsignal shining behind them is a nod to the introduction of the 1966 TV series, with the difference is that the Batsignal didn't appear in the latter.
    • The way Batman defeats Two-Face by tossing in a bunch of coins while he is flipping his own was how Batman defeated him (albeit non-lethally) on Batman: The Animated Series during their first encounter.
  • Napoleon Delusion: At the end of the movie, the now-institutionalized (and insane) Riddler claims to know Batman's true identity. When pressed, he insists that he's Batman. From somewhere else inside the asylum, we hear another patient respond, "And I'm Napoleon!"
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: In a deleted scene (retained in the novel), Riddler hacks into the Batmobile, causing Batman to crash headlong into a 'crime scene'...which turns out to be an all-night hair salon. Cue much chortling and sarcastic offers to "trim the ears" as he stomps off, furious.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: Batman tosses a bunch of silver dollars at Two-Face, losing his signature one amongst them. Another Mythology Gag, as something very similar happened in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Never Heard That One Before:
    • Bats aren't rodents, Doctor Meridian. In the novelization, Batman has apparently heard this line so many times he starts listing off the taxonomic ranks of a bat so he can specify exactly where a bat stops sharing similarities with a rodent.
    • Riddler's jibe to Two-Face, "That's never gonna heal if you don't stop picking." Ho ho ho! *cocks gun*
  • Never Suicide: The Riddler fakes the death of his boss by modifying security tapes and leaving a fake suicide note with accurate handwriting. The police are quite fooled.
  • The Nicknamer: Nygma enjoys referring to Harvey as, "O segregated one," and "bifurcated one."
  • Nightmare Fetishist: While everyone else is horrified about the chaos Two-Face causes at the circus, Nygma watches it on television with delight while eating popcorn.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: Geddit? Seriously, though, Bruce mostly seems pained that Chase is only interested in the Batman.
  • No Indoor Voice: Two-Face almost the whole film, and occasionally The Riddler.
    Riddler: Has anybody ever told you you have a SERIOUS IMPULSE CONTROL PROBLEM?!
  • Non-Indicative Name: Why are they calling a blender-shaped mind manipulator a "box"?
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Bruce/Batman invokes this when he appeals to Dick/Robin to give up his vendetta against Two-Face.
    Dick: You can't understand. Your family wasn't killed by a maniac.
    Bruce: Yes, they were. We're the same.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain:
    • On the one hand, The Riddler is played by Jim Carrey at the height of his Large Ham comedy days, he looks ridiculous in the Riddler outfits, and he's just plain weird. On the other hand, he terminates his boss by letting him drop hundreds of feet into the ocean out of a glass window, founded and built a hugely successful company and made a fortune from it, became a super-intelligent genius with his invention and used it to discover Batman's true identity, invaded Bruce's mansion to blow up the Batcave and most of Bruce's equipment (including the Batmobile and his suits), and if not for his psychological need to have Bruce live so he could show him up, Nygma could have killed him outright. Within the four Burton/Schumacher films, Edward Nygma is the most dangerous enemy Batman ever faced. The only reason Batman and Robin even make it to his base is because he didn't anticipate Batman having a Batcave under the Batcave.
    • Two-Face may have gone a bit overboard with the Giggling Villain riff, but he had Batman a thread away from death on at least two occasions: when he buried Batman alive with the cave-in caused by his grenade launcher, and during the invasion of Wayne Manor. In these instances, only the last minute intervention of another party saved The Dark Knight's bacon: Robin digging him out in the former, and The Riddler preventing Dent from finishing Bruce's off with a point-blank headshot in the latter.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: When Batman dives into the death trap to save Chase and Robin. When Batman attaches the cords to Chase and when he grabs Robin, they can be seen decelerating, rather than coming to a complete stop, implying the cords are elastic. This is more noticeable when Batman rescues Robin.
  • Offscreen Reality Warp: During Riddler's introduction scene to Two-Face (when he's first seen in his Riddler outfit), there is an Enigma Device that is missing from the background that not only appears out of nowhere, but also becomes a central plot-important prop as Riddler demonstrates the abilities of his devices on Two-Face's wives.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Two-Face when Batman emerges from a gas explosion in which Two-Face thought he killed Batman.
    • The Riddler, when he realizes Batman has foiled his plan. "Bummer."
    • His first scene with Two-Face, when the split-faced villain deliberates on whether he lives or dies:
      Two-Face: You have broken into our hideout.
      Riddler: [giggling and nodding like a goon]
      Two-Face: You have violated the sanctity of our lair.
      Riddler: [crushing realization hits]
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Bruce's reaction after seeing the Flying Graysons fall to their deaths, as well as seeing the pained look on Dick's face, as it reminded him of his own parents' deaths.
  • Old Media Are Evil: The Riddler's device feeds on idle, middle-class families staring droolingly at a television all day. That is literally his entire base of power.
    Newcaster: There is hardly a home without the NygmaTech Box. Critics have claimed the Box turns Gothamites into zombies. But Edward Nygma just shrugs: "That's what they said when TV was invented."
  • One-Winged Angel: It would have been played with. Original drafts of the script called for the Riddler to have become grossly muscled and huge when Batman finds him on Claw Island at the end. Batman assumes it's a side-effect of the Box process, and pities him. Then it's subverted; the Riddler hasn't been changed at all, he's just wearing a big muscled suit to mess with Batman some more, and he steps out of it. This was cut from the final draft, but was cut late enough to make it into the Novelization and the video game adaptations. It's also why Nygma is abruptly wearing a white Riddler suit for the film's final scene: the muscle suit was colored as such. In said novelization and video games, the Riddler's suit under the muscle suit is still his trademark green.
  • "Open!" Says Me: Bruce confuses Dr. Meridian's workout regimen with an intruder, and 'heroically' kicks down her office door. Chase drolly comments that Bruce Wayne, CEO can probably afford to buy her a new door, and Bruce feebly tries to prop it back onto its splintered frame, like that fixes it.
  • Out of the Inferno: When Batman follows Two-Face below the streets of Gotham, he's trapped in a room with an exposed gas main, which Two-Face ignites with a rocket launcher. Before he's engulfed in flames, Batman hits a switch that makes his cape completely flame-retardant; Two-Face and his cronies begin to dance in glee over immolating Batman, until the latter emerges running out of the flames, completely pissed, to the former's shock.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Dr. Chase Meridian is apparently proficient at boxing with a punching bag and succeeds in keeping off Two-Face's goons for some time, but still has to be rescued by Batman like ye olde Damsel in Distress.
  • Paid Harem: Two-Face's molls, Sugar and Spice. (You know...Debi Mazar and Drew freaking Barrymore!)
  • Le Parkour: How Dick breaks into the Batcave. Granted, it ends with an embarrassing spill down a flight of stone stairs.
  • Pass the Popcorn:
    • Nygma gleefully watching Two-Face's antics on the news.
    • While Batman brawls with his posse at the Ritz Gotham, a tuxedo-clad Harvey is nonchalantly sipping (yes) two cocktail martinis, watching the scene with amusement.
  • Personal Arcade: Edward keeps a carnival fortune teller booth in his home, upon which he bases his Riddler costume. It's dubbed "The Guesser" in the novel, and is based on an old children's TV show puppet.
  • Police Are Useless:
    • Take a close look at Stickley's "suicide note." Maybe Gordon's getting a bit long in the tooth for this job...
      To whom it may concern
      Gordon: Yep. Definitely suicide.
    • In the establishing shot of Two-Face's hideout, we see a number of police cruisers roar right past it, sirens blaring all the way.
    • Gotham Police Officer: (Pointing to a giant green question mark above the Bat Signal) "Who the hell's doin' that?"
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Done for humorous effect:
    The Riddler: "For if knowledge is power, then A GOD AM I!" (Beat) "Was that over the top? I can never tell!"
  • Pragmatic Hero: Despite telling Dick for much of the movie that killing Two-Face won't make things any better, Batman ends up killing Two-Face at the end of the movie. Though in this case, it wasn't so much out of hypocrisy as it was out of necessity, as Two-Face had the higher ground and was pointing a gun at them. Additionally, Batman had both Chase and Robin to worry about so in that instance, he wasn't given much choice but to protect them in any way he could.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Before killing Stickley, Eddie Nygma says, "You are fired! Or should I say... terminated?"
  • Product Placement:
    • Dick passes by a McDonald's restaurant while he took the Batmobile out for a ride.
    • Two-Face uses The Club to lock the helicopter's steering wheel.

    Tropes R-Z 
  • Race Lift: A very strange example. Billy Dee Williams played Harvey Dent in the first film, which was in itself a race lift from the comics where Dent was nominally white (his exact appearance depended on the artist, sometimes he was vaguely Italian). This movie is supposedly set in the same continuity as the first film but Tommy Lee Jones was cast to play the character. So this is an example of a reversed race lift in the same continuity.
  • Reaction Shot: The camera focuses on the reactions of Bruce and Chase after the Flying Graysons hit the ground.
  • Ready for Lovemaking: Parodied. In the Riddler's inner sanctum, Chase is chained to a (question mark-embroidered) chaise lounge, trapping her in this pose.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Elliot Goldenthal recycled a track from Alien³ in the scene when Dick chases the gang into an alley and the fight music from Demolition Man.
  • Revenge Is Not Justice: After Two-Face kills Dick Grayson's family, he immediately plans to kill him for revenge and Batman spends the film trying to talk him out of it. When Dick finds out Bruce's secret, he wants to join so he'd find Two-Face but Bruce rejects him because he knows from personal experience that revenge won't undo the damage done to him. Dick does eventually take this to heart and eventually saves Two-Face, only for the latter to betray him immediately afterwards. In the climax, Bruce causes Two-Face's death by throwing coins in the air as Two-Face is flipping his own coin, which causes him to lose balance when he tries to catch the original and tumble to his death.
  • Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: The movie is noticeably less dark than its two predecessors, even featuring a more over-the-top villain (the Riddler).
  • Riddle Me This: The trope-naming Riddler includes this trope verbatim in one of his quotes:
    "Riddle me this... riddle me that... who's afraid of the big, black Bat?"
  • Room Full of Crazy: Edward Nygma has at least one picture of Bruce Wayne in his office (which is really a cubicle that he put glass walls around to keep the other workers out) and his home is filled with yet more pictures and newspaper clippings of the same. As The Riddler, he starts sending crazy riddles to Bruce's home and office made out of newspaper clippings. He thinks Bruce Wayne is the only man who can understand his genius- when Bruce brushes him off, he snaps, murders his supervisor (after using his device on him, unintentionally stealing his brainwaves to make himself smarter).
  • Rule of Funny: Commissioner Gordon hurrying over to the Bat-Signal rooftop in his nightgown. He didn't even get dressed?
  • Rule of Symbolism: The outcome of Two-Face's final coin toss.
  • Rushmore Refacement: Two-Face defaces "Lady Gotham" (a Statue of Liberty stand-in and a Mythology Gag to the comics).
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The Riddler poses one to Batman at the climax: either save Chase or save Robin (a choice that also represents his two personas: Bruce and Batman). Obviously, he manages to rescue both, although the movie tries to admit a bit more realism by having Batman make the second catch damn close to reaching the Spikes of Doom.
    • The novelization, by Peter David, subverts it entirely. Batman catches the unconscious Chase, then looks for Robin, only to not find him entirely. He wonders if he could've fallen all that way, that fast, and calls out "Robin!" in despair. Robin, having braced himself on the inside of the tube, replies "Whatcha want?"
  • Safecracking: Batman uses this to break out of a safe that is being filled with boiling acid. He borrows a security guard's hearing aid to listen to the tumblers and crack it open.
  • Sampling: The SNES/Genesis game samples Two-Face's line "If the Bat wants to play, we'll play!" from the trailer.
  • Sanity Has Advantages: Two-Face has Batman on the ropes, about to shoot, when Batman reminds him to flip his coin. When he does, Batman throws out a dozen or so similar coins. Two-Face tries to catch them all, and falls to his death. In the Peter David novelization, Bats blindly throws a Batarang, hoping to knock the coin away and stymie Two-Face. It works, but Two-Face just leaps to catch the coin and falls two yards onto a girder, with the equivalent of "nice try". Then Robin calls him out on never using the coin on himself. He looks at the coin, and just lets go. Robin says he didn't actually mean to kill him, and Batman says that maybe Two-Face just made his first real choice in a long time.
  • Scary Black Man: The Neon Gang boss is a towering piece of bad news, as Dick finds out.
  • Schematized Prop: Played with when Bruce tries to use his cars in this manner to get Dick to stay. It fails. Then Dick sees the motorcycles, and he starts rattling off specs.
  • The Scream: Once the Riddler is bloodied and broken, Batman good-heartedly offers to help him to his feet — only for the Riddler to recoil in abject terror. All he sees is a giant bat.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Bruce Wayne grants Stickley's family full death benefits, even though his death was initially ruled a suicide, which nominally would have disqualified him from death benefits. He probably knew something was fishy.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Sugar & Spice know when to cut and run; they desert the Riddler once the throne room begins to explode.
    • The Neon gang recoil when they see the Batmobile roll up, and rightly so... but they all share a laugh when a not-so-bright Dick exits the car, which gives their female victim a chance to run. Later, Batman shows up for real, and they all flee like little girls.
    • Dick rode off Wayne Manor after Bruce has decided to give up on being Batman in order to have a normal life with Chase, and he refuses to help him in his vendetta against Two-Face. He comes back as Robin right after Two-Face and Riddler's siege on the manor.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: The movie has the Riddler in green with orange hair, while Two-Face has purple scarring on one side of his face, and a half-purple suit and tie.
  • See You in Hell: Two-Face says this to Robin while hanging from a ledge. Robin responds by rescuing him and saying, "I'd rather see you in jail."
  • Sexy Coat Flashing: Chase wears a black negligee and garters in anticipation of her liaison with Batman.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To the 1960s TV series in the scene when Batman and Robin first land on Two-Face's and the Riddler's base.
    • "That circus must be halfway to Metropolis by now."
    • "It's a trap!"
    • From the video game, the "Big Riddle" form of the Riddler can break Batman's back during the final boss fight.
    • The deleted scene with the giant bat owes something to Bernie Wrightson's cover for DC's ''House of Mystery'' #195.
    • In the climax, when Batman and Robin coming to their island headquarters, with Robin in the Batboat, Riddler and Two-Face set off a bunch of Sea Mines around ala Battleship. When the Batboat eventually explode and Robin is forced to eject, Riddler yells "You sunk my battleship!".
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: When they first meet, the Riddler spends several seconds praising Two-Face and his lair before getting into his proposed Villain Team-Up. Eventually, Two-Face fires a shot into the air next to his ear to get him to shut up and get to the point already.
  • Sickly Green Glow: This is the Riddler's visual-effects motif.
  • Sigil Spam: The Riddler's question marks, obviously, but Two-Face has his own unique insignia: A stylized Yin-Yang, with the "white" side dripping with blood. His giant explosive device is emblazoned with the symbol, as are his parachutes(!).
  • Sissy Villain: The friggin' Riddler. (He's even wearing rouge.)
  • Sky Heist: Two-Face baits Batman into a high-rise bank vault, before shutting it behind him and dragging the whole thing into the sky with a helicopter, while it fills with "boiling acid". (Why Two-Face felt the helicopter was necessary in a murder attempt is unknown, but presumably the whole thing can be chalked up to Rule of Cool.)
  • Skyward Scream: Each time Batman gets away, Two-Face takes it a little more badly. During the car chase, the Batmobile drives up a vertical facade, leaving Harvey at street level and hopping mad. Later, when the Riddler hands him a newspaper reporting Batman's escape from the subway, he literally rears his head back and bawls like a baby.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: When Batman visits Chase in her bedroom, she's clearly not wearing anything under the sheets.
  • Smooch of Victory: Dick Grayson (pre-Robin) gets one of these. In this case, the girl invokes this trope via directly asking him if he's gonna kiss her after saving her life, and Grayson was more than happy to comply.
    Dick: I could definitely get used to this super hero gig.
  • Soft Reboot: It nominally takes place in the same continuity as the Tim Burton Batman films, but it changes the design of Gotham, introduces a new cast — including doing away with Michael Keaton as Batman (Alfred's and Gordon's actors still stay on for the next two movies) — and goes over Batman's origin after Batman (1989) did the same.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Inverted. Chase, in a hurry to be rid of Bruce, dismisses his riddle-loving stalker as a "total wacko." Bruce asks whether that's a term they teach in academia, and Chase retorts with a long, professional-sounding diagnosis.
    Bruce: So what you're saying is... the guy's a total wacko.
  • Split Personality: One the film's major themes is the notion of duality, and it manifests in three of the major characters:
    • The most obvious example is Harvey Dent/Two-Face, but it's a rather complicated case. In the comics and animated series, Harvey Dent does go insane, but it's clear that "Two-Face" is a title he has given himself rather than a separate individual. Here, though, Two-Face is an entirely separate personality from Dent, and the two apparently share a single body; Dent is the "good" side that looks mostly human, while Two-Face is the purple, acid-scarred, "bad" one. This is further emphasized by Dent/Two-Face consistently referring to himself with plural pronouns ("The Bat's stubborn refusal to DRIVING US INSANE!"), having Sugar and Spice prepare two separate dinners for him (one for each half), and, during the finale, leaping out of the shadows and introducing himself twice.
    • Edward Nygma/The Riddler seems to be showing the symptoms as well (and, at the end of the movie, goes batshit insane, believing that he is the Batman).
    • Bruce Wayne/Batman visits Dr. Chase Meridian, who discusses and lampshades the trope to him.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Chase Meridian is a rare heroic example. She's intellectually curious (maybe more than normal) and romantically attracted to Batman.
    • Edward Nygma is an actual stalker, posting sinister mail to his target, having photos and newspaper clippings of them all over his office and home, and dealing with his rejection by plotting to show up, humiliate and eventually kill him.
  • Start My Own: After Bruce rejected The Box on ethical grounds, Nygma quit Wayne Enterprises to form Nygmatech, where The Box became a huge success.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: In this movie, Bruce premieres an experimental SONAR batsuit.
  • Storming the Castle: The invasion of Riddler's Island Base.
  • Straw Nihilist: Two-Face's coin speech at the beginning of the film. This is about as faithful to the comics as Tommy Lee Jones is going to get, so fans will savor it.
    Two-Face: One man is born a hero, his brother a coward. Babies starve, politicians grow fat. Holy men are martyred, and junkies grow legion, why? Why, why, why, why, why? ...LLLUCK! BLIND, STUPID, SIMPLE, DOO-DAH, CLUELESS LLLUCK!
  • Suddenly Shouting: Riddler gets to indulge in this. It comes with being a Large Ham played by Jim Carrey.
    Riddler: Batman? Batman, you say? Coming for you? [long pause] I'm... COUNTING ON IT!!
  • Suicide Is Painless: Edward Nygma hacks Wayne Industries' video feed to cover up his murdering his boss, and he edits the video to make it seem he commits suicide this way.
  • Supervillain Lair: Two-Face's base is hidden in the fixtures of a bridge and is split down the middle between an art deco suite from the 1960s and some kind of S&M dungeon. Nygma, starting his criminal career from the ground up, gradually builds himself a throne room filled with all the question marks his heart desires.
  • Super Window Jump: Batman does this through a ceiling window to confront Two-Face after he crashes Edward's event. Edward tells Two-Face: "Your entrance was good, his was better."
  • Swivel-Chair Antics: Edward Nygma ties his boss to a rolling office chair and rolls out a window, then later makes it look like a suicide.
  • Tap on the Head: Poor Alfred gets beaned with Riddler's metallic cane.
  • Take My Hand!: Near the climax of the movie, Robin does this to save the villain Two-Face from a deadly fall, preferring to see him rot in jail than to be responsible for his death. In an unusual twist, as soon as he's safe Two-Face pulls a gun and takes Robin hostage.
  • Taking You with Me: The Riddler attempts this — as his brain is overwhelmed by the unfiltered Box energy beam, he still summons the willpower to press the button on his scepter twice and activate the trapdoors on Chase and Robin's tubes. Contrary to his hopes, Batman does manage to save both of them; as well, the Riddler survives the mental overload but is so broken that he no longer is a threat.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Dr. Meridian describes bats as "flying rodents", a mistake that Batman corrects.
    Dr. Chase Meridian: Well, let's just say that I could write a hell of a paper on a grown man who dresses like a flying rodent.
    Batman: Bats aren't rodents, Dr. Meridian.
  • Technical Pacifist: This is actually the first film of this series to portray Batman as this, rather than someone who is outright killing mooks.
  • Tempting Fate: The novel includes a scene where Bruce and an employee discuss Nygma's The Box, and the employee says Bruce has a good case for a lawsuit, since Nygma started creating it at WayneTech. Bruce says he already has enough money, and the last thing he needs is any more interaction with Nygma.
  • Tested on Humans: Edward previously asked Bruce to allow him to conduct human trials, but the boss said no way. Stickley is the first (unwilling) participant in the Box experiments.
  • Thematic Sequel Logo Change: Forever replaces the oval around the symbol with the curve of a question mark, representing the Riddler, and gives it green and blue highlights representing Two-Face.
  • Theme Music Abandonment: The movie replaces Danny Elfman with Elliot Goldenthal, who provided a lighter and more traditionally heroic theme as part of the shift to a Lighter and Softer tone.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich:
    • Bruce and Alfred are devious when they work together. Bruce shows off his motorcycle showroom to Dick, and the youth suddenly takes a shine to his new dad. On cue, in waltzes Alfred with a platter of food:
      Alfred: Is the young master leaving? Pity. I'll just throw this away then. Perhaps the dogs are hungry.
    • Whatever happened to Sugar and Spice's ridiculously lavish, six-course dinner that they prepared before Riddler turned up? Maybe Harvey invited Eddie to join them at the table after all. (That must have been a sight to see.)
  • Tim Taylor Technology: Edward Nygma (soon to become The Riddler) straps his boss to a chair to use him as a guinea pig for his augmented reality TV system, "The Box". The man is left enraptured by the illusion, but when it starts to break down, Nygma applies "more power!" in an attempt to fix it...and ends up discovering that The Box, in addition to making people experience television in immersive 3D, depletes their IQ and adds it to his own.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: During the siege of Wayne Manor, Bruce's forehead is grazed by Two-Face's bullet, causing him to tumble off a marble staircase. The fall seems to inflict more harm than the gun does.
  • Title Drop: In a way, "Forever" is heard twice in the whole movie.
    Two-Face: [believing he's killed Batman] Farewell for-EVER to that pointy-eared...NIGHT rat!
    Bruce: [while telling Chase about his Dark and Troubled Past] I fell. I fell forever...
  • Totally Not a Criminal Front: Edward Nygma's criminal hideout is 'hidden' within the dome of his own Box factory.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The music video for "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal shows the scene where Batman destroys The Box, where The Riddler is stockpiling people's brainwaves, and the video for "Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me" by U2 shows Batman saving a captive Robin from being dropped into the pit below the Riddler's island. In other words, the two videos combined showed the majority of the movie's climax.
  • Trap Door: Rather than waste time trekking all the way to the Batcave from his plant, Bruce has a manhole installed directly under his office chair. Once in freefall, he gets deposited into a sarcophagus which travels at high speed until it reaches the cave.
  • Trash the Set: Upon finding the Bat-Cave, the Riddler sets to systematically destroy it piece by piece. For deliberately irony, he modeled the grenades he uses as little green bats.
    Riddler: You know, it's always risky introducing a tamed animal into the wild.[...]They may have trouble adapting to their new environment!
  • Truer to the Text: The campy elements of Batman are just as ingrained into the character's history as the dark vigilante. The movie also shows him taking pains NOT to kill anyone, using his skills as a Great Detective, being much more active in the Gotham socialite and charity scene, and acting as the kind of One-Man Army who drops in the middle of the bad guys and takes them all down, all of which are either non-existent or very subdued in the Burton movies.
  • Two-Headed Coin: Two-Face, as always. In one scene, however, he keeps flipping the coin until he gets the outcome he wants, making it a Double Subversion.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Chase falls in love with both Bruce Wayne and Batman, and doesn't realize they're both the same guy until she's kidnapped. The triangle is resolved partway through the movie when Chase dumps Batman for Bruce Wayne. Batman, stoically, says that he understands, and manages to turn around and walk away before he breaks into a grin.
  • Two Roads Before You: It's presented as this when the Riddler has Batman choose between saving Robin or Chase. Ultimately subverted, as Batman saves them both because he chooses to be both Bruce Wayne and Batman.
  • Un-Confession: Bruce Wayne tries to announce his identity as Batman to a circus tent full of panicking people in order to stop Two-Face from releasing his massive bomb, but nobody hears him over the screams of the crowd. He also unwillingly spills the secret to Nygma, who later loses his mind and declares himself Batman when questioned by the Asylum staff after he begins to adamantly claim he knows who Batman is.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Debi Mazar as Spice.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: After the Riddler's destruction of what is actually just the top floor of the Batcave, Alfred points out a prototype suit Bruce had been working on. This moves the movie Batsuit from the Burton-era yellow-emblem design to the Schumacher-era sleeker design with the bat symbol emblazoned right on the chest.
    Bruce: Were all the Batsuits destroyed, Alfred?
    Alfred: All except the prototype with the sonar modifications you invented, but you haven't tested it yet!
    Bruce: Tonight's a good night.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Bruce, after Dick saves him. He just doesn't want him getting involved.
    Dick: You got a real gratitude problem, ya know that? I need a name! Batboy, Nightwing, I dunno, what do you think? What's a good sidekick name?
    Bruce: How bout Dick Grayson, College Student?
    Dick: Screw you! I just saved your life! You owe me!
    Bruce: You were way out of control! You're gonna get yourself killed!
  • Unsafe Haven: Dick Grayson accidentally stumbles into the Batcave, resulting in the Batcave's security alarm going off... while simultaneously turning on all of the gadgets and vehicles out on display, and not actually doing anything to remove the intruder.
  • Vengeance Denied: Dick Grayson wants revenge on Two-Face for the deaths of his parents and brother. Batman ultimately causes Two-Face's death, because he understands how Dick feels and doesn't want the young man to end up like himself.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: The film references this trope when Batman tries to persuade Dick Grayson not to pursue his revenge against Two-Face. The Riddler also uses this as a way to goad Two-Face into joining forces with him.
  • Verbal Tic: With the exception of a single line, Two-Face constantly refers to himself as "we." The credits even list him as "Harvey Dent/Harvey Two-Face."
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Bruce Wayne asks Sugar (one of Two-Face's babes) how to turn Edward Nygma's machine off. He takes the glowing green battery from her and goes in, and then Sugar produces a second, identical battery from down her cleavage and switches it on again.
  • Video Phone: Bruce's wristwatch allows him to converse with Alfred face-to-face.
  • Villain Song: "The Riddler" by Method Man.
  • Villain Teamup: Two-Face and The Riddler
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Edward Nygma becomes this when he uses the profits from his alter-ego's crime spree with Two-Face to start his own company and his "Box" device becomes hugely popular.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Due to various circumstances, Edward Nygma/The Riddler gets increasingly loopy throughout the film. Not that he wasn't clearly demented at the start...
      Nygma: [after his hero rejects his Box] You were supposed to understand. I'll make you understand.
    • Two-Face continuously has these throughout as a bit of a Running Gag whenever he fails to kill the Bat. Then toward the end, when he has his Disney Villain Death screaming frantically and falling to his death, reaching desperately for his coin.
  • Villainous Friendship: Riddler and Two-Face get along great and seem to be having the time of their lives in every scene they share. Even when Two-Face and his goons crash Riddler's party, he simply complains that Two-Face should have let him in on it.
  • Walk-In Chime-In:
    • As if breaking into Two-Face's hideout wasn't enough, the Riddler interrupts him during dinner!
      Riddler: I hope you made extra!
    • Curiously, upon second viewing and looking closely behind Spice while Sugar displays her dinner, it looks as if Jim Carrey wasn't hidden well enough before his big Riddler debut as you can see a bit of green in the background. It's almost as if they did so intentionally so that Carrey would know when his cue was.
  • Waxing Lyrical: When Nygma does his weird two-step routine in front of Stickley, he's actually humming "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails."
  • We Have Reserves: When his chopper pilot helpfully points out the black-clad superhero on their windshield, Two-Face simply shoots through him. (Yep, he literally shoots the messenger.) Later, his RPG misses the physics-defying Batmobile and slams into a carload of his own mooks instead.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Edward Nygma is clearly one at first, since he only wants to patent and market his virtual-reality invention - without approval from his superiors, if necessary - to spare the people of the world from "being brutalized by an uncaring reality" (which is a correlative to his own loneliness and sense of worthlessness). It's not until he accidentally discovers that "The Box" can extract information from human minds that he decides to go down the criminal route.
  • When Things Spin, Science Happens: The Box resembles a kitchen blender with rotating fins on either side.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Gotham may be located anywhere between New York and California. Lampshaded by the way it seems to borrow its landmarks (the Statue of Liberty and the Golden Gate Bridge both show up). Furthermore, if you consider Two-Face's coin (confirmed by the tie-in toy), Gotham even has its own currency!
  • While Rome Burns: Considering that Edward Nygma hasn't been publicly exposed as the Riddler, there's the appearance that he's doing this when his launch party is invaded by Two-Face and his goons.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Lampshaded.
      Riddler: If you kill him... he won't learn nothin'!
    • Earlier, The Riddler explained to Two-Face why he shouldn't just shoot Batman:
      Riddler: KILL THE BAT! Sounds like a good idea! But have you thought it through? A few bullets, a quick splash of blood, And Then What? Wet hands... post-homicidal depression... [pantomimes falling tears while making mocking blubbering sounds] I can help you get Batman. That is...if you'll spare my life for just a few moments.
  • Why Won't You Die?:
    • After Batman survives Two-Face's attempt to incinerate him (as the Bat comes running out of the fire, leaving Two-Face and his mooks jaw dropped), Two-Face, now mad with frustration screams, "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DIIIIIE?!" and fires a grenade at the support Batman was standing on, causing the entire structure to collapse and bury him. This might have actually worked had Dick not come along to pull Batman out of there.
    • Then there's The Riddler at the end, defeated and slowly going insane from his Box overload.
      Riddler: Why can't I kill you? Too many questions... too many questions...
  • World of Ham:
    • Two-Face and the Riddler, as ever. They seem to be locked in a death match over who can overact the most. Evidently, Jones was quite nonplussed at Dumb and Dumber squashing his vanity project at the box office, and was determined not to be upstaged.
    • Besides the villains, Bob Kane's widow Elizabeth as Gossip Gerty, Gotham's resident Joan-Rivers-up-to-eleven.
      Gossip Gerty: OHHHHHH! There's Bruce Wayne! Brucie!
    • Dick cruising for babes in the Batmobile. Or as he puts it, his "LURRRVE MACHINE, WOOO!"
    • The uncredited Ed Begley, Jr. is also quite over the top as Stickley ("What the HELLISGOINGONHEEERE?"). Perhaps he didn't take the movie very seriously. Nicole Kidman gets her slice of pork as well.
    • The Bank Guard, with his over the top observation, "OH NO!!! IT'S BOILING ACID!!!!" The whole scene with him was a Ham Chowder Feast.
    • Then there's a guy at Nygma's party who gleefully shouts "Batman! YAAAAAAAY!"
  • Wronski Feint: In a terrestrial variant, the movie shows the Batmobile accelerating into a brick wall before using a combination of rocket boosters and a grappling hook to drive up the wall. The pursuers drive right into it.
  • You Killed My Father: Robin wants Two-Face dead for killing his family.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: During their brief fight after Robin gets in over his head against a vicious gang and is saved by Batman, Robin takes out his frustration upon Batman. Two-Face had placed a bomb in the circus where Robin's family had performed, threatening to set it off unless Batman revealed himself. Robin's family tried to reach the bomb, but Two-Face killed Robin's parents and brother during the attempt.
    Dick: Bastard! It should have been you! It's your fault! If you'd told Two-Face who you were at the circus, they'd still be alive!
    Batman: If Bruce Wayne could have given his life for your family, he would have.
  • Zerg Rush: Dick easily takes a out a few Thriller wannabes, but they soon overwhelm him in number.

"I'm having a breakthrough! And a breakdown? MAYBE!"

Alternative Title(s): Batman Forever The Arcade Game


Kiss from a Rose

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