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Film / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

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"No one stays good in this world."
"Black and Blue. Fight Night! The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. God versus Man. Day versus Night. Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham."

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the 2016 sequel to Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder and the second film in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio (Argo) and based on a story by David S. Goyer and Zack Snyder.

Two years after saving humanity from destruction, Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill) has taken his place as an icon and hero that makes the planet a safer place to live. But many still distrust the "Man of Steel", after the damage his battle with General Zod wrought on Metropolis. Fearing the destruction a godlike and now unrivaled superhuman could cause if he ever turned against those he protects, billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who fights crime as the vigilante Batman, has focus on preparing. His goal: destroy Superman and his apparent hidden schemes, whatever the cost.


But not all is as it seems, as corporate mogul and prominent Metropolis citizen Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) secretely engineers a war between Metropolis' Man of Steel and Gotham's Dark Knight.

Before the film was released it was announced that there would be a Director's Cut called the "Ultimate Edition", as the theatrical version was trimmed from an R-rating for some sequences of violence that were deemed too harsh for a PG-13 rating (which is what Zack Snyder was aiming for; he was actually surprised when the MPAA re-rated the longer version of the film). The Ultimate Edition is over half an hour longer, features an expanded story and includes Jena Malone after her character Jenet Klyburn was cut from the theatrical version.

The story is continued in both 2017's Justice League and 2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League, the latter being the true sequel that was envisioned by the crew that made Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman.


Previews: Teaser, Comic-Con 2015 Trailer, Sneak Peek, Trailer 2, TV Spot 1, TV Spot 2, TV Spot 3, Sneak Peek 2, TV Spot 4. Trailer 3. Ultimate Edition.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice provides examples of:

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    Tropes A to E 
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Like in the Batman-centric movies since 1989, Batman wears black makeup around his eyes, which disappears immediately after he's unmasked by Superman. This is because the mask's eye-holes would be quite small if they were to replicate the comic look exactly, affecting both comfort and expressiveness. Instead, costume designers go for bigger eye-holes and the actor's skin that is exposed through those holes is covered up with makeup to simulate the look — and nobody wants to see him with "raccoon eyes" once he's unmasked. A similar "disappearing makeup" scene also happened in Batman Returns. Of course, said scene is All Just a Dream anyway.
  • Action Girl: Wonder Woman makes her (live-action) cinematic debut; her major contribution to the film is to jump in during the climactic fight scene where she holds her own at least as well as the similarly-powered Superman.
  • Actionized Sequel: Inverted. While not lacking in the action department, Batman v Superman places more importance on drama and world-building and has considerably less focus on fight scenes and action compared to the film that preceded it, Man of Steel.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptation Amalgamation:
  • Adaptation Distillation: The story of the film draws many influences from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns for Batman's story and The Death of Superman for Superman, without being a direct adaptation of either story.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change: In the film's setting, Kryptonite was created by the World Engine's aborted terraforming of Earth during Man of Steel, rather than being brought to Earth by meteorites following Krypton's destruction.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: The traditionally blond Aquaman now sports dark hair (his actor, Jason Momoa, has brown hair). He does, however, appear to have blond highlights.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The costume designers manage to walk a tight line between evoking the classic Wonder Woman costume with a strapless bustier and swimmers cut, and making it seem more practical. Specifically: the bustier doesn't give her an Impossibly-Low Neckline, she has a microskirt that still shows off a lot of leg but looks a bit more like actual armored wear and her footwear extends all the way to her knees.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In previous Batman-Superman dust-ups in comics and animated adaptations, Batman never actually goes into battle hoping to kill Superman. In Justice League of America: Tower of Babel, he even comes up with nonlethal albeit painful countermeasures and in The Dark Knight Returns, Batman only wanted to beat up Clark, give him a Humiliation Conga and fake his death, and not actually kill him. This version of Batman on the other hand fully goes into battle with the intention of killing Superman, likening it to hunting an animal even, and he would have done it had Lois not arrived and pleaded for Superman's life.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Not a character, but kryptonite's effect on Superman. In this version there's no indication that kryptonite, in and of itself, can kill a Kryptonian. Instead, it only makes them vulnerable to other things that could kill them (traditionally it does both). Small amounts (of which Lex Corp has already recovered) are also useless outside of surgical equipment and its effects are shown to be very short-lived, whereas in other media even a sliver of kryptonite can bring Superman to his knees. This, in addition to the fact it is extremely rare Unobtanium, makes trying to take on Superman even with kryptonite extremely dangerous.
  • Age Lift:
    • Bruce is depicted as having a long career as Batman before Superman shows up, and is in his mid-40s (like Affleck), instead of the usual 30 to 35 from the comics and about the same age as Superman. Contrasting this, Jeremy Irons is about the right age for an Alfred early in Batman's career, but next to Affleck he could almost pass for an older brother.
    Bruce Wayne: You're getting slow in your old age, Alfred.
    Alfred Pennyworth: Comes to us all, Master Bruce. Even you've got too old to die young, and not for lack of trying.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The A.I. on Zod's ship. It warns Luthor that combining human DNA with Zod's corpse to create a Humanoid Abomination is forbidden by the Krypton High Council. However, when Luthor points out the High Council no longer exists, it proceeds with Luthor's commands.
  • All There in the Manual: Batman's apparently fatal methods against criminals have proved controversial among some fans. But the tie-in books and comics clearly say he has a no-killing code with them. Zack Snyder acknowledged that Batman doesn't directly "kill" Mooks as in straight up shooting them but rationalizes their deaths via ricochet, their own weapons as collateral damage, and amounting to "manslaughter more than murder"note  and he distinguishes between mooks and civilians, putting the latter on priority over the former. Hence his shooting the flamethrower container and sparing Martha in exchange for the mooks.note 
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: Played on the bagpipes during Superman's funeral.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Lex has a tendency to be a twitchy in personal conversations and mutter to himself in fragmented sentences. During a social function he manages to hold the audience's attention for about 30 seconds until he gets distracted and goes on an awkward tangent.
  • The Anti-Christ: Invoked against Superman, with some labeling him a "False God" and so forth.
    Lex Luthor: But we know better now, don't we? Devils don't come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
  • Anti-Hero: The movie plays up Batman's nightmarish appearance and sometimes destructive battles; while he's still obviously a hero, it really emphasizes him as Good Is Not Nice in comparison to Superman.
  • Arc Words:
    • A carryover from Man of Steel, Clark regularly refers to his Kryptonian heritage as "my world" in some fashion, whether it be the crest on his chest or in reference to the origin of Doomsday. In a daydream he had of his human father, Jonathan Kent told Clark that meeting Martha changed his life, made him see the good in the world, saying "she was my world." In the climax, Clark is next to Lois and weakened from the Kryptonite spear, watching in vain as Doomsday grows stronger. He realizes "THIS is my world" and then says to Lois "You are my world," before taking the spear to perform a heroic sacrifice.
    • Superman also tells Batman "She was my world!" before unmasking and killing him in a nightmare sequence. The "she" referenced here is most likely Lois Lane.
    • Batman has an argument with Alfred over his vendetta against Superman, saying "Twenty years in Gotham. How many good guys are left? How many stayed that way?" When Superman is blackmailed by Lex to kill Batman he says to Lois "No-one stays good in this world." At the end, at Clark's funeral at the Kent homestead, Bruce is talking with Diana and suggesting trying to find other metahumans to work together. Diana says that man made a world where working together is impossible, to which Bruce replies with "Men are still good."
  • Armor Is Useless: Thoroughly averted. Both his regular suit and Powered Armor prove to be absolutely vital to Batman's survival. The armor allows him to take large amounts of punishment in his confrontation with Superman, and in a fight with some mercenaries his headpiece is seen deflecting bullets at close range.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: The interior of LexCorp is very informal and comparable to a Facebook office.note 
    Lex Luthor: Would you step into my office here? [sits down at a snack bar all of two feet away] Yes?
  • Arc Words: Both titular characters have them.
    • For Batman: "Men are still good".
    • For Superman: "She was my world" and "You are my world".
    • For both of them: "Martha".
  • Artistic License: The movie marquee during the has an advertisement for Film/Excalibur releasing the upcoming Wednesday. However, that movie was released on a Friday in April, not Autumn as the movie depicts. Autumn was most likely chosen for the gloomy atmosphere during Thomas and Martha’s funerals.
  • Artistic License – Physics:
    • The effects of nuclear weapons in high atmosphere mean that those nukes would have caused much more damage from EMP to both cities and satellites.
    • Also, after taking said nuke, Superman should have fallen down. Just because something's out of the atmosphere doesn't mean it automatically floats aroundnote .
  • As Himself: Even if they're credited with their own names rather than "As Himself", various reporters, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and in the extended cut, Jon Stewart.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Superman, facing an enemy who is immune to bludgeoning damage and worse than immune to energy damage is to punch it and shoot eye beams at it. Good thing he had two much more pragmatic allies, or he would have eventually lost having no damage to anything but the city.
  • Atlas Pose: Superman is shown holding part of a Soyuz spacecraft over his head, very close to this pose.
  • Audience Surrogate: Oddly enough, Lex Luthor. Much of his dialogue is highlighting just how much people want Superman and Batman to fight it out, coming close to Breaking the Fourth Wall in doing so. He even enjoys the sight of their alter-egos meeting. Of course, he already knows who they are.
    Lex Luthor: Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent! Ha, I love it; I love bringing people together.
  • Avengers, Assemble!: Bruce says in the ending that he plans on recruiting the metahumans Lex had files on, so that they'll be ready to fight together if need be.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Batman to Superman, reinforced by the voice changer.
      Batman: Tell me. Do you bleed? [Superman takes off] You will!
    • Wonder Woman, when Superman describes Doomsday as being "from another world, my world":
      Wonder Woman: I've killed things from other worlds before.
  • Badass Bystander: As noted in this video, one particular thug in the warehouse fight turns out to be marginally tougher and more difficult that the others. He manages to disarm Batman of his grappler, get off a few knife swipes against his gauntlet, pulls him to the ground by his cape and stabs him in the shoulder. It's no real surprise Batman decides to stab him in return.
  • Badass Normal: Batman, as per tradition. He's a normal human in peak condition who relies on intelligence and prepared traps to fight his enemies, and with the right weaponry actually go toe-to-toe with the Flying Brick that is Superman. He also manages to not only survive the battle against Doomsday, but with quick thinking, out-maneuver the creature and assist in killing it.
  • Bad Future: The nightmare is heavily implied to be a vision of a possible future Gone Horribly Wrong. It comes as a result of Lois dying in that timeline (later revealed by Zack Snyder to be an Aborted Arc, with Darkseid killing her in the scrapped original script of Justice League), ensuring that Batman and Superman remain enemies, that Superman allies himself with Darkseid and that the Justice League never forms.
  • Bald of Evil: Interestingly, Big Bad Lex Luthor has a full head of hair for the vast majority of the film; he only ends up losing all of his hair in the final moments as it's shaved off when he's carted off to prison.
  • Barbarian Hero: Aquaman, a hero with wild dreads, a beard, a bare chest, and extensive tattoos.
  • Bathroom Search Excuse: Bruce Wayne is caught sneaking around in Lex's mainframe. He claims he had one too many drinks and desperately needed the bathroom.
  • Batman Gambit: Lois asks Secretary Swanwick how could Lex Luthor know that Superman would show up in the desert, then she realized that because she was endangered, he would come wherever she was. Then, he pulls a second one on him to get Supes to come out of hiding, by tossing Lois off the roof of the LexCorp Building.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Done gradually rather than all at once. It's said throughout the film that Batman has become more violent, ruthless and cruel ever since Zod's attack on Metropolis in Man of Steel, and that he blames Superman for it. His story is about that moral descent into wanting to kill Superman, and doing so with premeditated intent.
    • In the Bad Future nightmare, Batman has abandoned all pretense of Thou Shalt Not Kill and openly uses an assault rifle and sidearm.
    • Batman made a promise: Martha would not die that day. So in order uphold his promise in the Mexican Standoff culminating in his warehouse onslaught after seeing the true murderous intent in Knyasev's eyes... Batman shot his flamethrower tanks.
  • Battle in the Rain: Batman and Superman have a face off in a rainstorm.
  • Beam-O-War: Between Superman and Doomsday. And it is glorious. Doomsday wins, but props to Superman for trying.
  • Beat Still, My Heart: The "Knightmare" ends with Superman tearing Batman's heart out.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Batman goes after Superman because he feels the world would be safer and "make sense" again once he is gone. In the climax Doomsday kills Superman and Batman is wracked with guilt, knowing now what kind of person Superman is.
    • Lex thinks he can get off the hook for all the horrific things he did (such as treasonous mass murder at the Senate hearing, and loosing a nigh-unstoppable monstrosity on the world) by pleading insanity. Batman, however, rolls with that and arranges for him to be sent to Arkham Asylum instead of the (comparatively) cushy mental hospital he was expecting to end up in.
  • Beware the Superman: Invoked by the anti-Superman factions in the film, who are wary of what kind of world could come about if Superman was left unchecked and turned out to be A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Big Bad: Corrupt billionaire Lex Luthor serves as the film's main antagonist, and mutual enemy to both Superman and Batman.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Wonder Woman saves Batman from Doomsday's eye-beam.
  • Big "NO!": Batman during the Bad Future nightmare, when La Résistance prisoners are ruthlessly gunned down by Superman's soldiers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Doomsday is defeated, Luthor is jailed, the foundation of the Justice League is set, and the horrific future that Batman sees in the nightmare is averted — or, at the very least, stalled. However, this comes at the cost of Superman's life (which leaves the world in a more vulnerable state), and Luthor reveals that more alien threats are on the way. Luckily, Superman appears to be regenerating, although none of his allies know about this.
  • Blade on a Stick: Batman fashions a spear with a Kryptonite blade in order to fight Superman. It's used by Superman at the end of the movie to kill Doomsday.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation:
    • A really bizarre case happens in the Japanese version of the film and also overlaps with Gratuitous English: The Japanese title of the film is "Batman v Superman: Justice no Tanjou", which stands for the the same thing. The egregious part of it is the fact the word justice was left untranslated and only transliterated to katakana, rather than using the Japanese word "seigi" in kanji for the same concept.note 
    • In Israel, when Diana reads the message sent to her, the word "you" is translated as the male form. This is particularly bizarre, as Diana's actress, Gal Gadot, is a born and raised Israeli who has Hebrew as her native language, and can barely hide her Hebrew accent throughout the film. You'd think she'd know!note 
  • Blunt "Yes": When Superman and Luthor confront each other.
    Superman: You think I'll fight him for you?
    Lex Luthor: Mn, yes I do.
  • Book-Ends: We open and close the film with two caskets about to be buried — Thomas and Martha Wayne in the opening, then Superman's empty coffin for the military/public funeral in Metropolis and Clark Kent's coffin with him inside at the funeral in Smallville in the ending.
  • Boom, Headshot!: During a melee, a mook runs up behind Batman and shoots him in the back of the head at point-blank range. Fortunately his cowl is bulletproof, though Batman flinches in visible pain.
  • Borrowed Biometric Bypass: Lex uses Zod's fingerprints, skinned using a kryptonite scalpel, to gain access to the crashed Kryptonian vessel. Using this access as a stepping stone, he creates access for himself.
  • Break the Badass: Superman goes through one hell of an emotional and physical breakdown, most of it engineered on purpose by Lex Luthor and his god-killing delusions.
    • The Joker inflicted this on Batman when he killed Robin a decade before.
  • Brick Joke: A very twisted one is set up by Lex Luthor for Senator Finch. As she rejects his request for an import permit for the kryptonite sample in the name of "planetary defense" and precaution, she tells him "You can piss in a jar and call it Granny's Peach Tea", but it won't fool a fly. Later, during the Congressional hearing, Finch interrupts her speech when she notices an open jar of clear yellow liquid has replaced her water glass but carries on until she notices it is labeled "Granny's Peach Tea" seconds before the bomb goes off.
  • Bullet Catch: Batman fires a grenade at Superman, only for the Man of Steel to grab it in front of his face. Meaning the grenade is at exactly the right distance when it explodes to give Superman a faceful of Kryptonite gas. So this was likely a literal Batman Gambit by the firer.
  • Bulungi: Lois Lane's first appearance is in the fictional African desert nation of Nairomi. The name is most probably inspired by Nairobi, the capital and largest city of Kenya.
  • Burn the Witch!: Invoked by Luthor, who declares that as the mother of a "flying demon", Martha Kent must be a witch. He has a mook standing by with a flamethrower to deliver the "traditional punishment".
  • Burying a Substitute: At the end, Superman dies, and his funeral is held in 2 places: one at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors but the casket is actually emptynote  while the real body is buried at the more intimate funeral in Smallville.
  • Call-Back: To Man of Steel. Early in that movie, Clark refers to Krypton as "his world". In this movie, he says the same thing about Earth.
  • Calling Card: Batman tends to leave a batarang embedded somewhere in the places he visits. Before we even see him the police find one at the hideout of a human trafficker. When he raids Lex Corp, he left one in the case holding the Kryptonite.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Superman isn't shown to do this regularly, but he does happen to do so once, right before Batman kills him, and his plea to 'save Martha' just so happens to echo Thomas Wayne's last words, deeply resonating with Bruce, who then spares Superman. Good thing Supes happened to say that instead of the much more realistic and in-character request to 'save my mom'...
    • ...especially considering him saying 'save my mom' to the crazed man a moment away from stabbing the alien dead has a high likelihood of leading to the crazed man going '"Mom"? So there ARE more aliens! I knew you were up to something!' and then stabbing him dead.
  • The Cameo:
    • Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash appear in the files Bruce Wayne stole from Lex Luthor and sent to Diana Prince.
    • Talk show host Charlie Rose, documentary producer Vikram Gandhi, scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson and author/blogger Andrew Sullivan have cameos as themselves in the "Must there be a Superman?" sequence.
    • Long-time Batman fan Senator Patrick Leahy also has this as the latest of his several cameos through the years, the first of which was in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Showdown".
    • Powerlifting vlogger and personal trainer C.T. Fletcher plays the prisoner who gets tipped by Knyazev and stabs Cesar Santos.
    • Lebanese billionaire Ayman Hariri, who's a friend of Zack Snyder, appears as one of the customers at the restaurant in which Martha Kent works as a waitress.
    • Deborah Snyder, co-producer and wife of Zack, appears as one of the mourners who bring food at the Kent house at Clark's funeral.
    • Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) returns in a dream sequence where Clark talks to him about what he should do next.
  • Cape Snag: A mook drags Batman to the ground by his cape. It only slows him down for a second.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Both of Superman's antagonists happen to be successful tycoons. They're also depicted as barely-contained madmen who hate what they can't control. There's no mistaking them for just being eccentric.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Chair Reveal: This is how Luthor presents Keefe with his new electric wheelchair.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When preparing his Kryptonite weaponry, Batman only had enough to make three gas grenades. He uses two in his fight with Superman, and the last against Doomsday, who is also vulnerable to Kryptonite.
  • The Chessmaster: The plot is Lex's plan to get Superman axed, down to the most minute angle and set up months in advance. He set up his own men in Africa to frame Superman for the innocent casualties there, knowing full well that even if the military puts two and two together, they won't go public with the truth since guess who those weapons were going to be for. All of this, while he's bringing in a massive Kryptonite shipment and freely experimenting on Zod's corpse illegally. He's unable to legally get permission to bring over his Kryptonite shipment as Senator Finch is too smart to buy his rationalization, but that's okay. He plays upon the tragedy of Wallace Keith and the burning, vengeful grudge within Bruce Wayne to drive Wallace to be his unintentional suicide bomber — driving public opinion of Superman down further — and pushing Batman beyond the Rage Breaking Point.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Lex Luthor is very hammy and can go on very odd tangents sometimes. Such as when he gave a speech about Greek history and goes on a rant about gods/devils.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: In addition to the glasses, Clark wears loose clothing to hide his Heroic Build to conceal the fact that he's Superman. When Luthor raps him on the chest, it makes a very distinctive thud.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • As established at the end of Man of Steel, Clark wears glasses and tweed jackets, and has messy hair to contrast Superman's perfectly coiffed hair and the tight suit emphasizing his musculature. In addition Superman has a much more rigid posture, as Clark Kent looks more relaxed. Clark also has a brash, aggressive personality to contrast Superman's gentleness. Superman's mannerisms are also a blatant affectation, as he drops them the moment he is alone with someone who already knows his secret identity, even while still in the suit.
    • Wonder Woman takes the persona of antique dealer Diana Prince to blend into high society, where she meets Bruce Wayne. She's appropriately dressed for the occasion.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames:
    • Like in Arrow, Anatoli Knyazev is not called KGBeast. Justified, considering that the KGB has long since been disbanded.
    • "Doomsday" is never used as a proper name for the creature created from Zod's reanimated body, but rather as a term used by Lex Luthor to describe its intended role of killing Superman.
    • Played with; Batman is only once called such; whenever they feel the need to call the night vigilante something the news and Perry White just call him the "Gotham Bat," except when Perry says, "Nobody cares about Clark Kent taking on the Batman."
  • Composite Character:
    • Lex Luthor is actually Alexander Luthor, Jr., a separate character from the comics. He starts off with a full head of hair like Alexander before losing it and more closely resembling the villainous Lex.
    • General Zod's body is transformed into Doomsday. Doomsday's origin in this film - being created by Lex Luthor from a Kryptonian - also brings to mind Bizarro's origin in at least two continuities.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The film has strong influences from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and The Death of Superman.
  • Continuity Nod: Metropolis is still under repair after the destruction in Man of Steel. Ground zero was converted into a large park, with a Superman statue next to a memorial of those who died. Zod's body was also confiscated by the government.
    • One nod actually slipped by audiences for some time, Superman rescues a child during the Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico and finds a crowd dressed and painted like skeletons reaching out to touch him in reverence. The skull imagery is similar to a vision Superman had in Man of Steel where Zod explained he would wipe out the human race to rebuilt Krypton, and Superman sinks into a large pile of skulls, even reaching out in desperation.
  • Continuity Reboot: Interestingly as part of a crossover rather than a standalone film, this film ignores the history from The Dark Knight Trilogy for Batman entirely, because the Nolan Trilogy is a self-contained, stand-alone story. The Batman of this film is a whole new iteration much closer to Frank Miller's 1980's comic books.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Batman promises to save Martha, and he only has 10 minutes to do so, so it's pretty lucky that Alfred has managed to track Knyazev's phone just then. Also, it's good for Batman that Knyazev is actually on the site with Martha, when he could've just let his army of goons take care of the situation, leaving Batman with no means of finding her.
  • Conveniently Empty Building:
    • The news reports of Doomsday in Metropolis, specifically on the Lex Corp tower, mention that it is fortunate most of the population is at home and not at work. This is just moments before a giant energy wave is unleashed that causes significant damage to nearby, lit-up skyscrapers.
    • Played straight with Superman's battle against Batman. The building has been long abandoned and looks like it's about to collapse anyway, and the graffiti on the walls suggests it was The Joker and Harley Quinn's hideout. Batman tries to draw Doomsday's attention to that site, as he has Kryptonite-based weapons left there from his fight with Superman. Wonder Woman criticizes him for luring Doomsday from an uninhabited island in the bay back to the mainland, but Batman mentions that the entire docks are empty.
  • Cool Car: The Batmobile, naturally. It seems to be a mix of the Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy and the art deco hot rod from Batman (1989) and Batman Returns. It also has more than a passing resemblance to the versions from Beware the Batman and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: It's Batman versus Superman! What else would you expect?
    • Somewhat deconstructed in that it has been done more like a tragedy with a build-up to it and long term consequences on that universe than simply a duel for the sake of "Cool and Awesome".
  • Cops Need the Vigilante: Zig-Zagged; the Gotham police are accused of turning a blind eye to Batman's vigilantism, but there's none of the covert cooperation seen in other movies (for instance Commissioner Gordon doesn't appear). A rookie policeman even fires on Batman in a panic on coming face-to-face with him for the first time. His partner says (after nearly getting his own head shot off) "Don't shoot the good guys." Is he referring to himself, or Batman?
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The movie follows the modern idea of Lex Luthor being one. Here he uses "private security forces" to create incidents that allow him to manipulate politicans, and smuggles materials that he needs to accomplish his Evil Plan. This is in contrast to the "Honest Corporate Executive" in Bruce Wayne and to the land-grab-scheming outlaw portrayals of past movies.
  • Cramming the Coffin: Inverted. Superman had two funerals, one for Superman which was a widely attended public funeral where he was buried with full military honors, and given a memorial which had a candlelight vigil attended by thousands of mournful citizens. There had been a more private ceremony held for Clark Kent back in Smallville, where the body had actually been buried.
  • Creator Cameo: Zack Snyder has a vocal cameo in the "Knightmare" sequence. It's his voice that says "Yeah, we got it." when a chunk of 'kryptonite' is brought to Batman.
  • Crossover: Between Batman and Superman. However, this is not an Intercontinuity Crossover, as this movie sets up a shared cinematic universe for DC characters.
  • Cruel Mercy: Batman doesn't kill criminals, but he brands them with the Bat symbol to let other inmates know that they're responsible for particularly evil crimes. Prisoners mete out their own justice in a lot harsher fashion than Batman. The Ultimate Edition reveals that Lex Luthor has paid criminals to assassinate at least one person with the Bat brand, however, it could be inferred that the brand leading to criminals' death predates Luthor's involvement.
  • Crushing Handshake: Clark Kent does this (probably accidentally, as he's just had a tense conversation with Bruce Wayne) to Lex Luthor when they first meet. Luthor knows exactly who he and Bruce are, and is almost certainly trolling them when he delivers the line below.
    Lex Luthor: Wow, that is a good grip! [to Bruce Wayne] You should not pick a fight with this person.
  • Darker and Edgier: One of the early cuts of the film was rated R by the MPAA, revealed by the studio to be released as a Director's Cut. This would make it the first officially released film featuring either Batman or Superman to be rated R. The rating itself is actually not that unusual as many big films aim for PG-13 and end up being rated R by accident, forcing them to submit a different version.
  • Darkest Hour: After Doomsday takes a nuke and is not only alive but seemingly stronger for it, Secretary Swanwick makes it very clear that it is unkillable by any of their weapons. This sets the stage that Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman are the only ones who have a shot at stopping it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Alfred picks up on this role, contrasting Bruce's seriousness. At one point when he suggests Bruce find a cute Metropolis girl to settle down with, he pretends to be Bruce and say "In your dreams, Alfred."
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • The CIA mole who gets shot in the film was none other than Jimmy Olsen. Zach Snyder stated in an interview that there was "no room" for Olsen and it would be "fun" to kill off the character.
      Zack Snyder: We just did it as this little aside because we had been tracking where we thought the movies were gonna go, and we don't have room for Jimmy Olsen in our big pantheon of characters, but we can have fun with him, right?
    • Mercy Graves also doesn't survive to the end of the movie.
  • Debate and Switch: Senator Finch's raises some important issues, such as exactly who Superman is accountable to. Superman is willing to turn up at her committee to answer these questions only for the committee to be destroyed by a bomb blast.
  • Decomposite Character: Jimmy Olsen shows up early on as a CIA mole who is killed. Jenny from Man of Steel returns in this film and continues her role as an underling at the Daily Planet, having more of Jimmy's traditional role than the actual Jimmy.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Like Man Of Steel before it, the film deconstructs concepts glossed over in many comic book movies (such as exploring the consequences of the property damage that occurs in battles, and noting the political instability caused by a Physical God intervening in international affairs) before ultimately proving that even with said problems in mind, the world is much better off with superheroes than it is without them.
  • Deconstruction: Similar to what Lois did in Man of Steel, Lex Luthor is smart enough to follow the chain of clues to figure out Superman was Clark Kent long ago. The smartest man in the world is NOT fooled by Clark Kenting. Neither was he fooled by Bruce Wayne being a Rich Idiot With No Day Job.
    • Batman gets this in regards to how much torment a normal person can handle. After 20 years of crimefighting with no sabbatical, an ever-increasing crime wave and a dead sidekick, Batman has come a long way from the younger and idealistic vigilante audiences are used to.
    • The concept of the superhero vs superhero fight gets examined and deconstructed as well, shown as how it would theoretically happen in reality rather than glorifying it. it's ugly and brutal, and it's made clear neither participant is enjoying having to battle each other, Batman deems it necessary (even if for misguided reasons) to kill Superman before he gets the chance to snap and kill the entirety of humanity, while Superman comes to apologize for his own misdeeds and arrogance in their costumed first face-to-face meeting, as well as ask Batman for help in saving his mother.
  • Demoted to Extra: Jimmy Olsen, one of the more well-known supporting characters in the Superman franchise, shows up in a single scene at the beginning. He's tragically executed in front of Lois by the general just minutes after he appears.
  • Destructive Savior: Batman, and almost everybody on earth's, reason for distrusting Superman is the fact that his battle against General Zod multiplied the destruction, and death toll, already wreaked by the Kryptonian world engine.
  • The Determinator: Batman. You have to be one if you hope to stand a chance against Superman. In a fight against a squad of mercenaries, no matter how clever his gadgets are he slowly starts getting overwhelmed, but that's when he becomes even more dangerous.
  • Didn't Think This Through: All three of the main characters get a moment of this throughout the film.
    • The first comes for Superman, when he arrives at the Senate to speak about the incident in Africa, with witness from Wallace, who lost his legs due the to battle with Zod and had defaced Superman's statue in vengeance just before. Superman was too taken by his own nervousness to do a sweep check for any dangers. Cue Lex's bomb in Wallace's wheelchair going off and killing everyone present besides Superman. Then the Ultimate Edition reveals that Luthor lined the wheelchair with lead specifically to prevent Superman's X-ray vision from finding the bomb.
    • The second comes from Lex himself. In accordance with his overall objective he's been deliberately setting up some extreme goading for months for Batman to abandon restraint and resolve to kill Superman...thus does Lex return to Lexcorp, to find his men being pulled into ambulances, his building in ruin and, most importantly, his mass of kryptonite that he worked so hard to get into his hands absconded with. Whoops.
    • Last but not least, the Bat himself. In preparation for the upcoming battle, Batman developed kryponite gas grenades, knowing perfectly well that in a straight-up fight he hasn't a prayer. The problem is, he had nothing to test it on, so he has no clue going in how long it'll last. Cut to midfight after one dosage, and suddenly Batman's fist lands with a harmless "clang". Batman backs up defensively, knowing he just lost his edge and he has no "Plan B" for this. He only survives because Superman is really trying hard not to have to resort to killing him.
  • Differently Powered Individual: Lex brings up something he called the "Metahuman Thesis," which is an all-encompassing term for people with superpowers. He's revealed to be keeping files on such people. In the comics "Metahuman" was in reference to humans with a inherent gene that would manifest as superpowers (similar to the X-gene being the root cause of mutants in X-Men and Marvel universe). In the film (and sometimes in the comics as well) it's a general designation for anyone with unusual powers regardless of the origin, as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash are not considered metahumans in that sense in the DCU.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech: Luthor at the library gala starts out with a couple of lame attempts at humor and wanders through some stream-of-consciousness musings. It looks like he's finally on to something when he quotes Herodotos (see Shout Outs, below), but he loses the train and wobbles to a halt.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After refusing to play a part in Lex Luthor's game against Superman, Senator Finch is taunted that she's done exactly that during the congressional hearing of Superman and is then blown up along with pretty much everyone else present except Superman when the suicide bomber's bomb goes off.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The opening scene in which Bruce Wayne runs to the Wayne Financial building in Metropolis during the events of Man of Steel. He watches helplessly as Superman and Zod crash into the lower levels of the tower and stray heat vision takes out some of the lower levels and it collapses, creating a huge cloud of dust that Bruce runs through to get there and save anyone he can. Huh...a collapsing tower and a huge disaster which claims many innocent lives...
  • Don't Make Me Destroy You: Superman shouts "Stay down! If I wanted it, you'd be dead already!" to basically beg Batman to stop fighting him.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Batman, courtesy of Superman, in the nightmare sequence.
  • The Dragon: Doomsday is the final obstacle the heroes must overcome before taking down Big Bad Lex Luthor.
    • Anatoly Knyazev (known in the comics as the KGBeast) serves Luthor as a more traditional right hand man.
  • The Dreaded: Batman is naturally this, but he's apparently something of an Urban Legend in Gotham, keeping out of the public eye while still putting pressure on criminals. Clark describes him as "a one man reign of terror."
  • Drone of Dread: The World Engine terraforming drone sound returns, both in the Kryptonian Invasion prologue from Bruce Wayne's point of view, and again in Bruce's nightmares.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: When Superman calmly tells Lois, "I love you" after recovering the krytonite spear, Lois instantly realises what this means and begs him not to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He doesn't listen.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The Flash is introduced in a group of computer files that detail various metahumans right before the big climax of the film, but he first appears earlier by using his powers to travel into Bruce Wayne's dreams to cryptically warn him of a key factor in his upcoming battles.
    • When pilfering servers from Lex Corp, Bruce finds files on Diana, explaining why she was interested in the same thing. He later sends her related files on Barry Allen, Arthur Curry and Victor Stone. All of which show brief glimpses of their abilities, explicitly as a lead in to Justice League (2017).
    • After the climax, when a SWAT team arrives to arrest Lex, an image of a demonic figure holding three cubes is being projected by the scout ship, which is Steppenwolf and also a Sequel Hook to Justice League (2017).
  • Establishing Character Moment: As buildings are being destroyed during Superman's fight in Metropolis, bystanders are running away from the destruction. Bruce Wayne is running directly towards the destruction.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Averted. The fight goes on for a while, but due to the use of kryptonite, and Superman not unleashing his full strength, Batman has the edge through most of it. Bats wins decisively, and has Superman at his mercy and was going to kill Superman until he was talked out of it. There is no ambiguity about the winner.
  • Event Title: As suggested by the Versus Title, it refers to the conflict between Batman and Superman. The Dawn of Justice subtitle is also an obvious reference to the budding formation of the Justice League.
  • Everybody Owns a Ford: Or a Chrysler in this case. Various Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles are used in backgrounds, while one early scene gives prominence to Bruce's Jeep Renegade, with a special edition model linked to the film.
  • Evil Counterpart: Though he's Clark Kent's classic archenemy Lex Luthor serves as such to Bruce Wayne/Batman in this movie. Particularly in how each initially reacts to the presence of Superman because of their loss of faith in the idea of absolute good. Batman himself also arguably serves a similar function for Superman in representing a darker path he could go down if he lost his own faith.
  • Evil Gloating: Lex monologues much of his Evil Plan to Superman atop LexCorp Tower, showcasing how mad he is.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor is far campier and over-the-top in contrast to Batman and Superman.
  • Evil Is Petty: Luthor, though claiming to share the rest of Superman's critics' distrust, seems to have more personal but irrational insecurities against metahumans, Supes in particular, because their very existence makes him feel less powerful.
  • Exact Words: The excuse given to the Daily Planet regarding Clark's death is that he was in the field during Superman's fight with Doomsday doing his duty til the very end.

    Tropes F to K 
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • The Wayne Enterprises executive in the beginning, who upon realizing that the building he's in is about to be destroyed by Superman's fight with Zod, merely crosses himself and says one last prayer asking for mercy on his soul.
    • Superman himself as Batman is about to deliver the coup de grâce with the kryptonite spear. The only thing he asks is not mercy, it's saving Martha (his mother).
  • Failed a Spot Check: Somehow nobody notices that Wallace's wheelchair is carrying a bomb big enough to blow up the entire Capitol Building. Not just Superman with his X-Ray Vision (the ultimate cut reveals it to have been in a lead case, but he would have noticed the case itself). But no security guards, casual onlookers, even Wallace himself remain oblivious despite the fact that a bomb big enough to blow up the room let alone the entire building would be hard not to spot. Wallace in particular should have noticed that his wheelchair is weighed down by a bulky, heavy lead case.
  • Fallen Hero: In a sense, Batman through much of the early portions of the film; this is a Batman no longer concerned with those who get in his way and accepts his brutality as necessary. Essentially he had literally seen himself live long enough to become a villain. Thankfully, events in the film transpire to help bring him back around.
  • False Flag Operation: Lex Luthor's mercenaries massacre the rebels/terrorists at Amajagh's compound in Nairomi and make sure Superman is blamed for it.
  • Fanservice:
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Superman's Senate hearing is picketed by a distinctly Westboro-esque crowd, complete with "God Hates Aliens" signs.
    • Batman's xenophobia towards Superman leads him to momentarily believe that fellow metahuman Wonder Woman is in cahoots with him. This is similar to how some people will automatically assume that people of the same ethnicity must know each other regardless of outside factors.
      • His assumption isn't entirely unwarranted, however, due to Wonder Woman having immense powers like Superman, plus wearing the exact same colors on her outfit. That being said, Bruce has had enough interaction with her to be able to identify as an independent party.
  • Faster Than They Look: Doomsday looks like a lumbering brute, but by the end he clearly has better reflexes than Superman and dodge-counters every attack while not distracted by fighting someone else.
  • Fictional Country:
  • Fiery Coverup: Thrice in story. Though twice subverted; including the U.S. senate bombing. Luthor's right hand man applied this in order to frame Superman back in Nairomi, Africa; there in being he and his mercenary squad made an illicitly selling of cutting edge weapons tech to then said, local warlord, culminating in the clean up of said transaction via the torching of bodies belonging to their potential buyers. Which is again supplemented by the CIA's attempted aerial strike against a populated area surrounding the compound in order to suppress proof of both their's and the governments involvement with the whole operation, seeing as said parties were interested customers present at the site as well. Finally during Superman's court hearing we have the bomb disguised as Wallace Keffe's new wheel chair that blew up the Political Staging Grounds which only served to act as final nail for Bruce Wayne's boiling ire towards the former. But this was ultimately overturned as a certain reporter uncovered the remains of the hidden charge used during the assembly pinning Lexcorp to the whole thing.
    • The Extended Edition makes a point to state that the military’s investigators were able to determine pretty quickly that Superman didn’t kill the people in Nairomi.
  • Flipping the Bird: In the extended cut, CIA contact "Python" raises his middle finger at the drone for his superiors to see as it passes by him on its way to the terrorist base Lois and Jimmy Olsen were brought to.
  • Foil: The differences between the two title characters are emphasized — Superman is a superpowered alien who stands for light and hope, while Batman is a human with no powers who stands for darkness and terror. Lex picks up on this.
    Lex Luthor: Black and blue. God versus man. Day versus night! Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: The trio fighting Doomsday at the climax. Wonder Woman is the Fighter, using her sword, shield and lasso with few long-range options. Superman is the Mage, primarily using his Flight and Eye Beams and is a Glass Cannon in this fight due to being weakened by Batman’s kryptonite weapons earlier. Batman is the Thief, as the Token Human who has to dodge Doomsday’s blows and provide a distraction for Wonder Woman and Superman.
  • Final Battle: Between Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doomsday.
  • Foregone Conclusion: You would certainly think that it would be obvious Batman and Superman will put their differences aside and team up, laying the foundations of the Justice League (as the title implies). However, there's a twist to this. While Batman and Superman team up, Superman ends up dying (if only temporarily, as he's heard regenerating later) in his successful attempt to kill Doomsday, leaving Batman and Wonder Woman to form the team in his absence.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The "Knightmare" sequence, by Word of God, alludes to events that will become more important in Justice League (2017). The Parademons that attack Batman, combined with the presence of a gigantic Omega symbol in front of a destroyed city, signify that Darkseid will come into prominence in the years to come. The sequence itself is implied to be the result of The Flash from that Bad Future time traveling to warn Bruce about upcoming events and explain how to change it. When Flash appears what he says doesn't make sense because, as he says, he's too early and will make sense later.
    • At the beginning of the movie, one of the cops investigating a sex-trafficking case tells his partner "not to shoot at the good guys". Not only does it hint at the partner almost shooting the cop when trying to get to Batman, it also foreshadows Batman shooting Superman with grenades containing Kryptonite gas.
    • Some of Lex Luthor's lines also hint at later events in the movie.
      • "You should not pick a fight with this person." Lex says this to Bruce and Clark after noticing Clark's strong handshake. Given the name of the movie, it's not hard to see where this goes.
      • "You are going to be on the hot seat in there, Junebug." He wasn't lying, because Senator June Finch, along with everyone but Superman in the Capitol, is blown up by a very pissed paraplegic with a bomb.
      • "For the world to see the holes in the holy." This is Lex's boast to Superman about the possibility of the latter fighting Batman. However, he is unintentionally predicting Superman's Heroic Sacrifice against Doomsday, who is left with a gaping hole in his chest after being impaled by one of the latter's spikes.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The famous cover to Action Comics #1 is recreated as a news photo that momentarily flashes on screen at one point.
    • During Clark's and Bruce's conversation at a party, at one point you can see Diana walking right behind Clark, a few minutes before she appears in the plot proper.
    • While Bruce tries to pursue Diana at the party, he walks around staff pushing a cake shaped like the Senate. Of course, this is the building that later blows up.
    • During the fight between Batman and Superman in Gotham, you can briefly see "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" among the graffiti. Rather fitting, really.
  • Freudian Excuse: There's a reason Lex is so inclined to bring his father up in conversation so constantly...His father was abusive, driving Lex to not only despise him, but form some pretty warped opinions about the notion of a god existing. In enters Superman, who challenges Lex's worldview just by being.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Not so much in intensity, but what it represents. When Superman and Lex meet face to face, Lex calls him Clark Joseph Kent, also indicating that he knows who his mother is.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: In the Battle in the Rain Batman has glowing white eyes thanks to his his armor, and Superman has glowing red ones thanks to his heat vision.
    • Aquaman also has this, seen briefly in his cameo.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: In his cameo, Neil deGrasse Tyson points out that the whole Superman controversy stems from the entire human race suffering from this. After all, they found out that not only do aliens exist, but possess godlike powers and could singlehandedly destroy their entire species if they really wanted to.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • Invoked by Batman when justifying his plan to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill rule and eliminate Superman.
      Bruce Wayne: He has the power to wipe out the entire human race. If we believe there is even a one percent chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty!
    • Lex believes the same thing in a desperation move to kill Superman, releasing Doomsday.
      Lex Luthor: If man won't kill god, the devil will do it!
  • Good vs. Good: The premise used to sell the film is Batman fighting Superman.
  • Guttural Growler: This version of Batman has an added electronic filter making his voice sound deeper.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Martha Kent gives Superman a rousing speech about being a hero, and a symbol, and then abruptly ends it by saying, "Or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing. You never did." What she's saying is "having super powers does not mean you are obligated to be a hero, especially to those who won't appreciate it" and "be a hero because that's what you feel is the right thing to do, not because people demand that you should".
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Senator June Finch summons Superman to a Congressional hearing to decide whether he is a threat or not and to account for the destruction of Metropolis in Man Of Steel, with a legless Wallace Keefe as primary witness. Unfortunately, it's all a trap. Wallace's wheelchair, provided to him by Lex, was stuffed with explosives, and Superman is the only one who makes it out alive.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the climax, Superman kills Doomsday with the Kryptonite spear, even as the Kryptonite weakens him and allows Doomsday to impale him.
  • Heaven Above: Batman V. Superman uses Superman's Flight to make his role as a Messianic Archetype obvious, leading to scenes where Superman is floating above a flood victim covered in sunlight while the two stretch their arms out to each other like they're in the Sistine Chapel. And if that wasn't explicit enough, Lex Luthor goes on a rant about how Superman reminds him of God, describing them both as "a man in the sky" while questioning why either allows evil in the world.
  • Heel Realization: Batman has one when Superman does his "Save Martha" pleading while Batman has him dead to rights.
  • Heroic BSoD: Superman suffers a brief one after Luthor's bomb goes off in the Capitol, but, par for the course, recovers when it's time to save Lois. In mid-air, no less.
    • Poor Lois is clearly thrown into this after Superman's death, breaking from it only briefly, when she smiles a little upon receiving the engagement ring.
  • Hero of Another Story: The climax of Man of Steel is seen from the perspective of Bruce Wayne, as he spends some time rescuing survivors from the destroyed Wayne Financial building (the one Zod destroyed with heat vision).
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Lex Luthor's foppish personality hides a ruthless businessman who excels at manipulating others.
    • Played for laughs between Bruce and Diana.
      Bruce Wayne: I've known a few women like you.
      Diana Prince: No, I don't think you've ever known a woman like me.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During the warehouse fight scene, one of Knyazev's mooks pulls the pin out of a grenade. Batman punches the mook he hung up seconds later onto him and he lets the grenade fall on the ground. He just has the time to touch it before it explodes, taking the two of them out.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Bruce Wayne, a highly philanthropic businessman like always. A former employee, who was crippled in the events of Man of Steel (in fact was rescued by Bruce), goes to the news and becomes a figurehead for anti-Superman legislation. Bruce's first reaction is to wonder why the company hadn't been supporting him. He is told the guy had been returning his checks for months, but they didn't want to bother him with that problem.
    • It’s implied Lex has been intercepting the checks and redirecting them to influence Bruce.
  • Human Hammer-Throw: Batman does this on Superman (again), wrapping a cable around his ankle and swinging him around (courtesy of the powered armor and some Kryptonite gas, which temporarily disables Superman).
  • Hypocrite: As Bruce points out it's extremely hypocritical for Clark Kent to be in favor of Metropolis' Destructive Savior Superman and against Gotham's vigilante Batman.
  • Ideal Hero: In contrast to the Classical Anti-Hero take on Superman in Man Of Steel, he has almost completely become this during the Time Skip (although he suffers from some self-doubt and uncertainty), at which point he's saved hundreds of people from around the world. Bruce Wayne even jokes that he probably helps kittens that are stuck in trees in his spare time.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • The desert operation was supposed to frame Superman for the deaths, and yet Lex went out of his way to provide his undercover agents with unique ammunition that would easily identify him as (or at least link to) the real perpetrator of the scheme.
    • Mercy Graves notices that Wayne is “lost” in their database room but doesn’t go to check more closely what he was doing there. It could be because Lex was intending to plant the information for Wayne to find, but if that was the case, what was the point of showing Wayne that he got busted while stealing it?
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Lex seems to be taunting Lois with this, putting his arm around her as he shows her the view from the top of LexCorp, Perverted Sniffing, and so on.
  • I Have Your Wife: Lex compels Superman to fight Batman by holding Martha hostage and threatening to burn her alive if Superman doesn't bring back Batman's head within the hour. Subverted when he also kidnaps Lois Lane purely to get Superman's attention, as the real hostage is elsewhere.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: The police officer Batman encounters starts wildly firing at him. When his partner comes up to investigate, the officer comes within a few inches of blowing off his partner's head off, for which he gets chewed out.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Superman yells at Batman "If I wanted it, you'd be dead already".
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During their fight, Batman intends to kill Superman with a kryptonite spear. In the climax of the film Superman uses the kryptonite spear on Doomsday, while Doomsday uses a bony protrusion to stab Superman, who then uses said protrusion as leverage to further push the kryptonite spear.
    • Which just furthers the symbolism of Superman as Jesus: Jesus was pierced with a spear during his Crucifixion to confirm his death. But this time, Superman/Jesus is the one carrying the spear.
  • In Name Only: Outside of her name and association with Luthor, Mercy Graves has nothing in common with her comic book counterpart and most versions (particularly the DCAU version).
  • Incredibly Obvious Bug: Jimmy Olsen has a tracking device in his camera that is not only brightly blinking, but also beeping loudly, though in fairness it was concealed in a roll of film inside his camera. The tracking device that Batman later in the film fires on the truck that carries the Kryptonite is also blinking and beeping with no such justification, and yet goes ignored by the dozens of people standing around within ten feet of it.
    • Especially egregious after Batman rips through the truck with the Batmobile, taking most of the trailer off. The device is at the end of the trailer only inches away from the tear. Anyone even glancing at the damage would be able to see it. Possibly justified in that Lex clearly wants Batman to steal the kryptonite to use against Superman.
  • Insanity Defense: Lex argues this, only to have an Oh, Crap! reaction when Batman informs Lex he's being sent to Arkham Asylum.
  • Insult Backfire: Lex is rather proud that Lois considers him completely insane, as it means his ideas are quite simply "too big for little minds".
  • Intrepid Reporter: Superman uses his Clark Kent persona to look into the story of the Batman while in Gotham City, and the film seems to favor the "aggressive Clark" interpretation following the comic version of Man of Steel. Amy Adams has noted that Lois Lane will carry this trait over from the previous movie, implying she'll effectively be the Justice League's intelligence gatherer.
  • Irony: Perry White tells Clark to stop his crusade against the vigilante in Gotham, because "No one cares about Clark Kent taking on The Batman." This is in a movie called Batman v Superman. Also a bit of Leaning on the Fourth Wall, since the two are one of the most famous Friendly Rivalry in comics.
  • It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Superman goes to Mexico to save a girl from a burning building during the Day of the Dead. Many people in the crowd that starts venerating him like a divine savior have calavera makeups on their face.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: Subverted; there are surveillance photos and security camera footage of Diana Prince in Luthor's archive, and in each one she knows she's being watched. But it's the one posed shot that freaks out Bruce, as it was taken during World War One and she hasn't aged a day.
  • The Jeeves: Alfred Pennyworth, the snarky British butler, is here like always. This one takes a more active role in assisting Batman in crimefighting than the Dark Knight Trilogy's version.
  • Kneel Before Zod:
    • Superman kneels before a smirking Lex Luthor, which makes it the second time in two films that Superman's knelt before the main bad guy.
    • In Bruce Wayne's nightmare, the black-clad soldiers kneel to the Bad Future Superman the moment he makes his Dynamic Entry. Presumably because, as predicted in the present day, some humans have come to regard Superman as a god.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Kryptonite is discovered among the wreckage of the Kryptonian World Engine near India after the events of Man of Steel. It's explained as a radioactive isotope that actively harms Kryptonian cells. Before a large chunk is found in the Indian Ocean the most they could find was only good for small surgical tools. In contrast to prior portrayals, small amounts have no effect on him just in proximity, Batman develops Kryptonite laced gas grenades as his best bet at subduing Superman, with a spear as a Finishing Move. This also applies to Doomsday, who is Kryptonian in origin and just as vulnerable to Kryptonite.

    Tropes L to M 
  • Lady in Red: Diana is wearing a very Sexy Backless Outfit version of this in her introduction scene.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Superman and Batman are both superheroes with imposing chins.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The first line in the film's trailer could refer to the audience's divided reactions towards Man of Steel as well as the world's reaction to Superman's appearance.
    "Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?"
  • Leitmotif: While the characters are expected to have them, Batman is an interesting case in that Hans Zimmer, composer of The Dark Knight Trilogy, wants to avoid using any of his material from those movies for this film.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Batman is intent on eliminating Superman out of fear of The End of the World as We Know It if Superman ever has a Face–Heel Turn. Superman wants to force Batman into retirement, as he generally doesn't approve of Batman's methods when it comes to crime fighting. In the end, Bruce can't bring himself to kill a good man, no matter the potential future dangers, and Clark realizes Bruce is not nearly the monster he has made Batman appear to be.
  • Loophole Abuse: When Luthor was in the process of creating Doomsday, the computer warned him that the Council of Krypton had outlawed such experiments. Luthor asked the computer where the Council was now, to which it replied they were dead, which meant that their laws no longer applied.
  • Mad Scientist: Luthor gets his hands on General Zod's corpse. He decides to play Doctor Frankenstein and ends up creating Doomsday.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The depiction of Superman and his powers is meticulous. It's shown that Zod's body is in custody of the government and they have a loose understanding of Kryptonian powers and Kryptonite's effect on them. Doomsday, unlike the comics version, dispenses energy pulses and has laser eyes similar to Superman, as a result of being a mutated version of Zod's corpse. Batman, without prior knowledge of how it was made, could see that it is Kryptonian in origin and thus likely vulnerable to Kryptonite just like Superman.
  • Magical Security Cam: Downplayed. In the sequence where Diana looks up the metahuman files on Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman, the purported security footage is in realistic locations and not moving, but it does seem to be edited for dramatic effect, whether it be split screen, switching between camera angles or cutting down what seems like hours of footage into the important bits. The footage itself is plausible, but the compilation brings up questions. Batman is also shown to have video of Superman in action, which is footage from the first film. In this case only a few seconds is shown in a multi-cam display and is modified to be out of focus, grainy and the color washed out.
  • Male Might, Female Finesse: While both have super strength, in the climatic battle with Doomsday, Superman fights with overwhelming speed and power and Wonder Woman relies on agility and precisión.
    • Justified: Superman has never had any combat training, and virtually every villain and crisis he has dealt with so far could be handled by strength alone. Zod was only winnable by strength because Zod had not yet learned to use his powers to best effect. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, was raised on an island of warriors who are as strong as she is. She has been trained for centuries in the arts of sword, shield, and bracers, and she has never been able to rely on strength alone for her fights. Her versatility serves her well, while Superman's brute force strategy for once does not.
  • Malicious Slander: Starting with Kahina Ziri testifying for the massacre that happened in Nairomi (which was entirely Lex Luthor's fault), a number of them cast a nasty spiral of doubt over Superman, which feeds both Luthor's grand scheme to kill him and Batman's anger in the months after the battle of Metropolis.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Lex Luthor. Over the course of the film, he manages to manipulate both leading heroes in one way or another, set up an Evil Plan that means he gets his way no matter what, and the one Senator that sees through him ends up being killed in an explosion at a hearing that Luthor orchestrated her into setting up.
  • Marked to Die: A news report cites the attack by other inmates upon a sex offender who'd been branded by Batman as this trope.
  • The Masquerade: Even though Superman has shown the world that he exists, there is still little evidence of other superpowered individuals. Lex mentions early on in the film that others may exist, calling it the "Metahuman Thesis" and this factors into Wonder Woman's subplot, the discovery that Lex has files on her and other metahumans. When Bruce finds out he contacts her and asks directly "Where have you been?" By the end it's made clear that the masquerade is about to break open, and further explored in Suicide Squad (2016) and Justice League (2017).
  • Mega-Corp: LexCorp, par for the course, is a giant Fortune 500 company engaged in shady weapons deals and in bed with the military.
  • Meta Casting: While still out of left field, the casting of Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor also had its own internal logic: Eisenberg's most famous role is Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, a self-made 20-something billionaire with an arrogant God complex over his own genius. Many of his other roles follow a similar path, just not as diabolical as Luthor.
  • Mirrored Confrontation Shot: The main poster shows Batman and Superman staring down each other.
  • Mission Control: Batman has Alfred monitoring situations from the Batcave, feeding Bruce information on enemy placement and building layouts.
  • The Mole: Jimmy Olsen worked for the CIA.
  • Monumental Damage: The United States Capitol building gets blown up from within. Metropolis takes yet another beating because of Doomsday, but it's not nearly as extensive as from Man of Steel, with the Gotham docks taking the brunt of the damage. The large Superman statue in Metropolis gets defaced by a protester, and later destroyed.
  • Mook Chivalry:
    • Averted by the thugs in the warehouse; They have no qualms with rushing Batman from every direction at once with combat knives. Batman can manage just fine anyways.
    • Played straight by Superman's soldiers in the Bad Future, who miss several opportunities to kill Batman while he's ruthlessly gunning them down, as they're intent on capturing him. It's implied Superman would prefer to kill Batman himself for personal reasons, and his soldiers are shown to have a religious devotion to their leader, so would willingly sacrifice themselves on his orders.
  • Mook Horror Show: Batman's first appearance is described as being like a horror movie for the criminals he goes after... and the slaves those mooks were trafficking.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: Two unusual examples, one for each of the titular heroes.
    • For Superman, who is faced with the possibility that he was never a "real" hero because of all the death and destruction that follows wherever he goes, a conversation with his dead father reminds him that there will always be unintended consequences, and that he shouldn't allow that to stand in the way of the "dream of some farmer from Kansas".
    • In Batman's case, he's sacrificed his moral code for what he believes to be the greater good of preventing a possible future where Superman destroys and/or takes over the world. During his fight with the Man of Steel, though, he's reminded that the reason he became a hero in the first place was to save lives, not to take them, by way of Superman accidentally invoking the memory of Batman's dead mother.
  • Moral Sociopathy: Batman has traditionally been a hero who sticks to his rules of not killing in the comics. In this film however, despite thinking that his fight with Superman is justified, he's directly responsible for ending the lives of around 13 or so Mooks from the machine guns mounted on his Batmobile and Batplane, and the resulting explosions of their vehicles.
  • Motif Merger: Just look at the page image, then look at the trope image. It's is the logo for DC's Superman/Batman series, albeit with more of an influence from the Superman logo from The Golden Age of Comic Books and the Batman logo from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black:
    • While the first look at Aquaman's costume is shot partially in black and white, the color scheme for it appears to be one that uses yellow and black instead of orange and green (although if one looks closely it appears his pants have some teal or sea green on them), as it is in the comics. It's justified to some extent in that his costume is partial-body armor rather than a suit.
    • Wonder Woman's outfit is still red and blue, if only much darker and muted.
    • Averted with Superman, whose costume is more colorful than it was in Man of Steel.
    • Batman himself is truly a subversion, as it's the first time the dominant color of a cinematic batsuit (not including the 60's Batman: The Movie) is gray rather than matte black. It IS slightly darker than the traditional black-and-gray costume, but both it and the Powered Armor are nearly identical to his costumes in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Mutual Kill: As in the comics, Superman dies in act of killing Doomsday. It was made into more of a deliberate Heroic Sacrifice as he had to use the Kryptonite spear to do so, which made him vulnerable as well.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: "Martha won't die tonight." Batman rescues Martha Kent from being shot by Knyazev to make up for being powerless to save his mother from dying at the hands of the gunman who killed Thomas and Martha Wayne.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Superman seems to be still haunted by the city destroying Final Battle in Man of Steel, of which serves as his motivation to save as many lives as he can.
    • This Batman is haunted by the death of Robin, whose tattered clothes are preserved in his Batcave. At the end of the film, he also regards Superman's death as another failure.
      Bruce Wayne: I failed him in life. I will not fail him in death.
  • Mythology Gag: Has its own page.

    Tropes N to P 
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Superman soldiers in the Bad Future are wearing German WW2 steel helmets instead of modern kevlar versions.
  • Nerves of Steel: After stopping the Batmobile, Superman rips off the car's hood. Batman's response is to calmly stand up from his seat and stare down Superman. Even more ballsy for Batman is that he does this immediately after a car accident and throws the Badass Boast mentioned above.
    • Somewhat averted with Luthor who maintains his gambit even as Superman looks to burn him but is clearly nervous nonetheless.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Superman arriving at Congress to attend a hearing about him. However, they never get a chance to ask Superman anything as a bomb planted by Lex explodes.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Despite the fact that Superman seems to have Doomsday well in hand, clearly overpowering him and about to break orbit having only taken a handful of hits, the President decides now would be a great time to nuke them both, nearly killing Superman and sending Doomsday rocketing back to Earth, much more powerful than before.
    • Wonder Woman cuts off Doomsday's hand...which leads to Doomsday growing the bone spike that he uses to impale Superman.
  • Nightmare Sequence: There is a sequence of nightmares throughout the film, the first one being Bruce reliving the night of his parents' murder. A more prominent one (dubbed the "Nightmare" by merchandise) is set in the Middle East, in which he's a fugitive and Superman is a dictator with his own army, reflecting his fears of what Superman could become. Subverted with a scene of him meeting a red-masked man in a vortex ominously warning him about something; Bruce seems to wake up from the scene, but papers fluttering around in the background indicate that it really did happen.
  • No Endor Holocaust:
    • One major point of the movie was addressing this trope. The opening sequence retells the destruction from the Battle of Metropolis, making it clear that thousands of people were killed and many are holding Superman responsible. Throughout the film any deaths even remotely related to Superman's actions cause debate on his accountability. Batman himself is shown killing several bad guys (he does so when they are shooting at him with high powered weapons or threatening innocents). There is some destruction in the climactic fight (Superman is thrown through a skyscraper and Doomsday would emit energy pulses that cause damage to the skyline), but character dialogue, news broadcasts and military reports are clear that any collateral deaths were kept to a minimum.
    • The film mentions a safe zone when the US government is forced to detonate a nuke at low orbit over Metropolis. While the supposed safe zone indicates there would be no direct casualties and harm to the city, there are still ecological concerns as well as EMP damage to satellites from such an explosion. There does appear to be static on the war room screens for a few seconds after the explosion, but otherwise the potential problems are overlooked.
  • No Man Should Have This Power: A major theme of the film is the dangers of and general reaction to Superman's god-like power. Bruce figures he needs to kill Superman because, at the moment, the only thing stopping Superman from killing everyone in the world is moral fiber.
    Lex Luthor: Do you know the oldest lie in America, Senator? It's that power can be innocent.
  • No Name Given: Diana is addressed once as "Ms. Prince", but never as Diana or as Wonder Woman.
    • Which might be unintentional brilliance since originally the character never gave her name, she basically bought her whole human identity from similar-looking nurse Diana Prince.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Lex is a manipulator and a schemer, and so relies on getting Superman and Batman to take care of each other than deal with them himself. When that fails, Lex releases Doomsday to kill both of them.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Wayne Manor is a burnt out ruin, with Bruce and Alfred living in a newer, smaller, more modern house built on the grounds of the estate. How this state of affairs came about is never explained.
    • Long ago in Krypton's history, somebody performed experiments with Kryptonian DNA that resulted in the creation of an Humanoid Abomination like Doomsday. Who this scientist was and what became of that creature is not revealed, only that the High Council forbid any such further experiments. Lex decides to exploit the destruction of the High Council; since it no longer exists, he is free to create Doomsday.
    • Wonder Woman has apparently fought and killed alien creatures before, but she doesn't elaborate about the specifics. These may have been supernatural creatures, depending on how you read the words "from another world". Or she could be referring to Ares.
    • While various TV personalities debate whether we should Beware the Superman, a montage is shown of Superman saving the crew capsule of a Russian rocket that explodes on the launch pad, and using his Super Strength to haul what appears to be a derelict warship across the ice.
  • No-Sell: Superman can take everything that comes his way, including the Batmobile at high speeds. During their fight in the rain, Superman is shocked when Batman completely blocks a hit, despite Clark's Super Strength. It is reversed when the effects of the Kryptonite gas wear off. Batman's punches on Superman's face suddenly start hitting the Immovable Object again, until he shoots another gas grenade at Superman.
  • Not Even Human: Invoked by Batman when he's psyching himself up to kill Superman. He later comes to regret this.
    Batman: You're not a god. You're not even a man.
  • Not So Different: Twice between Batman and Superman. The first is when Clark Kent condemns Batman's violent vigilantism and Bruce Wayne points out that Superman, too, has been responsible for a great deal of damage. The second is when Superman, about to be killed by Batman, pleads with him to save his mother, Martha, from Lex's goons, which strikes a chord with Bruce, (who is hinted via flashbacks and symbolism to be haunted by Martha Wayne's death even more than Thomas Wayne's). This gets him to snap out of his Unstoppable Rage and stop fighting Superman.
  • Not Quite Flight: Doomsday performs some superhuman leaps, able to keep up with Batman in his plane. Wonder Woman does a few similar maneuvers, turning into a blur as she lunges into a fight.
  • Nuke 'em: To keep Doomsday from destroying Metropolis, Superman grabs him and flies him toward space, only for the president to order a nuclear strike on them both.
  • Obliviously Evil: Batman, of all people, gets hit with this trope. After seeing Superman's destructive power during the Battle of Metropolis, Batman is convinced Superman is a threat to mankind and must be destroyed at all cost. In his mind, he is saving the world from a potential alien dictator. What he would be actually doing is killing a genuinely good man trying to make a difference. He only comes to regret this attitude in the climax.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The film is the direct sequel to Man of Steel, yet Batman gets top billing. Similarly, the title uses "V." instead of "VS." Snyder said that the direct meaning of th V is "and", therefore not focusing on their fight, but their union.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: When Batman steals Lex's kryptonite, the only event shown of the incursion is a brief security footage with Batman doing a quick vertical takedown on a guard.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The look on Superman's face when Batman effortlessly blocks a punch with his Powered Armor.
    • When Batman finds out the effects of the kryptonite gas on Superman are temporary.
    • As Batman is sitting in his wrecked Batwing and Doomsday is about to fire a heat-vision blast at him, all the Dark Knight can say is "Oh, shit."
    • The look on Luthor's face when he calls up the goon holding Martha hostage...and Batman answers.
    • The look on June Finch's face when she was given "Grandma's Peach Tea" in a jar by Lex, whose seat is vacant.
    • In the extended edition, Luthor's reaction when Batman told him that he will be taken to Arkham Asylum.
    • Averted when Luthor discovers Batman has stolen his kryptonite. The shot sets up for an Oh Crap shot... but Lex then cracks a slight smile, revealing this is what he wanted all along.
  • Older and Wiser: Batman is portrayed as being older than he is in most other film adaptations, being seasoned to his job. He even mentions that he's grown older than his father ever was. The Waynes were killed in 1981, which places Bruce in his early 40s. It's eventually subverted, as Batman had grown more cynical and, according to Alfred, more "cruel" in his methods. His conflict with Superman reaches a point where he realizes how far he went, and pulls back when it really matters.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: Lex Luthor is younger than Batman. He's less weary and more arrogant. Averted between Lex and Superman who seem to be roughly the same age.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: Scenes from the Superman/Zod battle in Man of Steel are shown from the perspective of Bruce Wayne, where one of his buildings was destroyed. Specifically, it shows Zod's first use of heat vision from the viewpoint of everyone on the street.
  • One-Man Army: Late in the film Batman has to take on a group of mercenaries in a warehouse, and he proceeds to deliver one of the most brutal Batman beatdowns ever depicted.
  • The Oner: During the Knightmare, Batman wages a desperate but epic Last Stand with the camera fixated on him the whole time.
  • One Steve Limit: An important plot point. Batman starts to empathize with Superman when he learns that the latter's (adoptive) mother shares the same name as his.
  • Only Sane Man: Alfred struggles to convince Bruce that Superman isn't who he should be fighting because he's not a monster and that Bruce himself is becoming "cruel".
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The sequence with The Flash is implied to be part of Bruce's nightmare... except that when he wakes up, there are papers flying around in the room, implying that something really moved.
  • Our Founder: After being rebuilt, Metropolis has erected a statue of Superman following his victory against Zod during the events of Man of Steel. Some people in Metropolis are outraged about this.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Batman, of all people, gets hit with this in the climax. When Doomsday shows up, both Superman and Wonder Woman give excellent displays of their power and skill against him, and even if they can't take him on they still make it clear that they're trying. Batman, though, is basically powerless against him and spends the fight taking cover and running away (quite literally; all he can do is leap away from attacks, then towards the end fires his last kryptonite gas grenade at Doomsday). It's noticeable because a few minutes before that, he got an impressive scene showing him destroying Lex's hired goons, and he won the fight with Superman (though only because Superman was only trying to disarm Batman while Batman was giving it his all), but against a creature such as Doomsday a Badass Normal like him can't expect to do anything without pointlessly dying in a matter of seconds.
  • Parents as People: Martha Kent admits to Clark that she wanted to keep Clark to herself rather than share a miracle with the rest of the world. She's proud of him, but can't help but feel a little selfish.
  • Perma-Stubble: Batman doesn't seem to have much time to shave these days, but it never seems to reach the level of a full beard either.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: After Superman and Doomsday kill each other, Batman gently collects his body and lowers it off the rubble they were standing on to Wonder Woman and Lois below. Lois cradles him in her lap while Batman and Wonder Woman flank them.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Superman rarely does anything active in the movie unless he is manipulated by Luthor and/or provoked by Batman, to the point they actually have more dialogue than him.
  • Powered Armor: Batman sports high tech armor with glowing white eyes in his Battle in the Rain with Superman.
  • Powerful and Helpless: Towards the end of the film, Lex has had Martha Kent abducted and held hostage and she will be killed if Clark refuses to fight Bruce. He also makes sure his men don't tell him where they stashed Martha so Supes can't beat the information out of him. Clark's eyes are glowing red and he's ready to burn Lex alive, but knows his mother will die unless he gives in. At that moment, despite all Superman's powers, Lex Luthor has effectively nullified him.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: "You're not brave. Men are brave."
  • Precision F-Strike: Batman gives off a dejected "Oh shit" when his jet is shot down and with him still strapped in as Doomsday lines up for another shot.
  • Private Military Contractors: Lex Luthor has PMCs infiltrate a terrorist group in Africa to set up Superman as a scapegoat. They also serve as Luthor's goon squad throughout the rest of the film.
  • Product Placement: Turkish Airlines got a special version of Trailer 1 showing its appearance in the film, with Diana riding one of their planes. (A possible Mythology Gag regarding the Amazons of actual Greek myth, who were said to live in a region which includes modern-day Turkey.) Later, two new TV spots were aired during the 2016 Super Bowl in the form of faux-Turkish Airlines ads for Metropolis and Gotham, with Eisenberg and Affleck appearing in-character.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Superman considers acquiring Batman’s help would be very useful in successfully rescuing his mother. The way he goes about explaining the situation, however, is by aggressively approaching Batman, wasting several sentences’ worth of time on meaningless jabber, and then throwing him through a building. Though Batman already intending to kill him from the start makes him uninterested in listening anyway.
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: During the climactic fight, Superman takes Batman's kryptonite spear, and flies it into Doomsday. Doomsday then uses one of his bony protrusions to impale him, and Superman then uses another bony protrusion as leverage to further push the kryptonite into Doomsday.
  • Punch Catch:
    • When Batman does it to Superman thanks to a Kryptonite grenade suppressing Supes' strength, cue the Oh, Crap! look.
    • Superman later does it to Doomsday.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Used in a different way than normal. As Batman was fighting Superman he had gotten the upper hand via Kryptonite and was laying down some rapid attacks. He repeatedly punches Superman across the face, but as Superman regains his strength the punches deal less and less damage until he is back to No Selling it.
  • Putting on the Reich: The soldiers Batman fights in his Bad Future nightmare wear Stahlhelm-like black helmets.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Superman succeeds in vanquishing Doomsday with Batman's Kryptonian spear, but in the process Doomsday stabs him to death with its arm spikes with both the god and the devil destroyed in the climax.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: On paper, Luthor succeeds in getting Superman killed thanks to Doomsday. However, he ends up in jail as a result, Batman is keeping an eye on him and will work with Wonder Woman on starting the Justice League, Superman is now remembered by everyone as a hero and appears to be Only Mostly Dead. Finally, his head was shaved bald when he entered prison.

    Tropes Q to S 
  • Race Lift:
    • Half-Hawaiian Jason Momoa as Aquaman, who is usually portrayed as having White racial characteristics in spite of being an Atlantean.
    • Mercy Graves is played by Japanese actress Tao Okamoto. As a bit of RetCanon, DC reintroduced Mercy as an Asian-American woman in the New 52 Justice League title to reflect this.
  • Ramming Always Works: Batman crashes the Batmobile sideways into Superman, revealing even ramming him head-on wouldn't have worked.
  • Real Is Brown: The film reuses the desaturated filter of Man of Steel and features multiple night scenes, to give the film a "real world" feel.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Hooray, Superman saved the planet! He also damaged quite a bit of property in the process and was unable to prevent thousands of deaths in spite of his best efforts - and that he is also blamed for much of said death and destruction by those who simply haven't had any experience with a superhero or didn't count much of the destruction actually happening by Zod's fault. This understandably causes divisions on Earth of people who believe he's a protector, and others who believe he's a disaster waiting to happen. It's been noted that exploring this trope was Zack Snyder's intention from the start, but he saved it for the sequel in order to keep Man of Steel's focus on the Super Hero Origin.
    • Batman tries to hit a super strong and invulnerable man with the Batmobile, and is thrown like a toy as he bounces off harmlessly. His threats also fall flat when he gets out since Supes just flies away.
    • Superman seeks to help and protect people, promising them he won't kill anyone, but even if people die in incidents that he tries to prevent he is blamed all the same.
    • Batman's meticulous planning and exploitation of Superman's weakness still only barely allows him to overpower Superman. Had the fight gone on much longer (or if Superman had been truly out for blood) Batman would have been soundly beaten.
    • The fight against Doomsday makes it quite clear that in a fight of this nature Batman is completely outclassed, having to spend much of it simply trying to avoid getting blasted by Doomsday's extreme heat vision streams in an effort to find the right time to fire off his last remaining kryptonite grenade. It even extends to Superman, who still isn't the most refined fighter and gets thrown around like a ragdoll. The only one of the three who actually fights Doomsday on relatively equal footing is Wonder Woman, who's been fighting longer than either Batman or Superman have been alive. Even then all she can do is stall the monster and hack off a hand. As Diana said herself, she's killed monsters from other worlds before.
    • Superman uses every last ounce of strength he has to kill Doomsday with the Kryptonite spear. The combination of Kryptonite radiation and physical trauma kills him so quickly no has time to process what happened. He doesn't get the opportunity to have any last words with Lois or Batman. By the time Superman hits the ground, only his vacant glance remains.
    • Being a man of enormous intelligence and vast resources, Lex easily discovers the Trinity's secret identities (and also those of other future Justice League members). The only reason he doesn't go public with this information is because he has been declared mentally insane, so no one is gonna take his word seriously.
  • Realpolitik: Batman justifies his personal war against Superman as a necessity with this sort of mindset - if there's even the slightest chance Superman can't be trusted, then he presents a great danger to the world.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Senator Finch wants Superman to answer to some authority other than his own. She cares about the people caught in the crossfire whenever Superman acts. She also sees right through Luthor's anti-Kryptonian "deterrent" proposal.
  • Reconstruction: Though the film starts off as a deconstruction of the two characters, it eventually gives way to being a reconstruction in that it brings them back to something closer to their classic forms by the end. Superman being presented as the thing that helps inspire Batman back into the light so to speak.
  • Re-Cut: In an unprecedented move, Warner Brothers announced before the film hit theaters that it would have the "Ultimate Edition" released on home video with an added 30 minutes of footage further developing the story. It was not released separately but was included alongside the theatrical cut. Similar to Snyder's Watchmen and Sucker Punch directors cut, the reception for the film was much warmer with a number of additions that allow the story to flow better and the criticisms of the theatrical cut were addressed, if not eliminated. This includes:
    • Bruce rescues a young girl standing alone in the wreckage of the Wayne Financial building. The UE includes a scene where a line of children holding hands are shown with a teacher leading them to safety, suggesting the building had a daycare and the girl fell behind.
    • The opening sequence in Africa has Superman overlooking the escaping Russians and was blamed for the massacre at the compound when the victims were obviously shot. The UE includes Superman thwarting a CIA drone strike to protect the compound, and Anatoli torched the bodies with his flamethrower to implicate Superman. Secretary Swanick later notes that CI concluded rather quickly the situation was a frame job.
    • The witness to the compound massacre was a plant by Luthor, complete with a script on what to say. When Anatoli starts showing up around her she realizes she was in trouble and she goes to Senator Finch to come clean. The senate hearing was not just to challenge Superman but was intended to expose Lex's crimes.
    • In the theatrical cut Clark hears about Batman via a news report on the branded criminal being killed while in prison, and is chastised by Perry White for investigating The Batman over his other duties. In the UE Clark first hears about Batman while talking to Gotham locals as a reporter. The branded criminal isn't killed until later, and was a set-up on the part of Luthor.
    • Lois' investigation into the bullet involves Jena Malone's character Jenet as a Star Labs scientist, indicating it was an experimental bullet using advanced metals and that the developer was interested in seeing how it fared in a real world setting. This is what leads her to Secretary Swanwick and learning of Lex Corp's involvement in arming the rebels, which is political suicide to confront since the CIA was illegally involved there. Later, after the Senate bombing, Lois finds that the bomb utilized the same mystery metal as the bullets and was lined with lead, which would block Superman's X-ray vision. On top of that, she deduces that Wallace Keefe did not make the bomb as he bought groceries earlier that day.
    • After the Senate bombing and Superman's pained reaction standing in the fire he is not seen until Lois talks with him on their balcony. The UE includes a scene on the front steps of the Senate where he is helping to bring the injured to paramedics, but can't do anything to help beyond that and leaves overwrought with emotion, leaving an ambiguous impression on the public and the press.
  • Retired Badass: Diana mentions to Bruce that her faith in humanity was shaken by WWI and she has been apathetic about aligning with any side ever since. Bruce reaching out to her in friendship and trust gave her the spirit to rejoin the fight.
  • Revision:
    • Bruce Wayne was present in Metropolis when Superman and General Zod fought.
    • You remember how Clark Kent was saved by whales in Man of Steel after saving people from a collapsing oil derrick? Apparently, Aquaman sent them.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Superman can carry and land very heavy objects (like huge pieces of a shuttle, for example) without breaking them.
  • Rich Idiot With No Day Job:
    • Bruce Wayne, per usual, is this, though he makes up for it by also serving as a philanthropist. He clocks in at night, so to speak. Amusingly, when Clark confronts him as a Daily Planet reporter, Bruce tries to remember if he owns THAT particular paper.
    • Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is officially an "antiques dealer" but mostly appears terribly rich.
    • Lex leans into his foppish and silly persona to push this idea so that people underestimate him while he plots behind the scenes.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: When Joe Chill robs the Waynes, Martha Wayne backs away when he puts the gun in her face, causing her pearl necklace to snag on the gun. When Chill fires, the gun's recoil breaks the string, causing the pearls to scatter — in dramatic slow motion, of course.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Batman's rescue of Martha Kent, unleashing hell on Lex Luthor's mooks first with the Batwing's weapons, then tearing through them inside the warehouse. He's not related to her and doesn't know her personally, but amending for what he nearly did to Superman and preventing him from suffering the same kind of loss as him [Bruce] proves just as strong a motivation.
  • Rule of Symbolism: This is a Zack Snyder film we're talking about. He riddled the movie with symbolic references. Some are more obvious than others.
    • Thomas, Martha and a young Bruce Wayne pass by a building with the number 1108. The 11:08 chapter from the Book of Revelation reads as follow "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city." Thomas and Martha then get murdered and their bodies lie in the street.
  • Samaritan Syndrome: Superman starts feeling the weight of helping people but being blamed when his intervention results in the death of others. After the Senate hearing is bombed, he starts second guessing himself as to why he wasn't able to see it coming.
  • Save the Villain: The first person that Doomsday tries to take out is Lex, but Superman intercepts the punch and saves him from certainly getting splattered.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Every single character who debuted in this film to the entire film franchise.
  • Secret Identity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman all have civilian identities but Lex Luthor easily figures the first two out and uses the information to be one step ahead of them at all times, while his database on superheroes suggests he's known about Wonder Woman (and the other future Justice League members) for some time.
  • Self-Deprecation: During a montage of public figures talking about how Superman is viewed by the people, film producer Vikram Gandhi suggests that people project a messiah image onto Superman, something the previous film was guilty of. In fact, the only characters who liken Superman to a godly figure either have a low opinion of him (Lex and Wallace) or are deeply religious (the Día de Muertos crowd). It's the characters who know him best that understand even Superman can have moments of doubt.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Lex talks about someone who "has found us" and rants psychotically in his cell. Bruce says he is going to try and unify the various metahumans so they'll be ready to fight, and a faint heartbeat can be heard echoing from Superman's grave while the dirt around it starts to levitate.
    • The scene of Diana looking through the files on the known metahumans teases the upcoming Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg movies. As Variety put it, in a meta sense, it's basically Diana watching trailers for three upcoming films.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The purpose of The Flash's Ominous Message from the Future to Bruce Wayne is to prevent the Superman-Darkseid alliance from happening and to ensure the Justice League will be formed.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Diana spends two scenes wearing dresses that bare her back. Those scenes are high-society parties so she fits right in.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Once again, when two combatants go up into space, they return to the exact same spot they left (give or take a mile at best) despite one of them being in uncontrollable freefall and having been blown even further away by a nuclear explosion when their parabolic trajectory should have taken them hundreds of miles inland or out into the sea.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Director Zack Snyder is a big fan of John Boorman's King Arthur epic Excalibur, which can be seen alongside The Mark of Zorro at a movie theater during the scene where the Wayne's are shot. note  It also shows (on their tombstone) the year of the Wayne murders to be 1981, which was when Excalibur was released. Later in the film, they had to retrieve the Kryptonite spear from a pool of water. When Superman uses it against Doomsday they both end up impaled, with Superman pushing Doomsday's spike further into himself so that he could drive his spear further into Doomsday, just like Arthur did to Mordred.
    • Luthor alludes to Paul Revere, who is supposed to have said "The Redcoats are coming!" to warn fellow American patriots.note  Luthor instead says "The red capes are coming!"
    • The phrase "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" very briefly appears among the graffiti inside an abandoned building in Gotham. It not only references one of Zack Snyder's earlier films, it also speaks to one of this film's themes, that of "Beware the Superman" (taken very literally in this case).
    • TK-421 can be seen on Lex's prison serial number.
    • In his Disorganized Outline Speech at the gala, Luthor quotes a version of Herodotos's "This is the bitterest pain known to man, to have much knowledge but no power."
    • Luthor verges on Speaks In Shoutouts as the film progresses; he greets Lois Lane with a free-associating "Lo, plain Lo, in the morning! Lola in slacks!" and taunts Superman with "Late, late, said the White Rabbit!"
    • He mocks Superman at one point by calling him "wabbit".
    • The slogan chalked on Superman's memorial is an English language version of the inscription on St. Paul's Cathedral: Si monumentum requiris, circumspice (" if you seek his monument, look around").
    • When Lex reveals his hostage, he says “Martha, Martha, Martha!” in a tone similiar to the Catchphrase from The Brady Bunch.
    • In his first scene, Lex wears a white shirt and blue jeans, perches on a chair rather than sitting conventionally and binges on sweets, just like another oddball genius.
    • The Wizard of Oz :
      • Lex refers to the discovery of Kryptonite in the Indian Ocean as 'Emerald City'
      • At one point, Perry White wonders where Clark keeps disappearing to and whispers to himself, "Clicks his heels three times and goes back to Kansas, I suppose."
      • When Batman meets Lex at the prison near the end of the film, Lex says Superman's death: "Ding dong. The god is dead."
    • In order to get information from Knyazev's phone, Bruce clones it with his own phone much like another vigilante man in a suit would do his investigating.
    • The imagery of Batman and Wonder Woman descending Superman's body from a pile of rubble after his death against Doomsday can been compared to paintings showing the Christ's followers lifting him from the cross, with Lois as Mary Magdalene mourning him. Not surprising given Zack Snyder's Creator Thumbprint (he gets inspirations from classical art).
    • During the Batmobile chase scene, the Batmobile crashes out of a warehouse named "Nicholson Terminal & Dock Company". A reference to Jack Nicholson who played The Joker in Batman (1989).
  • Sickening "Crunch!": At least two of such sounds are heard when Batman fights mooks in the warehouse to rescue Martha Kent - one when he breaks a mook's arm, the other when he punches one straight in the face.
  • Sigil Spam: Much is made of the promotional material showing just the "S" shield and the Bat symbol note .
  • Significant Name Overlap: Both Clark and Bruce's mothers are named "Martha". This information ends up being crucial in snapping Batman out of his murderous intent towards Superman.
  • Smug Snake: Part of Affleck's Bruce Wayne Rich Idiot With No Day Job side is the smugness that is practically dripping of him when talking to Clark at Lex's party, such as when he says Clark criticizing Batman is "a"
  • Speed Blitz: In the CCTV video of Flash stopping a store robbery, he moves so fast, the milk he had been holding doesn't even hit the floor by the time he returns.
  • Spoiler Title: Averted with the soundtrack name "Tuesday", which is actually Doomsday's theme; though it does make for a clever pun of sorts.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Bruce Wayne grabs Diana Prince this way during a society fundraiser, and only gets an annoyed look in response. Subverted when we later discover that she's Wonder Woman, and more than capable of kicking his ass should she choose.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Inevitable with Batman in the film. Most prominently appears at the end when he suddenly appears in Luthor's cell and vanishes again between the flickers of the overhead lights. Also happens more subtly earlier in the film, where he finishes his part of the conversation with Lois and Superman, the camera pans a little, and by the time it returns he has completely vanished. Notably, at this time he is wearing a damaged Powered Armor suit, and still pulls it off.
  • Stealth Pun: When Lex preaches to Superman about God, he remarks that "No man in the sky intervened when [he] was a boy to deliver [him] from daddy's fists and abominations". Then, after Doomsday is born, the creature's attack towards Lex is interrupted by Superman catching one of its punches. In other words, God saved Lex from a fist of an abomination!
  • Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: A MPD officer guarding Wallace Keefe's crime-scene-cordoned apartment lets Lois in to investigate herself, enabling her to determine that Keefe did not even know he was sitting on the Capitol Building bomb in his wheel chair.
  • Stock Scream: Wilhelm's promising career with Lex Corp is cut short when the Batmobile rams his car and send it flying.
  • Strong and Skilled: Not only is Diana one of the most physically powerful people on the planet, she is also highly technically proficient in combat, allowing her to fare better against Doomsday than Superman — even when fighting it one-on-one — despite being weaker than both of them.
  • Super Hero Origin: Batman's parents' Death by Origin Story is covered to some extent, but downplayed in that the movie is not about the origin of Batman himself. He is actually coming out of retirement to face Superman.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Averted, for more than just the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny reasons. In this continuity Gotham is an actual sister city to Metropolis, separated by a bay. It was compared to San Francisco and Oakland, or New York City and Jersey City. That means in all practical sense they are operating in the same metropolitan area from the start. In previous continuities Metropolis and Gotham were either within a few hours drive or even a few hours by plane.
  • Super Window Jump: How Batman makes his entrance into Knyazev's warehouse to save Martha Kent.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Bruce Wayne, with an emphasis on tall; at 6'4", Ben Affleck is the tallest actor to play the character.
    • Co-star Henry Cavill (Superman) is only an inch or two shorter than Affleck, and is also very easy on the eyes.
  • Tattooed Crook: Antanoli Knyasev, the leader of Luthor's goons, has a distinctive bird tattoo on his neck.
  • Team Title: The "Justice" in the title refers to the Justice League.
  • Technical Pacifist: Batman avoids killing when possible, but is not adverse to death. His "Branding" of specific criminals is mentioned to be a "death sentence" while in prison, as the other criminals will shank them for being especially heinous. He kills a few mooks over the course of the film, but it's generally portrayed as him returning fire on enemies wielding high powered guns and prioritizing civilians. In his view, it is not his fault if a mook gets blown up with his own grenade.
  • Technological Pacifist: Side-material references Bruce Wayne's traditional reluctance to accept military contracts for his company. Funny how he's still spent nine figures on a prototype plane and exoskeleton tech, neither of which have materialised...
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Superman disappears for a short time after the Senate Hearing bombing, trying to reassess his place in the world.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Lex Luthor finds the information needed to create a Kryptonian Deformity. The Council of Krypton specifically outlawed the creation of these abominations because of how horribly dangerous they are, but since Krypton and its people have been annihilated, nothing can stop Luthor from creating Doomsday.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: The sheer fear in Batman's demeanor could only be this when the effects of the Kryptonite gas wear off far earlier than he really needed them to. Much later, when his Batwing is shot down by Doomsday and he is trying to get out of Doomsday's line of fire Batman can only say "Aw, shi".
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Lois suffers this, after Superman's Heroic Sacrifice. Especially apparent when she's lying on Clark's bed in the Kent house, staring up at the planets hanging from the ceiling.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill:
    • Word of God says after the trauma he experienced when General Zod forced his hand, Superman vowed to find another way from that point on. Unfortunately, with Doomsday, there isn’t another way.
    • Batman, on the other hand, is more complicated. He won't directly kill Mooks, but he'll shoot the truck they're on, throw them at grenades, brand them, guaranteeing that they'll be killed in prison, and if you're a lucky criminal who he doesn't kill, he'll still maim you.
  • Throat Light: Doomsday while charging his heat vision; the way it fires makes it look like it's coming out of his mouth as well.
  • Time for Plan B: Luthor isn't bothered when his plan to have Batman kill Superman fails, as he's got Doomsday cooking in the tank.
  • Time Skip: Two years have passed since Man of Steel, with Superman serving as a hero to people around the world, although his presence isn't completely welcome in spite of his altruistic deeds.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: The section of Metropolis that was completely flattened was able to be rebuilt in two years, with part of the area restored as a public park and the crashed Scout Ship being repurposed into a laboratory. There is some evidence of reconstruction still going on in other shots of the location.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The mercenary who decided to use a grenade against Batman. In a confined space. Surrounded by his allies. Taken Up to Eleven when he tries to grab it after Batman knocks it out of his hand.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In-Universe, Batman himself. When he begins branding the criminals he catches, Alfred wastes no time in pointing out to Bruce that he's gotten worse ever since Metropolis, and he's begun to become outright cruel beyond vengeful. This is thankfully reverted by the film's end, when Batman has Luthor cornered in his cell and refuses to mark him with the brand even after Superman's death.
  • Tragic Keepsake: At Clark's funeral, Martha Kent gives Lois a package that Clark had previously sent to Smallville, hoping to surprise her. The package contains a diamond solitaire engagement ring. Lois is seen wearing the ring at the very end of the movie.
    • Jason Todd’s Robin suit in the Batcave leaves little doubt what happened to him.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The second trailer reveals that Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman will come together against Doomsday. It also appears to reveal that Doomsday is created somehow by Lex Luthor in an attempt to kill Superman when Batman won't do it, using Dru-Zod's corpse in order to create the monstrosity. In spite of this, Zack Snyder has stated that even with these reveals advertised, there's ultimately a lot that hasn't been shown.
  • Training from Hell: Batman demonstrates how he keeps himself in top physical condition. Arguably, no other depiction of batman training (barring the comics) has really conveyed both the intensity of his training and the focus he has towards it like this movie. While short in duration, the scenes show batman doing standard exercises on only to an insane degree by using massive weight to increase the intensity like chaining weight plates to his waist while doing pull ups.
  • Trauma Button: Superman mentioning "Martha" triggers memories of the death of his parents in Bruce Wayne's mind since his mother had the same name — it's also the last word he heard from his dying father. He is confused at first, then Lois bringing up more details about who that Martha is causes his Heel Realization.
  • Troll: Many of Lex's actions and words become this when it's revealed that he knows exactly who each of the heroes really are, and he has for quite a while now. His poking at Clark's grip, mentioning "you do not want to pick a fight with this person"? It was him getting his jollies at how entirely unaware both men were that this was exactly what he was going to do to them.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • The regular and Powered Armor Batsuits look almost identical to those in the comics. The regular suit in particular is textured fabric instead of the molded PVC / rubber suits from Tim Burton's, Joel Schumacher's and Chris Nolan's Batman films.
    • Previous Batman movies didn't really focus on how expansive Batman's Rogues Gallery could be, with him fighting at most a couple per movie and just moving on (with most dying in the end). This film picks up with him already having a long career as a crimefighter, having dealt with a lot of enemies over the years and put them behind bars. Suicide Squad (2016) is made up primarily of former Batman foes.
    • Batman's fighting style can be accurately described as a live-action adaptation of how his fights are drawn in the comics. Previous films have either grounded his fighting style or relied on special effects methods that made it look staged — both of which restricted the kind of speed, range, and ferocity the comics tend to go for.
    • Superman is similar, where he is depicted as quite invulnerable to extreme damage and his fights are powerful brawls, whereas prior depictions relied a lot more on Coconut Superpowers and some degree of obvious Wire Fu.
    • This version of Lex Luthor has more familiar aspects to the comics character (especially The '80s reboot): from the way he manipulates corporations and politicians to his disregard of traditional societal morals, him personally engaging in Mad Science (versus letting others handle it) and his misotheistic beliefs. It can also be noted that the original character HAD thick red hair in the comics before his iconic Bald of Evil.
    • Doomsday in the original comic was a monstrous, berserker creature that had no origin at first, only later revealed to be a Kryptonian experiment that created "the ultimate lifeform" that could regenerate from death and adapt to become stronger every time. Most adaptations tend to either ignore telling that backstory altogether, make Doomsday more intelligent or even make his origin based on Earthbound experiments. In this film, Lex creates Doomsday from the body of Zod, his own blood and the genesis chamber of the Kryptonian scout ship. It's mentioned that what he is doing was recreating a Kryptonian experiment eons ago that reanimated a dead body and was deemed an abomination that should never be repeated. In the special features for the film Geoff Johns even points out that despite some superficial changes it's really quite faithful to the original comics.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: Batman and Superman, two of the most iconic superheroes in the history of forever, finally meeting on the silver screen.
  • The Unmasqued World: Suicide Squad (2016) and Wonder Woman reveal that individuals with unusual powers have existed previously, but that Superman made it okay to be more open about it. This film addresses the topic directly as part of the plot. Superman is called in for Senate hearings about the destruction in Metropolis, with everyone taking sides on if they should hold him responsible and HOW do they hold him responsible. In a scene laced with irony, Clark and Bruce debate the merits of Superman and Batman, with Bruce remarking that condemning "the bat vigilante" for fighting crime while praising a godlike alien for the doing the same thing is hypocritical.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Superman and Doomsday.
    • Superman: when mostly Brought Down to Normal while fighting Batman, Superman gets his ass handed to him during the fight due to the leveled playing field and Batman's superior combat skill and experience. When fighting the equally or similarly powerful Doomsday, his spanking by the creature is almost comical. Diana — who's physically weaker than both Kryptonians but better trained — manages to fare better against Doomsday one-on-one than Superman did while they were tag-teaming it at the beginning of the final fight.
    • Doomsday: Doomsday's intelligence seems almost primal and newborn after it awakens, but its raw power is more than enough for it to successfully resist and overwhelm the heroes. It also has a more difficult time fighting Diana — even one-on-one — due to her proficiency and skill in superpowered combat.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Superman is rescuing people around the world seeking to inspire hope and faith in the goodness of people but is quietly despairing at the near-religious fear and worship he is also causing (as feared by Jonathan Kent in Man of Steel). Lex Luthor (if you take his rooftop rambling as genuine), Wallace Keefe and Bruce Wayne all accuse him to various degrees of being a false god.
  • Urban Ruins: Metropolis in its ruined state during the climax of Man of Steel is presented yet again, but from the perspective of a desperate Batman, who sees Superman tear through buildings with his heat vision.
  • Van in Black: Played with when one person is abducted by a black van, and shortly afterwards another is abducted by a white van!
  • Versus Title: What do you think the "V" in the title stands for? (Snyder felt that "V" made the title more distinctive than the often-used "Vs".)
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: The movie is crammed full of religious symbolism and references to literary classics and philosophical works. Understanding the source works and how they tie in to the story result in the movie making a lot more sense.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Luthor drops the smug act when he finds out that Superman and Batman refuse to kill each other. Cue the back-up plan.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Bruce, Alfred, Lois and Perry White wear this at various moments in the movie.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Aquaman has a bit of armor on and a strap around his chest, but most of his upper body is exposed.
  • War Memorial: The Battle of Metropolis site is given a memorial with the names of the victims on numerous stone tablets erected behind a large monument of Superman.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Deconstructed with Batman, there is no assumption that he can do anything physical to Superman without the aid of Kryptonite. All his preparations and combat experience does not close the gap. But in the climax he proves just barely able to outmaneuver Doomsday (no easy feat) via grappling hook and smoke bomb, and expertly timed his last Kryptonite gas grenade to help defeat Doomsday.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When Bruce is digging through his freshly-decrypted files from Lex's database, sees a file on metahumans, and opens it... to find a picture of Wonder Woman. During World War I.
    • This is later one-upped when he sends the data to the lady herself, and Diana digs deeper. Cue wham after wham of video footage, featuring the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman...behind closed doors. Lex Luthor knows who every one of them is before the Justice League has even been conceptualized.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • The how and why of Bruce randomly having a prophetic vision of an apocalyptic future is never explained.
    • It wasn't clear if Batman ever found his parents' killer in this version.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: This version of Batman brands criminals and will use lethal force against them (not in cold blood, but at least to deter equivalent force). He declines to do either to Luthor.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Batman has convinced himself that Superman must be killed because he is not human, alternating between calling him an alien, monster or animal. What convinces him to not make the fatal strike is learning that Superman has a mother, one who is in trouble, and the "alien" is humanized instantly.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: A Justified Trope, according to supplementary material. Bruce and Alfred build everything in Batman's arsenal by themselves by means of using the Wayne fortune.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: The latin quote is seen graffitied in an abandoned building during the Batman/Superman battle, and in an article critical of Batman branding criminals who are later murdered in jail, to which the Gotham police are turning a blind eye. An In-Universe theme is whether Superman is accountable to anyone but himself.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Superman is unquestionably good, despite having unwillingly caused some collateral damage. Batman on the other hand, while still having good intentions, has been spiraling down a dark and brutal path since his sidekick died and has no qualms about killing. In the end, he mellows out of it a little.
  • Willfully Weak: Early in their fight Superman is clearly using kid gloves against Batman, hoping he'll wear himself out. Seeing as Batman is wearing Powered Armor that lets him take more punishment than a normal person, that still involves being thrown through walls and crashing through the Batsignal. In one specific instance, Superman reaches out as if putting his hand on Batman's chest and knocks him back 50 feet. To cap it off, Superman uses If I Wanted You Dead...
  • Wolverine Publicity: Batman gets billed before Superman in the title despite being the sequel to Man of Steel, the film opens with his origins, and with Superman dead, he is set up as The Leader and founder of the Justice League, roles traditionally belonging to Superman in comics and other adaptations.
  • Working the Same Case: Bruce and Diana both go after Lex Luthor for what at first seem like unrelated reasons, but that turns out to be different aspects of Luthor's grand anti-metahuman plans.
  • World Building: The first DCEU film to vastly expand the Shared Universe directly after Man of Steel set up Superman's world, by introducing Superman's Arch-Enemy Lex Luthor, introducing Batman and his world, introducing Wonder Woman, and paving the way for the Justice League and the upcoming conflict with Apokolips.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: At Clark's funeral in Smallville, Bruce has a conversation with Diana about how badly he screwed up, and wants to change things and do better. He talks of bringing together the other metahumans and Diana says they don't want to be found, explaining that she gave up on humanity a long time ago. Bruce asserts that "Men are still good." and they can do better.
  • Wretched Hive: Gotham is shown to have the aesthetic of America in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and its reputation for being a center for crime is felt even on a good day. Perry White even remarks that to say that Gotham has crime is to say that water is wet. It's also right across the bay from Metropolis, and apparently has traditionally been downtrodden in comparison to its sister city, sort of like Jersey City to New York, or Oakland to San Francisco.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Lex Luthor sets up the "gladiator fight" with a mind to benefit from as many outcomes as possible. If Batman prevails, it all worked out; Superman is proven not to be "all powerful". If Superman wins, Lex gets payback on the Bat and ensures he won't be meddling any further, and Superman now has blood on his hands; no longer "all good". Even beyond that, Batman's bought him time to unleash Doomsday.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Luthor makes some last-minute adjustments to his plan towards the end, as he didn't plan on Batman's Roaring Rampage of Revenge including laying waste to Lexcorp and taking off with the Kryptonite, but even this gets worked into the overall scheme. He knows there's only one reason Batman would take the Kryptonite, after all, so he sends Superman against him.
  • You Got Spunk: Luthor to Lois.
    Lex Luthor: Well you're feisty! ...Unfortunately, that will blow the sand in the desert.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The key witness to the Nairomi incident. As she is about to disembark from her bus, she sees Anatoli and some mooks waiting outside of her home. She recognizes their presence means ill for her, which convinces her to run straight to Senator Finch to confess that she had lied about Superman's actions in Nairomi. Unfortunately for her, Anatoli catches up with her at the subway and pushes her into the path of an oncoming train.
  • You're Insane!: Lois confronts Lex Luthor at one point, calling him "psychotic".
    Lois Lane: You're psychotic!
    Lex Luthor: That is a three-syllable word for any thought too big for little minds. [flicks Lois's forehead]
  • Zorro Mark: A criminal is captured and chained up, a scarred imprint on his shoulder is shown resembling a bat. It's mentioned such marks are reserved by Batman for rapists and pedophiles, and can be considered a death sentence for those given them.note 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Batman VS Superman


Kimmel figures out Kent/Wayne

Jimmy Kimmel figures out that Clark Kent is Superman and Bruce Wayne is Batman within seconds of meeting them.

How well does it match the trope?

4.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ClarkKenting

Media sources:

Main / ClarkKenting