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Film / The Dark Knight Rises

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As the final installment of the The Dark Knight Trilogy, spoilers for all preceding films, including The Dark Knight will be left unmarked ahead. You Have Been Warned!
Selina Kyle: You don't owe these people anymore. You've given them everything.
Batman: Not everything. Not yet.

The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero thriller film, and the third and final entry in Christopher Nolan's Batman film series, The Dark Knight Trilogy.

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has retired from his work as the Batman and settled into an unhappy (and secluded) life as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. The Dent Act has helped the police slow the spread of organized crime in Gotham City to a controllable crawl without Batman's help. Commissioner James Gordon (Gary Oldman), now resigned to paperwork instead of fieldwork because of the downturn in crime, has to deal with attempts by other city officials to drive him out of office for good — while keeping the truth about Batman's disappearance a secret so Gotham can retain its newfound peace.

But the peace Batman has given his beloved city comes under threat just when Gotham needs him the most. A wily thief named Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) draws the Batman out of hiding by robbing Bruce Wayne, but it is the appearance of the masked terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) in Gotham that sets off a firestorm of events that ultimately forces Batman to consider how much he's really willing to sacrifice in order to save Gotham City.

Warner Bros. went on to reboot the Batman movie franchise twice since, in 2016 with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is part of the DC Extended Universe) and in 2022 with The Batman.

When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to trope:

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  • Abandoned War Child: Prior to becoming the leader of The League of Shadows, Henri Ducard was a mercenary hired by a warlord. However, Ducard and the warlord's daughter fell in love. The furious warlord was set to throw Ducard into a Hellhole Prison, but abruptly changed Ducard's sentence to exile instead. Unknown to Ducard, the warlord's now pregnant daughter was thrown into the prison instead, where she eventually gave birth. Years later the young child escaped and found Ducard. It's indicated the child was Bane, but it's really Talia al Ghul, alias Miranda Tate.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Bane's hideout. He uses Daggett's construction company to make it that way. Also, the hideout seems to be the storm drain system, and not sanitary sewers.
  • Achilles in His Tent: As Alfred points out, Bruce's reclusiveness has less to do with Batman and more to do with this.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Many; as a general principle there are roughly 15 minutes of drama scenes between each action sequence.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl's cameo as the football player who kicks off for Rapid City nods back to the fact that when he attended Washington & Jefferson College, he was starting place kicker on their football team.
    • Hines Ward from the National Football League Pittsburgh Steelers, is the player who runs back the opening kickoff and the only player to survive after Bane implodes the field. When he's looking back at the carnage after scoring the touchdown (if it can be considered one, since scoring would have stopped the moment the first explosions happened), his own name is on his Gotham team jersey.
    • When the boy is singing the National Anthem, the camera pans down the sideline to show us the starting lineup, including Steelers players. In addition to Ravenstahl and Ward, you will see "Big" Ben Roethlisberger, Brett "The Diesel" Keisel, Mike Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey, and Rashard Mendenhall. You don't see their names on the jersey, but if you've watched Steelers games, they're easy to identify because they wear their real player numbers (as is Ward).
    • The instructions Alfred gives to Selina Kyle about delivering dinner to Bruce, including being told to drop off the tray and lock the door behind her, have been said to be similar to something Anne Hathaway's character in The Devil Wears Prada does.
    • Commissioner Gordon calls for all of the GCPD to go into the sewers to root out Bane's army. This isn't the first time that Gary Oldman called for all the police in the city. Although in this case, he's a lot calmer about it and this time, he isn't psychotic.
    • Tom Hardy had previously forced Burn Gorman to his death in a TV adaptation of Wuthering Heights, where they played Heathcliffe and Hindley respectively.
    • The prisoner played by Tom Conti, who gives Bruce the story of Bane's (but actually Talia's) prison escape, is similar to the actor's character in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the comics, Ra's Al-Ghul's daughter Talia is a gray-shaded character constantly going between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, and has sincere feelings for Batman. In the film, Talia is a flat-out villain with none of the moral conflicts she has in the comics, instead being just as much of a Knight Templar as her father. And her feelings for Batman are revealed to have been all an act: she never loved him, she loved Bane.
    • Bane himself, possibly, depending on whether you think the version that occasionally verges on Noble Demon but doesn't care about anyone but himself is more or less evil than the nihilistic destroyer with the bomb who serves the League of Shadows
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Alfred is visibly amused at Selina posing as Bruce's wife to steal his car (and at Bruce's ensuing Death Glare).
  • The Alcatraz: The Pit is designed to be inescapable. Played With in that The Pit is actually very easy to escape in the conventional sense; there are no guards, there are no locked cells, and prisoners are free to move about as they wish. There is also no physical barrier keeping them in as the roof is completely open to the outside world. The only thing keeping them in is a vertical climb of at least a hundred feet to get up to the opening at the top. A lot of prisoners have tried and failed to escape (often killing themselves in the process), but the extremely difficult climb IS possible, as Talia al Ghul and Bruce have proven. The safety rope is apparently there as a trick: it may save you from a fatal fall, but it also makes it impossible to make a jump during the climb, which is properly done free-climbing.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization adds a lot of details, like giving characters full names if they only have a first or last name mentioned (even minor bit part characters), or adding extra clarifying details about the plot. Some examples:
    • Expanded continuity nods to previous films. For instance, the barriers in the stock exchange heist are said to have been installed after the Joker's attack in the second movie, and they were installed to deter truck bombs. The real barriers seen in the film are on Wall Street, and they had been installed for the exact same purpose and also following a terrorist attack: the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
    • Another example is that the novelization makes clear that Bruce hobbles on a cane because of a bad left leg, and that it's because of him spraining it in the same fall that killed Harvey Dent at the end of The Dark Knight.
    • An explanation is given as to how Blake was able to find the cement truck driver at the cement plant: he detected a familiar scent. This scent is not elaborated on, but we have to presume that either it was deodorant, or we go on the idea that the truck driver was wearing cologne (some colognes are pretty strong).
    • It is explained that the cops who weren't trapped underground were retirees, green cadets, or desk duty men.
    • The roof where Bruce parked the Bat is better explained to be the roof of the building where his penthouse apartment in The Dark Knight was.
    • The novelization is mostly based off of the script, but it also helps indicate what dialogue in the movie was ad-libbed.
      • It even indicates what dialogue was cut. One example: when the police first attempt to corner Batman during the car chase following the stock exchange robbery, a police officer on a megaphone orders him to step away from his bike, and he also tries to get McGarrity (the shoeshine henchman) to talk by asking him, "What were you stealing?!" before smashing his visor and taking the laptop.
    • The novelization also rearranges the order of some of the scenes.
      • In the novelization, the meeting Bruce has with Fox where the Bat is unveiled takes place before Bruce visits Gordon at the hospital and dances with Selina Kyle, where it happens after these scenes. The scene is also longer, as prior to Fox finding Bruce in his office, he's finishing up a board meeting and turning down a request by Miranda Tate to see Bruce. It is revealed that she is also aware of Daggett's attempts to take over Wayne Enterprises.
  • All There in the Script: The final shooting script features several deleted/extended scenes not found in the film. Most are "character moments" though some also clarify details of the plot. They include:
    • A scene at Wayne Manor where the Congressman tells Foley that he's next in line for the role of Police Commissioner if he does well, giving Foley one more incentive of chasing Batman for the murder of Harvey Dent other than Batman being public enemy number one.
    • A conversation between the two thugs that capture Commissioner Gordon where they debate killing him before taking him to Bane (giving a direct explanation on how Gordon learned Bane's name).
    • A scene at Wayne Enterprises where Miranda warns Lucius Fox that Daggett is trying to take control of the company.
    • A longer scene of Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox at the Applied Sciences warehouse in which Fox wants to give Wayne the special leg brace which allows him to walk again.
    • Bruce testing the leg brace in the Batcave, explaining to Alfred how it works to match the muscle patterns of his uninjured leg.
    • A longer and slightly different scene outside the stock exchange and a lengthy chase scene between Bane, the police and Batman where they race around Gotham. The script has the stock exchange scenes all occurring in the evening instead of the late afternoon as the film had started at;
    • An argument in the Batcave between Bruce and Alfred revealing that Bruce bought up all the land and homes surrounding Wayne Manor to prevent anyone from seeing him coming and going as Batman.
    • An extended, much more heated confrontation between Bruce and Alfred. Alfred threatens to leave Wayne Manor if Bruce continues as Batman and Bruce argues that since Rachel Dawes's death, Batman is his only reason to live. Alfred confesses that he burned Rachel's letter and lied about her choosing to marry Bruce. Bruce accuses Alfred of betrayal before Alfred gives his speech about protecting Bruce's life, which does appear in the final film.
    • A longer conversation between Bruce, Miranda & Fox discussing the reactor and Dr. Pavel.
    • An extended conversation between Bruce & Blake in Blake's care where Blake jokingly gives Bruce cash for cab fare.
    • A much extended scene of Bane storming Blackgate Prison. Bane burns a picture of Harvey Dent and explains that Dent became the villain Two-Face after his injuries and encourages the city's poor to attack the wealthy and powerful before he destroys Blackgate, releasing all the inmates.
    • A brief scene of Selina escaping Blackgate.
    • A series of extended or omitted scenes showing the mercenaries seeing the burning Bat-signal on Gotham Bridge.
    • An extensive flashback sequence after Batman defeats Bane. Bane confesses that his devotion to Ra's Al Ghul stems from the League of Shadows rescuing him from the pit. A flashback scene then shows Ra's Al Ghul training Bane, who he has provided with a crude prototype mask to numb his pain.
    • A scene of Talia openly taking charge of the League of Shadows to form a convoy to detonate the neutron bomb. She then floods the reactor core and, as in the film, Fox tries to escape, though even the finished scenes of Fox in the film occur earlier in the script version.
    • A longer argument between Blake and the Army blockade on Gotham Bridge. Blake argues with the commanding officer, trying to convince him that Batman has returned and battle has broken out in the city streets.
    • In the script, after Batman harnesses the bomb to The Bat, he's never seen again—The Bat simply flies out to sea and the bomb detonates. The scene of Fox and the technicians examining the autopilot of The Bat then follows, with Fox realizing that Batman had ejected before the bomb detonated, and that Bruce Wayne must have survived the explosion.
  • Always Save the Girl: Bane plans on this when he captures Miranda Tate, knowing that Batman will come to her rescue. However, it's quickly revealed that Miranda is a Decoy Damsel... she's not only loyal to Bane's cause, it was her cause all along.
  • Anarchy Is Chaos: Exploited by Bane, anarchy as a tool to bring Gotham down, not something he himself believes.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The movie ends with Bruce Wayne having retired to Italy with Selina Kyle, and Robin Blake discovering the Batcave to continue his legacy.
  • Animal-Eared Headband: Selina's high-tech-looking "cat ears", which are actually something like goggles which she uses for cracking, but look like cat ears when pushed up on top of her head.
    • She's wearing a cat costume, complete with this headband, when Bruce finds her at the masquerade charity ball.
  • Anonymous Killer Narrator: A variety of flashbacks in The Dark Knight Rises deal with the one escape from Bane's prison, which was committed by a child and an unnamed ally. Turns out that ally was Bane, and the focal child is actually Miranda Tate, the real Heir to the Demon.
  • Anti-Hero: Selina Kyle is initially just out for her own survival, and actually betrays Batman to Bane for it. It's not until she, too, is trapped in the city by Bane that her emotional connection to Bruce combines with this to bring about a full High-Heel–Face Turn, whereupon she becomes one of the Pragmatic Hero variety.
  • Apocalypse Anarchy: Invoked by Bane. He wants to show Batman how depraved his city can be, given the chance. Quite a few citizens step up to the plate.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Even after two major terror attacks in the past decade conducted by, respectively, an Illuminati-like society of ninjas and a flamboyant maniac in a clown outfit, the Gotham Police Department immediately dismisses Jim Gordon's tale of a mercenary army living in the sewers, led by a man wearing a strange mask. However, it's been eight years since the events of The Dark Knight, and Batman has been their primary target. The Congressman brings up that Gordon is a war hero in peacetime; no one wants the peace interrupted so he can feel useful again.
    • You would also think that perhaps the police would take Gordon's claims about Bane seriously after the Stock Exchange heist, given that Bane is seen, full mask and all, by hundreds of hostages on the trading floor, but there's no dialogue to imply that they came to their senses.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Rise".
    • "Anyone can be a hero."
  • Armed Legs: Selina Kyle has high, serrated stiletto heels for use in kick attacks.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Bane says "Do you feel in charge?" to Daggett.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Blake tells Gordon off after his coverup of Harvey Dent's crimes is exposed by Bane, the latter goes on an angry tirade attempting to justify his actions. Blake's response to him sums up his disgust very well.
    Gordon: I hope you have a friend like I did! To plunge their hands into the filth, so that you can keep yours clean!
    Blake: Your hands look plenty filthy to me, Commissioner.
  • Artistic License – Economics:
    • When Bane and his men attack the stock exchange, he fakes bogus trading in Bruce's name using the thumbprint Selina acquired from Bruce's safe. In reality, the NASDAQ and the NYSE have the ability to quickly cancel trades if necessary, and in fact trading should have been suspended entirely as soon as the attack was public knowledge. Bruce would have been easily able to get off the hook for those fraudulent trades, especially when he can show that the transactions were done during a robbery on the trading floor with multiple witnesses seeing Bane and the robbers using its computer system for something. This fact is acknowledged in the movie, with Fox mentioning that they would be able to prove fraud and get the money back soon enough, but in the short term Bruce is bankrupted, even though he shouldn't be liable at all under the circumstances (or could just refuse to honor them for entirely valid reasons).
    • The Gotham electric company is utterly ruthless, cutting power to Bruce's home only a day or two afterward the stock incident. Bruce would have to be months behind on his payments for them to actually do that. They can't just assume he won't pay right off the bat.
    • Bruce going bankrupt shouldn't have gotten him automatically thrown off the Wayne Enterprises board, especially since he has a pretty solid defense for the trades being bogus. He still presumably owns his stake in the company, and would need to sell it first.
    • Despite what the characters repeatedly claim, Bruce Wayne is only broke; he is not bankrupt, except in a functional sense. To be bankrupt, Bruce would have to go to the bank and formally declare himself to be so, in writing. Merely not having money in your bank account is not the same as being bankrupt in a legal sense, especially since Bruce owns many valuable items and properties (including his mansion) that he could either rent, sell or put up as collateral for a loan if he needed cash quickly. This is yet another reason that he shouldn't have been kicked off the Board- even if there was a law or policy that said that nobody could sit on the Board if they were bankrupt (and in real life this is often not the case, by the way), it still would never apply to someone who hadn't declared themselves to be such yet.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • The Dent Act, a law which amongst other things denied parole to every inmate locked up in Blackgate and allowed exceptions to prison gender segregation, which was passed by the Gotham City Council. In real life, no American city would have this amount of authority over the criminal justice system — that belongs to the state governments.
    • Selina Kyle just walking into a congressman's car, and later managing to kidnap him and keep him hidden for several days would most certainly not occur in real life. The Secret Service would easily keep Selina well away from Gilly until they knew who she was. Furthermore, kidnapping him would automatically put Selina under a federal charge, so Blake would have no authority to arrest her for kidnapping him until the federal case finished.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: There are so many things wrong with Bruce Wayne's healing from his spinal injury, that it stretches belief.
    • The human spine is a very complex and intricate part of the body; punching a vertebrae back into alignment will not magically fix it and allow a person to walk with no issues. In fact, doing so may cause further damage to the spine and the nervous system, and may actually cause paralysis.
    • Hanging a person with a spinal injury like that, and letting gravity heal the damage risks tearing and damage to the spine, again causing paralysis. It is only for specific situations, not a herniated disc (which is what Batman suffers from).
    • When the vertebrae is protruding from the spine to the point of poking through the skin, at that point it is very serious and requires spinal surgery.
    • The kind of injury Batman sustained (dropped onto Bane's knee while being held from above) would not cause a vertebrae to protrude; it would actually cause either a torn disc or fracture. Said injury would take months to recover from, and would most likely require surgery.
    • Climbing up a wall with a rope wrapped around the waist, then falling and letting the rope arrest the near 100-foot fall without some way to spread the load across the body would cause horrible damage to the spine and risks snapping it in two. It is definitely not something Batman can do so soon after a grievous spinal injury, or even more than once.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: To a certain extent, the fusion reactor acting as a bomb. Going by the real life principles behind how actual nuclear fusion reactors work, they can at worst make their containment vessels radioactive and expose people to the radiation - nothing could possibly have exploded. The film seems to implicitly handwave this by implying the device is so advanced and one-of-a-kind that no one in the world besides Dr. Pavel could have weaponized it like this.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Tension structures like the various suspension bridges shown in the film really don't take kindly to being cleanly severed. On suspension bridges, their stability is absolutely dependent upon the tension of the suspending ropes that stretch over the tops of the supporting towers (hence the name). Yet, the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges still seem to dangle out far beyond the towers with nothing to hold them up. With the cables cut, everything beyond the towers should have immediately fallen.
  • Aside Glance: When asked what the iconic chanting means, out of focus, the prisoner answers "Rise," with a wink.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Daggett. Because even with the small fortune he paid Bane, no one's going to miss him when Bane breaks his neck.
    • Later, Daggett's assistant Phillip Stryver, after he's "exiled" by Bane's empire. He's also hard to sympathize with when he ends up falling through the ice of the East River, dying of hypothermia in the process. Chances are, nobody will be crying given his loyalty to Daggett.
    • Also the smug and foppish CIA Special Agent Bill Wilson at the start of the film, who seems to be enjoying his High-Altitude Interrogation rather more than is seemly, if only for the fact that he's Littlefinger. This is why the audience is so happy when Bane punches him in the throat, and then, it's implied, crushes his neck by stomping on it.
  • As You Know: Daggett explaining the function of the Clean Slate Drive to Selina (who is holding him at gunpoint) even though she obviously knows what it does. Mitigated in that, after Daggett explains its abilities, he adds, "Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?", revealing he had been lying about it all along.
  • A-Team Firing: In the climax, not many people go down despite the fact that two heavily armed masses of people are walking or running at each other in the open and at close range.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Once Batman learns the purpose of Bane's mask, he holds his own much better in a fight.
  • Avenging the Villain: Bane insists on breaking Batman — not merely killing him, but destroying everything he loves, up to and including Gotham City — as punishment for betraying and killing Ra's al-Ghul.
  • Awful Truth: There are two: Harvey Dent's fall, kept from Gotham until Bane reveals it, and Alfred burning Rachel's final note to Bruce in order to spare him pain. Alfred finally breaks silence to try to save Bruce.
    Alfred: Maybe it's time we all stopped trying to outsmart the truth and let it have its day!
  • Ax-Crazy: Bane is rampantly homicidal and very good at hiding it. Among his brutal violence, Berserker behavior, extreme sadism, and willingness to kill literally millions of people, there is something definitely off with him.
  • Back in the Saddle: Gordon and Batman exhibit it at different points.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Batman and Selina, when facing off against some of Bane's guys on the roof.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Bane protecting young Talia in the prison. When she grows up, they become the evil version of Lady and Knight.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Bane is full of these.
      Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning.
      Bane: I will break you.
      Bane: The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!
      Bane: Oh, you think darkness is your ally, but you merely adopted the dark, I was born in it.
      Bane: Then, when it is done, and Gotham is... ashes... then you have my permission to die.
    • Batman's doubles as an Ironic Echo:
      Batman: WHEN YOU TELL ME WHERE THE TRIGGER IS... then you have my permission to die!
  • Badass Decay: Invoked. Bruce's deteriorating health and a prolonged retirement from super heroics really hurt his efficiency when he shoulders the mantle again. The fact that Batman isn't as effective a fighter as he was is constantly discussed in-universe, when Bane says, "Peace has cost you your strength. Victory has defeated you."
  • Badass in Distress: Gordon spends most of the first 90 minutes of the film in the hospital recovering from gunshot wounds he received during his escape from Bane's lair; Bruce spends much of the second act (Bane's takeover) disabled and thrown in a prison by Bane.
  • Badass Longcoat: In the second half of the movie, Bane is wearing a thick fur coat with a massive shearling collar. It was specially designed and tailored exclusively for Tom Hardy, it took over two years to make.
  • Bad Boss: Bane kills several of his own guys throughout the film, either by necessity or for displeasing him. In spite of it all, they are all suicidally loyal to him.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Batman's efforts to defeat Bane are hamstrung by his one rule. Selina has no such problem, though she's more an antihero than a bad guy.
  • Bald of Evil: Bane. One of his accomplices at the Stock Exchange heist, McGarrity, sports this and the beard to match.
  • Batman Gambit: Bane's plan hinges on Bruce Wayne and a few other people responding exactly the way he predicts they will every step along the way.
    • His plan to trap the cops underground is reliant on Gordon deciding to send the majority of the officers into the sewers to search for his hideouts.
    • Bane and his men getting away after the Stock Exchange robbery has multiple instances.
      • Leaving Wall Street right after the robbery counts. Bane and his men being able to actually get out of the block despite all the police cars blocking the streets is dependent on a few things: first, that the police were going to raise the vehicle ramp barriers (which they use to leap over at least two police cars), and two, the police being unable to block the street in question. This second one, Bane creates himself by having a concrete worker station a cement mixer truck on the street corner (he's the truck driver that you see Blake arguing with before the ramps are raised). Third, it is dependent on the police cars being parked in a very certain way when they arrive to leave a clear escape route (with all of them facing inwards and in a position where they need to make a u-turn to move out).
      • Bane getting away is reliant on Batman showing up at a specific moment and the cops suddenly shifting their attention to trying to capture Batman instead of pursuing Bane and his men (in fact, Foley orders the officers not to pursue Bane when he peels away from the shoeshiner, for the reason being that he had no hostage on his bike).
    • Even Bane's introduction sequence is him pulling a Batman Gambit on the CIA. Bane knows the agent in Uzbekistan will be unable to resist taking three captured mercenaries who worked for "The Masked Man" onto the plane; thus Bane gets himself aboard the flight carrying Dr. Pavel, which he promptly hijacks.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Invoked during the climax, during which Batman implies that, for one of the few times ever in the entire trilogy, he's seriously considering making Bane the intentional exception to his one rule.
    Batman: When you tell me where the trigger is, then you have my permission to die!
    • And finally played straight in the ending: since the entire city is at stake due to the nuclear bomb in the truck that the Big Bad is driving, Batman opens fire on them with the Batjet. Batman doesn't grab guns, he mans fighter jets with explosive-ammo miniguns! It's unknown if they survived but the bullet wounds are VERY apparent.
  • Battle Couple: Bruce and Selina by the end.
  • Beard of Evil: Barsad, Bane's lieutenant, sports one. So does McGarrity, the computer operator for the Stock Exchange heist (who also is bald-headed).
  • Beard of Sorrow: A shelved and reclusive Bruce Wayne sports a natty Van Dyke, which he shaves when he resumes the mantle.
  • Beast and Beauty: A villainous example in Bane and Talia.
  • Beauty Inversion: Played with. While Bane's mask, bald head, wrecked skin, and grotesquely muscular body make him anything but attractive, Tom Hardy's naturally handsome face still allows us to immediately identify him in the last flashback as the prisoner who helps Talia escape.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Daggett falls victim to this twice: the first time he asks "Can we get some girls in here?" after Bane successfully destroys Bruce Wayne's fortune, only for Selina Kyle to immediately quote the trope verbatim and attack him. The second time:
      John Daggett: Where is Bane?!
      Philip Stryver: Well, we told him it was urgent.
      John Daggett: Oh, where is the masked-
      Bane: Speak of the Devil... and he shall appear!
    • Selina also gets this when she finally sees Bane's revolution play out. As much as she dislikes the upper class, what Bane and his men do take this a little too far (see Disproportionate Retribution below)
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Bruce and Selina, so very much. When Bruce is confronting her for stealing his mother's pearl necklace, you can see an impressed little smirk on his face at her audacity. And then there's that dance scene...
  • Berserk Button: Do not remove Bane's mask. Ever. As he tells the CIA agent, "It would be extremely painful." Literal truth! He immediately makes it a threat against the agent by adding an extra "For you." on to the end.
    • Bane is also set off by mentions of his excommunication. When Bruce brings this up in the first fight, this provokes him to start delivering much more powerful blows.
    • Also, Selina Kyle gets enraged when someone rips her off and doesn't follow through on a deal, as Daggett and Stryver find out the hard way when she confronts them upon discovering they lied to her about having the Clean Slate program to expunge her criminal record.
  • Best Served Cold: The "slow blade" plan, which may take a second viewing to fully appreciate. But maybe it was a little too slow.....
  • Betty and Veronica: Miranda Tate as the clean-energy pioneering Betty, Selina Kyle as the flirtatious cat burglar Veronica who steals a necklace belonging to Bruce's mother in her first scene. However, Miranda reveals herself to be Talia al Ghul, aiming to destroy Gotham and avenge her father, whom she hates Bruce Wayne for killing. Selina reveals herself to be a Noble Demon.
  • Big Applesauce: In the first two films, Chicago stood in for Gotham City. In this film, New York City, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles stand in for Gotham:
    • 23 Wall Street represents the exterior of the Stock Exchange, but the interior of the exchange and parts of the bike chase occur in Los Angeles. The vehicle crash barriers that get deployed are real and do exist. The area outside 23 Wall Street is also where Foley's death scene happens in the final battle. In a paradoxical way, the real New York Stock Exchange is right across the street from that building, and can be seen in several shots, such as when the police are arriving at the exchange. It's also visible in the background at the final battle.
    • Batman observes the city from atop the Queensboro Bridge (the New York skyline does not appear to be altered in any form here). This bridge is left intact to allow for relief supplies to enter the city, but Bane's explosives destroy the Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges.
    • Aerial shots of Gotham when the explosives go off are shots of Manhattan. The overview image of "Gotham Island" seen when the bridges are being blown is actually just an aerial view of Lower Manhattan with three bridges digitally added in on the Hudson River side.
    • Wayne Enterprises was headquartered in the Chicago Board of Trade Building in Batman Begins, and the Richard Daley Center in The Dark Knight. In this film, New York City's Trump Tower represents their headquarters.
    • In one of the scenes of the elite being removed from their houses, you can see that the people are being pulled out of apartments on Park Avenue around 84th Street on the Upper East Side.
    • A number of times, what are clearly New York City Subway station entrances without any form of disguise are seen. For instance, entrances with signs that say Wall Street Station (2 and 3 trains) are visible during the start of the climatic battle between the police and Bane's men. And entrances to the Broad Street station (J and Z trains) are located outside the stock exchange during that attack.
    • Gotham cabs (see the one Selina gets into on her way to the charity ball) have livery designs that reflect the appearance of New York's taxis prior to 2007. Likewise, in several scenes (Bruce's car being towed, and the elite being forcibly removed from their apartments), you can also see cabs with undisguised NYC Taxi logos (the variant used since September 2007).
    • As can be seen in these two images, the GCPD's livery is actually the very livery that the NYPD fleet utilized in the 1990s. Similarities include the vehicle number being placed on the side of the unit just ahead of the taillights on both sides, a white stripe that runs along the side of the car originating from the headlights, the GCPD emblem is in between the words "GPD" and "Police". Those words are also reversed so that the word "Police" is painted on the rear passenger door on both sides of the car and "GPD" is on the front set of doors just below the rearview mirrors. The font used for the wording is even the same.
    • On the other hand, Gotham's football players are obviously expies of the Pittsburgh Steelers, with many actual Steelers playing themselves on screen. The game takes place in what a Steelers fan would recognize as Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.
    • Deputy Commissioner Foley's home is in the Pittsburgh suburb of Lawrenceville.
  • Big Bad: Bane is the lead terrorist and carries out the Evil Plan. In realty, he's either The Dragon or part of a Big Bad Duumvirate with Talia al Ghul (it's not clear which), but whatever the case Talia is the mole and Bane is the enforcer. If anything, Talia had the basic concept and Bane does about 99% of the work.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Bane and Talia.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: John Daggett schemes to take over Wayne Enterprises and believes Bane to be a mere attack dog for him to accomplish this goal. Bane disposes of him when he is no longer needed.
  • Big Damn Gunship: Though the Bat is more in the lines of a military-model attack helicopter than a gunship, this trope pops up around it several times. Particularly during the finale, when the cops stand off against Bane's army. It appears to disable the Tumblers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The entire final act is one long Big Damn Hero moment for Batman to all of Gotham. Then he himself is saved by Selina Kyle.
  • Big Damn Kiss: After Selina declares that she and Bruce are both "suckers", they take a long moment to suck face.
  • The Big Guy: Bane, who towers over most of the characters and overpowers Batman in a straight up fight.
  • Big "NO!": Bruce Wayne does one after he hallucinates seeing Ra's al-Ghul in the Pit.
  • Big Sleep: Foley and Talia.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A more obscure one than most - the "Deshi bashara" chant used throughout the movie? Its literal translation is rise up!
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: The President says in his address following Bane's takeover of Gotham, "We do not negotiate with terrorists! ... But we do face reality".
  • Black-Tie Infiltration: Selina Kyle infiltrates Wayne Manor (to steal a pearl necklace and Bruce Wayne's fingerprints) by posing as one of the wait staff during a formal memorial dinner for Harvey Dent. Selina gets caught in the act, but makes her escape by pulling the apron and white lapels off her outfit—leaving her in a Little Black Dress—and blending in with the guests.
  • Blast Out: Selina Kyle's fingerprint exchange with Stryver turns into one of these thanks to her tricking him into calling the SWAT team in.
  • Blatant Lies: Blake and Gordon are driving through the city listening to the President's address on the radio, when he says "People of Gotham, we will not abandon you."
    Det. John Blake: What does that mean?
    Gordon: (sighs) It means we're on our own.
    • Subverted: The proclamation is later shown to have contained at least a modicum of truth when the government slips Captain Mark Jones's team in with the supplies, in an attempt to get information to help save the city. Except that Bane manages to wipe them out before they can actually do anything.
    • And those thousands of cops that are heading down into the sewers? Nothing to worry about, it's just a training exercise!
    • Bane's monologue in front of Blackgate ends with the assurance that Gotham will survive. Cut to the bomb with its timer counting down. The movie audience already knows that Bane's plan involves it detonating in any case.
  • Bond One-Liner: Selina gets one during the climax after blasting Bane with a single shot from the Batpod cannon: "About the whole no guns thing? I'm not sure I feel as strongly about it as you do."
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Played with. Bane runs with it, dropping Bruce into the pit he and Talia came from. Later, after he returns and Talia reveals her true colors, she tells Bane to let him live so he can die when the city blows up, this time Bane waits until she leaves and attempts to avert it by preparing to kill him with a shotgun... and then Selina arrives to stop him.
  • Bookcase Passage:
    • The private elevator from Fox's office to Applied Sciences is revealed by a button-press to a slide-away bookcase.
    • The secret Batcave passage elevator, revealed when Alfred plays a few chords on the piano, causing the bookcase to swing open.
  • Bookends:
    • The beginning and ending of the movie features Gordon at a public ceremony commemorating a fallen hero. The first time is for Harvey Dent and, knowing the truth about Dent's Face–Heel Turn and sickened by the lie he has to tell, Gordon is clearly conflicted and tormented by what he has to do. At the end, he's at the ceremony unveiling the memorial statue of Batman in City Hall, and seeing the real hero finally be recognized by the city clearly brings Gordon some peace.
    • Notice that Foley wears his ceremonial dress blues in both his first scene (at the Harvey Dent death day ceremony, when he's making small-talk with the Congressman) and his death scene (being shot dead by Talia's fleeing Tumbler).
    • Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises both have storylines that revolve around the Al Ghul family (both pretending to be a side character as well) conspiring to destroy Gotham City and end up dying as a result of WayneTech technology. Batman must take up the call and in the process, learn something about himself. While in Begins, Bruce starts his career as Batman, in Rises he retires and allows Blake to become Gotham's protector.
    • The film begins and ends with the violent destruction of an aircraft, in a way that makes everybody falsely believe that there are no survivors.
  • Bowdlerise: Foley's death was edited severely due to being too graphic even for an R rating, let alone the PG-13 Nolan was aiming for and ultimately got.
  • Break Them by Talking: During their first encounter, Bane mocks Batman's tactics as worthless against a fellow League of Shadows member. He delivers a second while leaving Bruce in the Pit, going into detail about how he intends to torture and destroy Gotham, while Batman is Forced to Watch.
    • Talia delivers a brief one to Batman before leaving to secure the bomb.
      Talia: Don't kill him. I want him to feel the heat. Feel the fire of 12 million souls you failed.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Alfred tells Bruce that he needs to learn to make his own bed after Selina Kyle (impersonating a maid) steals Bruce's pearl necklace. The next morning, the first room Alfred checks in a search for Bruce before going to the Batcave is his bedroom—and we see that the bed is still made (i.e: not been slept in).
    • When Gordon is trying to convince Foley to join the resistance, he says, "Look, Peter, I'm not asking you to parade down Grand in your dress blues, but something has to be done!" At the final battle, Foley is leading the charge—in his dress blues.
    • Selina Kyle is seen climbing into the Congressman's car and asking him for a ride to seduce him. He is not seen for about twelve minutes of screen time. So when Selina goes to the bar where she meets Stryver, she mentions that every cop in the city is missing her date. We get a better look at the Congressman, now seen unshaven, haggard, wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt.... and clearly infatuated with her.
      • Even getting shot in the leg during the resulting blast-out didn't stop his crush on her, for this comes up when Blake detains Selina at the airport:
        John Blake: I showed your picture to the Congressman. Guess what?
        Selina Kyle: Don't tell me. Still in love?
        John Blake: Oh, head over heels. Pressing charges, though.
    • How does Blake get into the Batcave? Spelunking. You know, cave diving.
    • Yes, the Bat does come in black.
  • Broken Pedestal: Exploited by Bane, who destroys Harvey Dent's posthumous reputation as the White Knight of Gotham by revealing Gordon's cover-up of the murders. The revelation also changes Blake's opinion of Gordon.
    Gordon: Gotham needed a hero!
    Blake: It needs it now, more than ever. You betrayed everything it stood for.
  • Bullet Sparks: Three times.
    • You can see sparks flying off alleyway dumpsters during the bar shootout.
    • During the stock exchange robbery, sparks can be seen as Bane's men shoot up the monitors to start the robbery.
    • During the Pickett's Charge against Bane's army, machine gun bullets are seen sparking at the feet of the charging GCPD.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Daggett's confrontation with Bane. It doesn't end prettily.

  • Call-Back: The movie contains numerous intentional references to previous installments of the franchise (mostly the first one).
    • Lucius explains that Bruce's redesigned Batsuit makes him more vulnerable to knife attacks. That comes into play in the climax.
    • The movie opening on the eighth anniversary of Harvey Dent's death.
    • Bane being a former member of the League of Shadows.
    • Bruce once again having the dream about being rescued by his father from the well on the grounds of Wayne Manor.
    • When Bane breaks Batman's cowl, it is a callback to when Alfred smashes a cowl in the first film to explain how fragile the mask is.
    • The flashback to Ra's talking about losing his wife. It's expanded on in that now we see what exactly drove Ra's on.
    • During the stock exchange robbery, a trader at the shoeshine stand is talking with his friend about how Bruce coming back could be good or bad, but he's convinced it's bad. "On what basis?" "I flipped a coin" which is a reference to Two-Face.
    • When Batman is riding the Batpod during the Stock Exchange getaway chase, and rides past Bane, Bane does a double take over his shoulder, foreshadowing their first "fight".
    • When Batman walks on the ice to save commissioner Gordon, it is a technique he learned in the first movie from Ra's al Ghul.
    • Bruce's final exchange with Gordon.
    • When Lucius is showing off The Bat for the first time, he notes that yes, it does come in black.
    • Scarecrow himself is the Kangaroo Court's presiding judge.
    • Bane mentions how "theatricality and deception are powerful agents", a callback to something Ducard says to Bruce in the first. Presumably Ducard taught Bane the same lesson.
    • The scene where Selina takes Batman to Bane could be taken as a callback to the docks scene in Batman Begins. Right down to the whole "scare the dude by hanging upside down behind him and then overpowering him" sequence.
    • The climax of the movie shares similarities to Batman Begins. Both movies have a person reveal themselves to be a Big Bad, Henri Ducard/Ra's in Begins and Miranda Tate/Talia in Rises. Both Ra's and Talia tried to use a Wayne Enterprises device to destroy the city (Ra's used a microwave emitter to try to evaporate Gotham's water and release fear toxin into the city while Talia simply uses a nuclear bomb). Also, both Ra's and Talia die from being in a vehicle that falls down and crashes (Begins had the train crash and microwave emitter make an explosion that killed Ra's and in Rises, Talia dies from falling two stories in a truck without wearing a seatbelt).
    • The whole movie itself might as well be a callback to Batman Begins, down to the final shot of Robin John Blake spelunking in the batcave and holding a cylindrical torch, and being swarmed by bats like Bruce, before slowly rising to stand among the swarm.
    • In each movie of the trilogy, Batmans pulls an Ironic Echo on each villain's catchphrase when he gains the upper hand on them in the respective final acts. In the first film, he quips how Ra's al Ghul "never learned to mind his surroundings"; in the second, he adds some new scars to the Joker when he starts his "want to know how I got these scars?" routine, and in this film, he refuses to grant Bane a "permission to die" until he gives him some important info.
      • This goes all the way back to the 1989 Batman, when he asks the Joker "Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight" right before punching the Joker in the face.
      • In addition, in all three films Batman uses his gauntlet scallops in a pivotal way in each final battle. In Begins, he uses them to break Ducard's sword. In Dark Knight, he gives the Joker the new scars. In Rises, he uses them to damage Bane's mask.
    • Bruce Wayne imprisoned in a faraway exotic country, like at the beginning of the first movie.
  • The Cameo:
    • Both current and former Pittsburgh Steelers football players were brought in to cameo as the Gotham Rogues. The most notable of these cameos is former Steelers receiver Hines Ward, the player that outruns the imploding football field, then turns around and drops the football in shock. McFarlane Toys even made a special action figure of him in the Gotham Rogues uniform. In addition to Ward, other Steelers players who make cameos include Big Ben Roethlisberger, Brett "The Diesel" Keisel, Mike Wallace, Maurkice Pouncey, and Rashard Mendenhall.
      • Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (a former college kicker) kicks off for the Rapid City Monuments.
    • Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who the Joker terrorizes in The Dark Knight, reappears in this film as a member of the Wayne Enterprises board. He can be seen when Bane takes the Wayne Enterprises board hostage.
    • John Nolan, Christopher Nolan's uncle, who played the cop in Following, reprises his role as Wayne Enterprises board member Douglas Frederics from Batman Begins.
    • Cillian Murphy as Dr. Jonathan Crane proves to be quite resilient in his three-appearance streak.
    • Liam Neeson as Ra's Al Ghul in a hallucination.
  • Canon Character All Along:
    • Miranda Tate appears to be a love interest invented for the film but late into the film it is revealed that it is an alias for Talia al Ghul, the daughter of Ra's al Ghul.
    • Near the end, John Blake reveals that his first name is Robin and follows Bruce's footsteps, showing that he is a Composite Character of several of the Robins. Ironically, he was originally speculated to be an entirely different Canon Character All Along—one from a book where the Joker stole a little boy's pies.
  • Can't Default to Murder: On the occasions when Batman and Catwoman are forced to team up, Batman insists on not killing their opponents, which Catwoman does not agree with. At the end, after Batman has been captured by Bane, she shows up on the Batpod and blows him away, commenting, "About the whole no guns thing, not sure I feel as strongly about it as you do." Batman doesn't protest, possibly because Bane was about to kill him, but more likely because they have a nuke to disarm and they're on the clock.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Seems to go back and forth with this trope. On one hand, we have some good anti-capitalist zingers from Catwoman, who disapproves of Bruce Wayne's selfish lifestyle. On the other, we have a Does This Remind You of Anything? sequence where angry anarchists attack the stock exchange and super-villain Bane's dialogue calls back to the recent "Occupy Wall Street" movement. When the film was released, many decried it as capitalist apologism in defense of the elite. Though it should be noted that Christopher Nolan has officially stated that no political message was intended. In addition, this film has been mocked as an example of both anti-capitalism and anti-anti-capitalism, with Jonathan Chait writing in New York magazine that "What passes for a right-wing movie these days is The Dark Knight Rises, which submits the rather modest premise that, irritating though the rich may be, actually killing them and taking all their stuff might be excessive."
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Miranda Tate is Talia al Ghul, and the child who escaped from the prison. The former is obvious the second Bane mentions her father, considering he has no connection to the League in the comics, whereas his daughter does. The latter is easy to recognize the second you see the child's face, considering she's played by the same actress who played Ramona Quimby just 2 years earlier.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • The idea of an army of fanatical terrorists massing in the Gotham sewers and subways is a bit much to take in, yes, but you'd think after the events of eight years earlier, they would've taken it a bit more seriously. Granted, when they do, nearly all of the police force gets trapped underground. Not even Foley initially believes Gordon's claims about Bane and his men, so when he shows up to inform Gordon about Bane's abduction of the Wayne Enterprises board (which is in part what leads to the cops getting trapped in the tunnels), he says, "I'm sorry I didn't take you seriously."
      • Plus, Foley doesn't believe that Bane exists in the scene where Gordon promotes Blake. This happens after the Stock Exchange robbery, where there are several hundred witnesses who see Bane in full color, mask and all.
    • Also, when Alfred finally reveals to Bruce that he burned Rachel's letter, letting him know that she chose Harvey instead of him in order to spare him the pain. Bruce, at first, is outraged that Alfred would twist Rachel's memory to his own ends. It's not clear if Bruce actually believes Alfred or keeps assuming it's a trick.
    • Earlier Alfred tries to warn Bruce Wayne that Bane is "the League of Shadows resurgent." Bruce dismisses Bane as just a mercenary and insists the League of Shadows has been defeated with the death of Ra's Al Ghul. Alfred points out that if Ra's Al Ghul is dead, "Who leads them now?"
    • In the climax, when Blake tries to get the armed forces blocking the Orensboro Bridge to let a bus full of orphans pass, saying the bomb was going to be detonated no matter what, they not only don't listen to him, but they blow up the bridge when he doesn't go back as they instructed him. Blake wasn't particularly happy about that.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Caught in the Rain: Miranda finds Bruce in a downpour trying to get back into his mansion (he's never needed a key before). They end up sleeping together by a cozy fire.
  • Celebrating the Heroes: At the end of the film, after Batman saves the city from the bomb at the supposed expense of his life, the city has a statue of him installed in the center of City Hall in his honor.
  • Central Theme: Anyone can be a hero. This sets up the idea that the Batman is a symbol, and that anyone can take up the mantle when the time is needed.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Selina showing back up to save Batman after saying she'd run.
  • Character Development:
    • Batman/Bruce Wayne, continues the hero's symbolic journey; over the course of the film descending into darkness to undergo the same gruelling training which Bane went through before finally "Rising", a resurrected Batman able to defeat the man who broke him. His heart is also broken with Alfred's revelation of Rachel's true feelings, and his final admission that it's time for him to let Gotham go.
    • Selina Kyle: As mentioned above, she transcends her past as a criminal to become a savior of Gotham and Batman's crime fighting partner.
  • Character Tics: Bane has a habit of holding the lapels of his jacket open like a very dapper gentleman, even when he's not wearing lapels or even a jacket. Truth in Television, as it is common among military personnel and football players to rest their hands in the neckline of their body armor and pads, respectively, as it takes weight off the shoulders and transfers it to the neck and back.
  • Chekhov's Armory: Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences Division contains all Batman's replacement gadgets, plus all kinds of unused prototypes, dangerous weapons and advanced technologynote .
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The tracking device in the pearls.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Bat has a malfunctioning autopilot. Which Bruce quietly fixed, a while ago.
    • The reactor chamber is underneath the river so it can be flooded if a security breach occurs.
    • Alfred's mention of the café in Florence he vacations at once a year.
    • Gordon's speech regarding the truth about Harvey Dent is taken from him when he is delivered to Bane. Bane then uses it to justify mass-releasing all of the Blackgate prisoners.
    • The chalk drawings that one of the orphans draw is later used as a sign to show the routes driven by the nuclear reactor trucks.
    • The device Bruce Wayne uses to disable the paparazzi's cameras is used repeatedly later on by Batman (to turn out the lights in the tunnel during the chase scene, for instance).
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The concrete mixer truck driver that Blake is seen instructing to stay in his truck during the stock exchange heist turns out to be working for Bane, which Blake realizes when he runs into the driver at the Broucek plant, and the driver attempts to kill him with a switchblade.
    • The child's protector is revealed to be Bane.
    • The soldier who tells the CIA interrogator that the hooded "prisoners" worked for Bane is revealed to be Bane's right hand sniper Barsad.
  • Chekhov's Lecture: Once trapped in the Pit, Bruce learns that Bane's mask allows him to Feel No Pain. Bruce figures out part of why he lost his first match with Bane, and uses that knowledge to target Bane's mask in their rematch.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Despite Harvey Dent's and Rachel's death being major plot points for the movie, no one so much as breathes a hint as to what happened to The Joker and actively seems to go out of their way to pretend he never existed. This was done on purpose out of respect for Heath Ledger.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: Selina Kyle, obviously. Her get up and poise are always elegant when snatching fingerprints or pearl necklaces. The grace with which she backflips out of Bruce's room is just one example.
  • *Click* Hello: Two. When Selina confronts Daggett in his penthouse:
    Selina Kyle: I want what you owe me!
    [*CLICK!* Stryver cocks his pistol and puts it to the back of Selina's head]
    John Daggett: "Want" doesn't get.
    • The second time is when Blake rushes to the hospital to rescue Gordon. Two mercenaries are searching the hospital for him. As Blake is in the corridor, he suddenly hears gunshots. He rushes to Gordon's room, shotgun drawn, kicks down the door, and finds the two mercenaries lying dead on the floor. At this point, a hand puts a pistol to Blake's back:
    Commissioner James Gordon: Clear the corners, rookie. [Blake looks at Gordon] Get my coat, son.
  • Closed Circle: Gotham in the second half of the film, as Bane cuts the island city off from the rest of the world and holds it hostage.
  • Cold Sniper: Barsad, Bane's Lieutenant, is mostly seen with an assault rifle, but during the gunfight before Gordon enters the tunnels, he's shown shooting three SWAT officers in the back with a Barrett M107 sniper rifle, while stationed on a fire escape.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Bruce and Selina are shown throughout most of the film in dark clothing, reflecting the difficult circumstances, bleakness and duality of their lives. At the end of the film in Italy, they are shown in lighter and softer colors, reflecting their mutual contentment.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Bane has no rules in combat. Meaning it's hard to figure out his weakness unless you get sent to the Pit to do hard time.
  • Combat Stilettos: Selina's heels are actual stilettos with serrated edges. She lampshades it:
    Stryver: Nice outfit. Those heels make it hard to walk?
    Selina Kyle: I don't know. [stomps on his foot, stabbing him in the instep] Do they?
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Selina Kyle is never once called "Catwoman" onscreen. However, several newspaper headlines refer to her as "The Cat," which is the name she originally used in the comics before switching to Catwoman.
  • Commie Land: Terrifyingly, Bane implements a Reign of Terror that essentially turns Gotham into this trope, with cues from both the Bolshevik and French Revolutions. Bit character and thief Jen—who fervently supports this—coos that the fancy home that she and Selina are standing in at one point is "everybody's home now." Selina, who always thought she'd love the day when this would happen, realizes the horrific People's Republic of Tyranny implications and gradually turns to Batman's side.
  • Composite Character:
    • Despite being an original character for the movies, John Blake borrows elements from a number of comics' characters. Namely the first three Robins. His full name is Robin John Blake, he became a police officer as an adult and is an orphan like Dick Grayson (who also shares "John" as a middle name), his street smarts and being an orphan who had to fend for himself long before meeting Bruce mirror Jason Todd, and he deduces Bruce Wayne is Batman like Tim Drake. Finally, similar to Dick, he takes up the mantle as Gotham's protector after Bruce's "death". Furthermore, he takes some inspiration from Batman Beyond's Terry McGinnis, taking up the mantle from an older, limping, retired Bruce, never having been a Robin, and being fed up with some of the secrets in the Bat Family.
    • Talia is a composite of the comic book Talia with a little of Bane's backstory of being born in and later escaping a Hellhole Prison thrown in.
    • For that matter, Bane is a composite of himself and Ubu, Ra's al-Ghul's rotating Dragon from the comics. This—and his exile—are also from the comics.
  • Continuity Nod: Many nods are made to the previous two movies, especially Begins.
    • Bane hitching into an airborne plane is very similar to Batman's Hong Kong stunt in The Dark Knight and is shot in the same way.
    • Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow being one of the prisoners released by Bane. He later runs the Kangaroo Court Gotham's rich and powerful are put in front of.
    • Gordon's still broken bat-signal on the top of the Gotham police station. Which leads to an awesome moment later when Gordon is seen grinning next to the signal after it's been repaired.
    • Upon his return to Gotham, Bruce grabs a backup Batsuit from the underground bunker he operated out of in The Dark Knight. The same scene features several items from the previous films in storage including the spiked gauntlets from his first suit.
    • The secret door to the Batcave using 3 sets of notes played on the nearby piano.
    • The scar on Miranda Tate's back is the same as the League of Shadows brand seen early on in Batman Begins.
    • Talia stabbing Batman through his armor during The Reveal. Lucius warned Bruce in The Dark Knight the increased flexibility of the new suit also made it more vulnerable to knives and bullets. Also, Ra's told Bruce that when someone gets in your way, you walk behind them and stab them in the back.
    • After stealing the necklace, Selina looks at a family photo of Bruce and his parents that shows damage from the fire in the first movie.
    • When Selina and Batman are making their way through the sewers, Batman takes out a gunman from behind while hanging upside-down, similar to his first deployment of the Batsuit in the first movie.
    • One from the comics: This isn't the first time that Bane breaks Batman's back.
  • Conveniently Empty Roads: When Gordon's group tries to figure out which truck is carrying the bomb and during the police attack on Bane's forces, the streets are otherwise virtually empty. Justified, since most people are afraid to even leave their homes due to Bane's occupation of Gotham.
  • Cool Bike: The Batpod, which has some improbable navigating skills.
  • Cool Car: Bruce's Lamborghini, which Selina steals by pretending to be his wife.
  • Cool Plane: Batman finally takes to the skies in the Bat, an agile helicopter vehicle specially designed for the military to use in tight quarters of urban environments. And yes, Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: John Daggett. Also, Miranda Tate is technically one as well, though with different motives than most examples.
  • Cowardly Lion: Foley folds it when Gotham falls to Bane's hands, even when Gordon is chewing him out in front of his wife. He comes around in time for the climax.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: The only way to escape an inescapable prison is to make a death-defying leap without a rope. The doctor theorizes that the fear of death due to having no safety line gets enough adrenaline going for the jumper to make it farther than usual. The only one who had succeeded was a child fleeing from a riot. Bruce is the only adult crazy enough to willfully decide on jumping without the rope. It works.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Bane treats Batman to one in their first fight. Then in their second fight, Bane is on the receiving end after having his mask damaged.
  • Dance of Romance: Bruce's dance with Selina Kyle at the Masquerade Ball could count as one. It's got the right music and they make use of a lot of overlapping orbital close-ups.
  • Dark Action Girl: Selina Kyle is a competent fighter and works for the bad guys. Initially.
  • Darkest Hour: Bane has Gotham under his control by threatening the city with a nuclear bomb that will eventually detonate anyway and Bruce is imprisoned.
  • Dark Messiah:
    • Exploited. Bane presents himself as an ominous quasi-messianic figure that would free the people of Gotham from capitalist bondage. It's all an act. He told Bruce that 'true despair' is impossible without hope so he plans to feed Gotham hope in order to poison it and further break him.
    • Harvey Dent is painted as this by Bane to the people of Gotham. We already know it, but the Gothamites are only now finding out about Harvey's dark end as Two-Face and the cover-up that Gordon and Batman engineered to hide it. Before his fall Dent was a legitimate 'White Knight' but Bane tells Gotham that this was a lie as well.
  • Dark Secret: Bane exposes Harvey Dent's crimes to the public after eight years of secrecy.
  • Dateless Grave: Thomas and Martha Wayne's graves are near the Wayne mansion, without any dates. Bruce's Dateless Grave is beside theirs, but to be fair, a date of death would have been inaccurate.
  • Dating Catwoman: Batman and Selina, as always, have sexual tension while on opposite sides of the law but they don't start dating until both of them have retired from their alter egos. Batman/Talia also applies, though in this case, Bruce was attracted to Talia's persona as Miranda without knowing she was Ra's al Ghul's daughter.
  • Daydream Surprise: While Bruce Wayne is in Bane's prison, Ra's al-Ghul once again appears to him, but it's just a hallucination, or his mind trying to work who and what Bane is and using Ra's as a cypher.
  • Deadly Dodging: See Misguided Missile.
  • Deadly Environment Prison: Bane's prison has no guards or fences, just a gaping hole for a roof that only one child has ever managed to climb out of. Many more have fallen to their deaths trying to escape.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Bane has some moments of sardonic wit.
    Trader: This is a stock exchange! There's no money you can steal!
    Bane: Really? Then why are you people here?
    • Bruce Wayne, as is often the case.
    • Selina Kyle as well.
      Selina: Oops. No one told me it was uncrackable...
    • Also, in the bar:
      Selina Kyle: I don't know what you're planning to do with Mr. Wayne's prints, but... I'm guessing you'll need his thumb. You don't count so good, huh?
    • Lucius Fox, as always.
      Fox: And yes, Mr. Wayne, it does come in black.
  • Death Faked for You: Bane fakes the death of his "associate-against-his-will" Dr. Pavel by taking a blood transfusion and injecting it into a corpse that is then mangled and burned beyond recognition in a plane crash.
  • Death Seeker: Alfred is afraid that Bruce has become this and the Pit's doctor says this weakens him mentally. That's also implied when Bane tells him, "You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe."
  • Decoy Backstory: There are repeated flashbacks of a child escaping from a prison. Because the character Bane is known in the comics for being born and raised in prison, viewers are lead to believe that this is his backstory. However, it is later revealed that the child is a young Talia al Ghul and Bane was a guard who protected her and suffered for it.
  • Decoy Convoy: Bane holds the city of Gotham hostage with a fusion-reactor-turned-bomb, leveraging it to prevent anyone from fleeing or assaulting the city. The bomb is driven around the city in a truck, and several more decoy trucks patrol Gotham to confuse citizens as to which one really holds the bomb.
  • Decoy Damsel: Miranda Tate is captured by Bane in the third act of the film, leading Bruce to rescue her. Miranda is later revealed to be Talia al Ghul and working with Bane.
  • Deducing the Secret Identity: Bane probably figured out Batman's identity via similar logic to how Ra's Al Gul did, but Officer Blake, who also lost his parents to violent crime and grew up an orphan, figures it out after meeting Bruce Wayne and realizing he and Bruce were both the same, having had to learn to cover their grief and anger with smiles and pretend they're getting on with their lives.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Bane dresses as a deliveryman with a motorcycle helmet to get into the Stock Exchange, while his henchman Petrov disguises himself as a food deliveryman to sneak a pistol onto the trading floor.
  • Dented Iron: Due to the accumulation of injuries during his career as Batman, Bruce Wayne has been reduced to hobbling around with a cane. When Bruce visits a doctor (as a pretext to see Gordon, who's in the same hospital), the doctor rattles off a long list of damages to his body, including the near-total lack of cartilage in his knee joints (explaining the cane), which is why he cannot recommend that Bruce go heli-skiing.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Like the other movies, the wording on the sides of the various police cars reading "GPDnote  Police"
  • Despair Gambit: Bane is all about these, most of them targeted at Batman. In this case, it's not about making Batman give up, but just rubbing salt in the wound of his failure.
  • Determinator: We learn early on that Bruce's body has quite a few chronic injuries from his exploits as Batman, yet spends the rest of the film apparently ignoring them. This is further compounded in the second act where Bane slips a disk in his spine and leaves him to sit in the pit and watch as his city tears itself apart — at which point Bruce forces himself back on his feet over a few months and makes the nigh-impossible escape because he isn't ready to give up.
  • Devious Daggers: Invoked in a speech by Talia al Ghul when she stabs Bruce upon revealing her treachery to him.
    "You see, it's the slow knife...the knife that takes its time, the knife that waits years without forgetting, then slips quietly between the bones...that's the knife that cuts deepest."
  • Disaster Movie: Nolan has stated that with its increased scale, Rises steps square into this territory as well.
  • Discarded, Not Delivered: Commissioner Gordon writes a speech coming clean about the events of the previous film (the fact that he and Batman whitewashed Harvey Dent by letting Batman take the blame for everyone Dent killed) and almost delivers it on the anniversary of Harvey Dent's death. But at the last minute he decides it's not the right time, instead delivering another speech in praise of Dent. Later, Bane acquires Gordon's notes for the undelivered speech and shares it with all of Gotham, undermining the public's trust in Gordon and the Gotham Police.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: At first it seems like Bane is the mastermind of the plot to destroy Gotham, but he's secretly working for Talia al-Ghul, who wants to avenge her father's demise in Batman Begins.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Selina Kyle ultimately feels that this is what happens when Bane takes over Gotham - making it all the more ironic that she wanted to see the spoiled, wealthy elite suffer for their hubris. Just not to the extent that Bane makes them suffer.
  • Dissonant Serenity: When Bane fights Batman in their first confrontation, his mooks calmly observe the fight from the sidelines, fully confident in the ability of their leader to defeat Batman.
  • Distanced from Current Events: Apart from the obvious Real Life examples listed on other pages, an in-universe example happens early in the film when Commissioner Gordon is fully prepared to reveal what really happened on the night Harvey Dent died but then, partly out of respect for the holiday he was about to make the revelation on, he decides that it isn't the time or place for such a shocking announcement to be made. Whaddaya know, Bane steals the speech after the wounded Gordon is brought to him.
  • Distant Reaction Shot: When the games begin and Bane sets off the explosives, we are shown several aerial flyover shots of explosives ripping through Manhattan, and overall, the noise is actually very quiet, intercut with some shots of Blake driving down one street trying to outrun charges being detonated on either side of him until one explosion flips his car over, in which the explosions are at normal volume. And all Foley sees is a large dust cloud emerging from the tunnel portal he is stationed at and a couple of officers choking on the dust kicked up by the explosions in the tunnel.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Bane's Gotham is an updating of The French Revolution. Lampshaded when Gordon reads from A Tale of Two Cities.
    • Also, the hanging of the bodies of the Special Forces sent in to gather intel might remind one of the 2004 hanging of four Blackwater contractors from a bridge in Fallujah, Iraq.
  • Domino Mask: Selina's safecracking goggles.
  • The Dragon:
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Daggett does not know that even though he's paid a small fortune to Bane, Bane has other goals in mind. As noted by the novelization, he does realize this, but only once it's too late, as the narration notes: "Daggett stared in horror at Bane's grotesque countenance. He had thought that the infamous mercenary was merely another hired gun—somewhat more expensive than most, yet nothing more. But as he peered into the masked man's pitiless orbs, he finally realized that Bane was working for no one but himself. And he was no mere soldier of fortune."
  • Dramatic Drop: When the games begin, Bane sets off the detonators, and collapses most of Heinz Field in the middle of a game. Hines Ward makes it to safety in the end-zone, score the touchdown, then looks back on the gaping hole in the ground, dropping the ball in shock.
  • Dramatic Spine Injury: The film recreates the iconic fight between Bane and Batman, down to Bane pulling the same move on Batman at the end. Subverted, though, in that instead of fully breaking Bruce's back, it just dislocates one of his vertebrae enough to take him out of commission. The doctor in the pit where Bane grew up is able to fix Bruce's back and he's eventually able to escape and return to Gotham.
    Bane: Ah yes, I was wondering what would break first—your spirit...or your body!
  • Dramatic Unmask:
    • Bane unmasking Batman as Bruce Wayne in their first fight. Unlike normal variants, he does this by saying, "Let's not stand on ceremony here.... Mr. Wayne."
    • Given that Bane wouldn't be Bane without his mask, the trope is fulfilled by having him be introduced to the audience as one of several Faceless Goons, tied up and hooded. The CIA agent removes Bane's hood when he realizes who their prisoner is.
  • Dressing to Die: At the end, the corrupt Deputy Commissioner Foley, who's been focused solely on career advancement and taking Gordon's spot as Commissioner for the first half of the movie and then hiding from danger for most of the second, leads a desperate attempt to take back Gotham City from Bane, The League of Shadows, and the army of crooks they have working for them. He deliberately dresses in full dress uniform, and does die in the course of the fight.
  • Drives Like Crazy: After Bane's bombs, Blake commandeers an SUV while rushing to the hospital to save Gordon. He drives pretty recklessly through the freshly bombed-out area for one shot. He's forced to use a vehicle without a bubble light or a siren, so he compromises by laying on the horn.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Bane's death scene, Blown Across the Room by Selina Kyle using the Batpod cannons.
    • The Mayor gets unceremoniously killed in a take that goes by so fast you might miss it the first time, when a bomb goes off in his viewing box.
  • Dying Smirk: Talia al Ghul dies with a smile, satisfied that Gotham will be destroyed because the heroes can't reattach the nuke to the reactor.

  • Earn Your Happy Ending: A running theme throughout the film trilogy, and naturally it is invoked.
  • Eat the Rich: Bane's appealing message to the people of Gotham. Although this is part of a hidden agenda, Bane is also openly disdainful of Gotham's wealthy elites throughout the film. Such as Bane's dialogue during the attack on the stock exchange:
    Trader: This is a stock exchange! There's no money here you can steal!
    Bane: Really? Then why are you people here?
  • Elopement: We don't know if they marry, but the movie ends with Bruce and Selina running away together after he fakes his death and she gets her clean slate.
  • Embarrassing First Name: The reason why Officer Blake goes by his middle name John is because his first name is Robin.
  • End of an Age: Gotham is going through a Ragnarok in many respects: the end of an eight-year mostly crime-free period, the decline of Wayne Enterprises, the end of normal life as we know it during Bane's takeover, and, finally, the end of Bruce Wayne as the city's protector.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Bane reading out Gordon's speech where he reveals the conspiracy to protect Harvey Dent's good name. Inverted, as here it's the villain enforcing the hero's confession than the other way round.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Regardless as to whether it's a platonic relationship or a romantic one, Bane and Talia clearly love one another, enough for Bane to rescue Talia and keep her safe in the Hellhole Prison and help her in her plan, and enough for Talia to stand up to her father when he wouldn't accept Bane.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Part of Bane's mystique is that Ra's excommunicated him from the League of Shadows for being too ruthless. Talia confirms that her father saw Bane as a monster because his behavior reminded him of the prison he was condemned to and that his spouse and daughter were subjects to such a place unbeknownst to him.
    • Bane also counts as this seeing as how he protected Talia in the prison.
    • Selina Kyle, despite having no compunctions against stealing, robbing, and sometimes shooting people, is thoroughly horrified by Bane's methods and goals.
  • Event Title: The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Everything Is Online:
    • Selina Kyle says, "There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks," in justification of wanting a "clean slate" computer program to wipe her criminal record clean. Daggett cons her with this, but Bruce goes through with it.
    • Inverted during the stock exchange heist — Bane and the three-man attack team he recruits for the job apparently need to be inside the physical building housing the trading floor in order to run the fake trades (or, at the very least, get jacked into the system to start the application, as it still runs during the car chase that follows).
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Traditionally for the villains in this series, Bane for Batman: both are orphans with tragic origin stories, both were trained by (and expelled by) the League of Shadows, both adopt masks and larger-than-life personae to become symbols, both can inspire other people to remarkable deeds, both are Genius Bruisers and finally, Batman's mask leaves only his mouth exposed. Guess which part of Bane is always hidden by his mask?
    • Bane's sewer lair resembles the Batcave in more than one way and gets unpainted Tumblers.
    • After The Reveal, Talia also becomes a fitting evil counterpart to Bruce.
  • Evil Gloating: A classic example of a villain gloating about the advantages of a slow, subtle revenge just long enough for the heroes to put a spoke in the Evil Plan. Batman lampshades it, remarking that a slightly faster revenge might have been in order.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Justified with Bane, as his goal is to make a spectacle of Gotham's destruction.
  • Evil Is Petty: Bane does a lot to Bruce Wayne: he attacks the Stock Exchange to steal Bruce's money, breaks his back in a fight, takes him to the Hell on Earth, and forces him to watch Gotham tear itself apart under his quasi-anarchistic Reign of Terror before blowing it up with an improvised thermonuclear bomb solely to break his spirit. Extra points for locking himself and all the other League members in the city with the bomb just to ensure the plan works.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Tom Hardy has a fairly nasal and high-pitched voice, naturally. When playing Bane, his anesthetic mask deepens his voice a bit, especially his sotto comments. Some foreign dubs, such as the French Canadian one, have Bane use a very deep voice (possibly due to his Vocal Dissonance in English), though in this particular dub the final film toned it down a bit.
  • Exact Time to Failure: The bomb will explode in exactly five months.
  • Exact Words: Bane proclaims that the person who holds the trigger to the bomb is a citizen. When Batman confronts Bane on this, as he believes Bane would never give the trigger to an "ordinary citizen," Miranda Tate is revealed to be the triggerman, and though she's not ordinary, she is still a citizen of the city.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Talia originally wanted nothing to do with her father, Ra's al Ghul, and his plans for Gotham, due to his excommunicating Bane from the League of Shadows. Then Batman let Ra's die on the subway...
    • Bane himself was kind enough to protect a child at great personal cost. After the torment he endured for his selflessness, he was ruthless enough to be shunned by Ra's al Ghul himself, and was willing to destroy millions of people, including the child he once protected, to prove he is a worthy student of Ra's.
  • Faceless Goons: Bane and his men all wear full motorcycle helmets complete with chin guards when they are escaping from the stock exchange.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Talia's mother was raped and murdered because the prison doctor forgot to lock the cell door one day.
    • The American agents who investigated Dr. Pavel's plane's crash off-screen following the events of the prologue. They fail to realize 'Pavel' is a decoy, but this is at least justified between Bane's blood transfusion and the state of whatever was left of 'Pavel' after the planet crashed. Less justifiable, however, is how nobody on the investigative team thought it odd or suspicious that the plane crashed where it did if the wings had been ripped off and found miles away.
  • Faking the Dead: Batman fakes a Heroic Sacrifice at the end so that Bruce Wayne can live life over with a clean slate. A Death Faked for You variant happens when Bane and his men kidnap Dr. Pavel on the plane.
  • False Prophet: Bane presents himself as a savior that would liberate Gotham's citizens from capitalist chains. His true objective is to destroy Gotham and get revenge on Batman.
  • Famed In-Story: Batman finally gets his good name cleared in this movie. Naturally, it takes him far more work and sacrifice than it reasonably should.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Invoked and then subverted.
      Batman: Why didn't you just... kill me?
      Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
    • In flashback, it's revealed that Talia's mother suffered this. If it wasn't for Bane, Talia would have suffered this as well.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Bane, who sounds incredibly jovial about everything he says even when those things are blowing up bridges, torture, or even beating someone to a pulp. Some viewers attribute this as being a side-effect caused by the anasthetic gas going to his mask.
  • Feedback Rule: When Foley thinks he has Batman trapped, he hauls out a megaphone to call on Batman to surrender. It squeals when he turns it on.
  • Feel No Pain: The effect of Bane's mask is necessary to overcome chronic pain caused by a serious injury early in life. This is what allows him to withstand all of Batman's attacks - it's not that Batman isn't damaging his body, he just doesn't feel it. Until Batman breaks his mask at the end.
  • Femme Fatale: Selina clinches it, with some Wounded Gazelle Gambits and general badassery thrown in. Also Miranda Tate, aka Talia al Ghul.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot:
    • When Bane and his men attack the stock exchange, notice that only two people are shot when the takeover begins: one that Petrov (the delivery man) shoots with his pistol, and another hit by a bullet from the janitor's submachine gun. At the start of the attack, the henchmen shoot their weapons at the ceiling to order hostages to the ground, and the janitor does the same as they prepare to escape to force the hostages to stand up.
    • One henchman can be seen firing an automatic into the air during the shootout with Captain Jones and his team.
    • Another henchman shoots an automatic into the sky when Gordon and his captured colleagues are stalling while crossing the ice.
  • First Time in the Sun:
    • When young Talia escapes from the Pit.
    • Also, a line of Bane's popular monologue: "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it! moulded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding!
    • Batman assisting the Gotham Police against Bane's forces in the final battle is the first time he appears in broad daylight. The police themselves have just been freed after months trapped in the subway tunnels.
  • Flaming Emblem: When Batman returns to Gotham, he sets a bat-shaped fire on top of a bridge to let everyone know he has returned.
  • Flashback: Important flashbacks use footage from the previous two films:
    • At the eight-year anniversary of Harvey Dent's death, Gordon flashes back to a raving Harvey threatening to kill Gordon's son while deciding whether or not to reveal Harvey's crimes.
    • After a failed attempt to escape Bane's pit, Bruce briefly dreams about being rescued by his father from the well on the grounds of Wayne Mansion again.
      Thomas Wayne: Bruce... why do we fall?
    • Bruce flashes back to Ra's talking about his family in Begins.
    • In the finale, Gordon flashes back to putting Thomas Wayne's coat around young Bruce decades earlier.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Bruce has a framed photo of Rachel Dawes, the Maggie Gyllenhaal version shown in The Dark Knight rather than Katie Holmes.
  • Flashed-Badge Hijack: When Bane sets off the explosives, a series of explosions go off on the street Blake's unmarked police car is traveling down. He manages to outrun them until one blast causes his car to flip over once before landing on its wheels, but with a damaged front bumper. Realizing that Bane's men will go to the hospital to target Gordon, Blake grabs a shotgun from the trunk and uses his badge to requisition an SUV to get to the hospital. Given that when Bane is releasing the prisoners several scenes later, he tells the hoodlums of the city to help themselves to Gotham's spoils, it's rather ironic.
  • Flight Is the Final Power: Lucius Fox presents Bruce Wayne with his ultimate invention: The Bat, a flying pursuit vehicle. Forced to leave it behind when he's imprisoned for a large portion of the film, Batman uses the Bat spectacularly against Bane's army in the final showdown.
  • Flying Car: Defied with the Bat:
    Selina Kyle: My mother warned me about getting into cars with strange men.
    Batman: This isn't a car.
  • Forced Friendly Fire: Selina Kyle uses this on Daggett's mooks in the bar fight, likely to avoid leaving fingerprints, as she is a wanted criminal.
  • Forced to Watch: Bane wants Batman to know Gotham has been burned to the ground before he'll give Bruce permission to die, even going so far as to set up a TV feed for the hero so he can watch the end unfold even in exile.
  • Foreshadowing: Has its own page.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: After Bane ruins Bruce's fortune, they shut off electricity to Wayne Manor, because he can't afford it anymore. "From Billionaire to Bum," indeed.
  • Freudian Excuse: Talia al Ghul was born and raised in an underground prison. Her mother was raped and killed and her father also had a turbulent life.
  • From Bad to Worse: The second act, instigated by Bane, is a vertiginous downward spiral for both Batman and Gotham City.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: "Nobody cared who I was until I put on the mask." This is another lie, of sorts. Talia cared plenty. It's just that until he put on his mask, others didn't see him as much of a threat.
    • Bane when he's taking over Gotham. His first public appearance is when he and his men rob the Stock Exchange. The general reaction seen by Foley and most of the pubic is that Bane and the team are just a group of rather ambitious and pretty skilled submachine-gun-toting bank robbers (assuming that there never had been a gang before in history that actually had tried to take the Stock Exchange floor hostage), not cold-blooded mercenaries attempting to destroy the city. Notice that after the heist, he doesn't make another public appearance until the football stadium bombing.
  • Fruit Cart: In the novelization, as Bane and his men are escaping from the Stock Exchange, a taxicab swerves and knocks over a pretzel stand trying to get out of the way.
  • Fulton Street Folly: The exteriors for the Stock Exchange robbery are represented by 23 Wall Street at Wall Street and Broad Street in Manhattan (amazingly, the fictional exchange is directly across the street from the real-life New York Stock Exchange, which can be seen in the background in a few shots, such as when Foley's police car arrives). Also, the final battle between the police force and Bane's army happens on Wall Street in this exact same area (as evidenced by the appearance of a specific flashing traffic light seen as Talia's Tumbler is driving away after running over Foley).
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Bane enters the Stock Exchange and is attacking the guards, you can see three people on the stairs running for their lives.
    • Inversion: When Stryver is on "trial", when Crane says, "Bane has no authority here. This is merely a sentencing hearing." Bane is standing in the foreground, and knitting!
      • This moment also serves as another nod to the French Revolution, as a more subtle reference to A Tale of Two Cities, in which a character named Madame Defarge also knits, stitching the names of aristocrats she plans to execute.
  • Fun with Acronyms: During the stock exchange robbery, Bane wears a motorcycle uniform that says "DCS Courier Services". This movie is based on a DC Comics superhero.
  • Futurecopter: The Bat. It will likely be decades before technology reaches the point that such a craft can actually exist.
  • Gangsta Style: Stryver holds his pistol in this way when he's preparing to shoot Selina in the bar.
  • Gender-Concealing Writing: In order to hide that Talia, not Bane, was the child that escaped the pit, every conversation about Talia only refers to her as "the child."
  • Genius Bruiser: Bane is both highly intelligent and a hulking mass of muscle. This is in contrast to previous adaptations where he was just a dumb brute, but actually in line with his original comics incarnation.
  • Genre Blindness:
    • Bane sticking Bruce into a Hellhole Prison. Bruce comes out stronger than ever. Though to be fair, he had broken the man's back. Justified as well: Bane's assumption that Bruce wouldn't be able to climb out after that wasn't terribly unreasonable given Bruce's injuries and the fact only a single person (Talia) had ever escaped.
      • To his credit Bane learns from this. Talia orders him to leave Batman alive until the bomb goes off... But Bane is smart enough to just wait until after she's gone then shoot him in the face.
    • Talia al-Ghul taking her time to explain everything to her nemesis instead of, you know, quickly killing him and triggering the bomb is something that Bond villains would be proud of. For an extra bonus, her explanation explains her lust for Villain Gloating. Bane appears to recognize this, but Selina takes him out before he can act.
  • Genre Shift: At the moment that the games begin, the movie drops its crime drama elements and becomes a large-scale action epic/Disaster Movie, boasting a plot that wouldn't seem out of place in a James Bond film.
  • Gilligan Cut:
    • After the charity ball, there's this:
      Bruce Wayne: Must've lost my ticket.
      Valet Attendant: Your wife said you were taking a cab home.
      Bruce Wayne: [confused] My wife?!
      [Cuts to Selina Kyle grinning as she speeds through the streets in Bruce's Lamborghini]
    • Blake appears at Wayne Manor after rescuing Gordon:
      Officer John Blake: I need to see Bruce Wayne.
      Alfred Pennyworth: I'm sorry, Mr. Wayne doesn't take unscheduled calls. Even from a police officer.
      Officer John Blake: And if I go get a warrant for the investigation of Harvey Dent's murder? Does that still count as "unscheduled"?
      [Cuts to Blake sitting in the drawing room as Bruce hobbles in]
  • Glory Days: Alfred believes Batman's return is merely Bruce trying to recapture this, and that he's not really Batman anymore.
  • Glory Hound: The first thing that comes to Foley's mind when Batman re-emerges to take down Bane and his men during the getaway from the Stock Exchange robbery is to capture him "and do what Gordon wasn't able to do," even while Blake points out that they're still chasing Bane's men. Foley's justification is that Batman is still a mass murderer who killed the city's true hero, while Bane and his henchmen are believed to be just glorified bank robbers. Indeed, Blake has a point about pursuing the robbers. It's likely a real police department would split units into two teams - one to chase the robbers and another to chase Batman. It's because of Foley's zealousness in part that Bane is able to escape and accomplish all of his further goals.
  • Glory Seeker: Alfred accuses Bruce of this after witnessing his return to form on the news.
    Bruce: The police weren't getting it done!
    Alfred: Perhaps they might have, if you hadn't made a sideshow of yourself.
    Bruce: You thought I didn't have it in me.
    Alfred: You led a bloated police force on a merry chase with a load of fancy new toys from Fox! What about when you come up against him? What then?
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Selina's "cat ears" actually flip down and serve as goggle lenses on top of her Domino Mask.
  • Going Critical: The fusion device. It's never stated exactly what the "core" contains or how it works (other than that it involves nuclear fusion). But a scientist is somehow able to modify it into a bomb. After the modification, the "core" can be removed, and unless it's put back in the device and put back in its normal state, it will eventually "go critical" and cause a thermonuclear explosion (which it does at the end of the film).
  • Gone Horribly Right: Selina's reaction when her "coming storm" finally arrives. Her line "This was someone's house," says it all.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Compare and contrast Batman's choreographed martial arts with Bane's seven-ton kidney punches. Bane even struts like an old-timey pugilist with his thumbs hooked into his vest as if he were wearing suspenders.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Talia's shoulder scar, the origin of which is never explained and gives audiences a signal that she isn't all that she seems.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In the poster, Batman is positioned in front of the flaming bat symbol, making the bat wings seem to protrude from his back à la angel wings.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • We don't get to see what Bane does to Daggett, but it sure sounds and appears from the position of Bane's hands right before we cut to Stryver reacting from outside the room, that Bane either strangles Daggett or breaks his neck.
    • Also used when Bane breaks Dr. Pavel's neck at the football stadium. The camera cuts to a distant angle from the viewing stands and we get to hear the horrified screams of the crowd watching.
  • Grand Finale: Of the Dark Knight Saga.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ra's al Ghul, or rather his lingering legacy, living on in Bane and Talia.
  • Gunship Rescue: The Bat serves this purpose. It disables the Tumblers to give the cops their "Hell, Yes!" Moment before the big battle.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat:
    • Growling Batman vs. Distorted-Vague-European Bane.
    • Bane vs. Daggett is also something to behold.
      Daggett: You're pure evil!
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Bane has been re-imagined as one of these. After receiving a serious injury in his backstory, he gets through the pain by wearing a mask that constantly supplies him with anesthetic gas. It also looks like a pair of fangs, to make it creepy.
    • Bruce can't even get around without a cane due to his ruined knee, and he gets a powered leg brace to replace the cane, though he stops needing it halfway through the film.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Bane's introduction shows him demeaning his supposed captor/interrogator before turning the tables on him.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: During his speech at the football stadium, Bane has Dr. Pavel give his credentials and explain that the fusion core is now a nuclear bomb. He then asks who could disarm it. When Pavel admits that only he can, Bane kills him to make sure disarming the bomb isn't an option.
  • Heartbroken Badass: At the movie's beginning, we see that Bruce has been grieving over the loss of Rachel for eight years.
  • The Heavy: Bane runs the whole plot, even with the small fortune Daggett paid him.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Selina, true to form, regularly switches from unwitting accomplice of Bane's to Batman's ally. At the end of the film she solidifies as an ally by blowing Bane away with the Batpod cannons.
  • Hellhole Prison: Bane's prison. There is a reason the Pit is called the worst Hell on Earth.
  • "Hell, Yes!" Moment:
    • Batman stops the Tumbler gunfire from hitting the police in the Bat. Once it flies off, the cops start cheering loudly and Zerg Rush Bane's mercenaries.
    • And before that, the Pit prisoners when Bruce makes the impossible jump.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Implied with the nuclear flash, mushroom cloud, and the characters mourning at Bruce's grave. Later subverted. While Batman is believed to have perished in his epic attempt to detonate the nuclear bomb away in the ocean with the Bat, Alfred sees Bruce Wayne alive and happy on a date with Selina on his annual vacation to Italy.
  • Hero Killer: Bane is rightly feared by Alfred and his appearance constitutes a Godzilla Threshold for the return of The Batman. Like his comic book counterpart, Bane is the first opponent Batman faces who physically overpowers and breaks the Bat.
  • He's Back!: Batman, twice. The second time is better received by Foley and Gothamites in general than the first, but not so well by Bane, who exclaims "Impossible!"
  • Hidden Supplies: A major plot point involves Bane requisitioning the hidden Wayne R&D warehouse with Tumbler-like vehicles at his disposal. The final act also involves Bruce going to various supply depots he had around Gotham to get the ordnance he needed, including the stand-in Batcave that was used by the previous movie.
  • Hidden Villain: Talia al Ghul.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: Subverted and Lampshaded in the opening scenes when the CIA tries to scare Bane's men in a plane.
    CIA Interrogator: A lot of loyalty for a hired gun!
    Bane: Or perhaps he's wondering why someone would shoot a man, before throwing him out of a plane!
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Selina Kyle
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Not only does Bane use many of Batman's own methods and moves against him, but he also steals most of his armory, including a small fleet of unpainted Tumblers upgraded with various heavy weaponry (cannons, machine guns, missile launchers).
    • One of Bane's henchmen launches a Macross Missile Massacre at Batman's plane. Batman takes the heat-seeking missiles on an intense chase through the Gotham skies... and right back to the guy who fired it.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: Befitting of a story featuring Bane, the iconic pose comes up when he "breaks the Bat".
  • Holding Out for a Hero: Defied at last. Though they needed heroes like Harvey Dent and Batman to get them there, organized crime in Gotham has ground to a standstill thanks to better policing and new laws like the Dent Act, which is intended to strangle crime at the root.
  • Hollywood Healing: Bruce has no cartilage left in his knee and requires a cane or a motorized brace to walk around (the doctor therefore cannot recommend that Bruce go heli-skiing). Later, he gets his vertebrae dislocated in the first fight with Bane. His spine is popped back into place and his knee heals while in the pit prison. He also gets over a severe stab wound in pretty short order.
  • Hollywood Tactics: Apparently the best way to attack a group of trained mercenaries armed with automatic weapons and backed by what are essentially tanks is for the Gotham Police to group up in a large blob, Foley to lead the charge from only ONE direction, and charge into hand-to-hand combat - double straight in that Bane's mercenaries shoot for a second, cause FAR less casualties than they should have, and then charge into hand-to-hand themselves. Although Batman did take care of the tanks, Bane's mercenaries should have taken out the police with the amount of firepower they had (and automatic weapons are NOT close combat weapons).
  • Hope Is Scary: Invoked. Part of the sadistic design of the Pit is it gives its prisoners a very small chance of escape. Because "There is no despair without hope."
  • Hope Spot: A big part of Bane's M.O. of breaking people's spirits is to offer them false hope. One example is when the US Special Forces sneak into the city to assess the situation there. Only someone within Wayne Enterprises namely Talia al Ghul has tipped off Bane to the team's meeting with Fox and Blake, so when the team leaves to call in their analysis, Bane's men ambush them and shoot all of them down. Bane then appears and crushes Captain Jones's neck, then orders the soldiers' bodies to be hung from the Brooklyn Bridge where the world can see.
  • Hostage Situation:
    • Downplayed. Bane takes a megalopolis hostage but doesn't make any demands.
    • Foley also seems to initially think he's got a hostage situation when he arrives at the Stock Exchange, when Bane and his men are actually inside the exchange for other purposes.
  • Human Shield: Bane and his men escape from the stock exchange riding motorcycles... with each robber strapping a hostage on to keep the police from firing on them.
  • Hypocrite: A cut line of dialogue when Gordon was going through the kangaroo court had Gordon complaining about the lack of due process, only for Dr. Crane to point out that the Dent Act took away criminals' right to due process and appeal:
    Gordon: No lawyer, no witnesses. What sort of due process is this?
    Dr. Crane: More than you gave Harvey's prisoners, Commissioner.

  • I Am the Noun: Bane's response when Batman tells him that the League of Shadows is no more.
    Bane: I am the League of Shadows!
  • Idealist vs. Pragmatist: Batman strongly follows the Thou Shalt Not Kill policy. Catwoman is willing to kill and steal if needed. The latter ends up more successful when confronting Bane.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Gordon's attitude on keeping the truth behind Batman and Dent from the people of Gotham. Blake isn't having any of it, though.
  • Idiot Ball: Gordon really should've known better than to send nearly all of Gotham's police down to raid Bane's headquarters.
  • I Have This Friend: In the first half of the movie, Bruce Wayne refers to his Batman persona as his "powerful friend" whenever he talks with Selina Kyle, to keep her thinking that he and Batman are two different people. Selina, however, learns about the deception at Batman's first fight with Bane, when Bane says, "Let's not stand on ceremony here.... Mr. Wayne."
  • I Have Your Wife: Bane makes a comment to Pavel about how he hopes something happens "for the sake of your children," implying that he threatened Pavel's family to coerce Pavel into working for him.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Not a single one of Bane's soldiers manage to hit Batman or Selina when they open fire as they flee from the rooftop to the Bat. Subverted, because Bane doesn't want Batman dead just yet.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Bruce spends a lot of Wayne Enterprises' profits on the reactor project, but what really ruins him is Bane staging the entire stock exchange robbery to enter worthless futures under his name (which is what the application on the shoeshiner's computer is doing during the robbery and the car chase) and deplete him of his money.
  • Incompletely Trained: Both Bane and Batman were part-trained by the League of Shadows before, respectively, being expelled and blowing up the League's headquarters.
  • Inspector Javert: Foley, whose priority is clearly to arrest Batman rather than stop the madman who is terrorizing Gotham. His priorities during the heist escape are clearly out of line and he is called on by Blake, who says, "Sir, what about the armed robbers?"
  • Instant Sedation: The metal batarang/dart devices knock out their targets pretty quickly when used on the goons at the river. Granted, the first one took a few seconds as the guy looks at it in confusion, but his friends drop like flies after that.
  • In the Back: Barsad shoots three SWAT officers in the back as they fire on his fleeing comrades during the alleyway shootout.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • A visual Ironic Echo: one of Bane's earliest lines is "The fire rises." Batman's announcement of his return to Gotham was a bat-symbol on the top of one of the bridges, made of fire.
    • "... Then you have my permission to die." Well-publicized as Bane's putdown to a defeated Batman, Batman retorts this after disabling Bane.
      • The entire second fight to the first. Who attacks first, who fights with nothing held back, who defends and picks their punches and the outcome of the Punch Catch are all different.
    • Talia has a monologue regarding a slow knife that symbolizes her revenge plot on Bruce for her father's death. When she presses the trigger and it doesn't work thanks to Gordon temporarily preventing it, Bruce replies, "Maybe your knife was too slow."
    • Gordon tells Blake, upon promoting him to detective, "You're a detective now, son. You're not allowed to believe in coincidences anymore." When Blake spots the truck driver from the stock exchange at the cement plant and confronts him, just before the truck driver and his colleague try to kill him, Blake says, "As a detective, we're not allowed to believe in coincidences."
    • Again with Gordon and Blake; at different points both men have a conversation about Batman's identity. The first time, Blake is poking holes in the lie that Gordon and Batman built around Harvey Dent and wonders whether Gordon ever tried to find out who Batman was. Gordon wearily replies "I know who he was. He was the Batman." After Bruce Wayne's memorial, Blake expresses frustration that no one in Gotham truly knows who saved the city. Gordon, knowing that the truth about Batman's heroism has been revealed either way and sounding a lot more satisfied and at peace, replies with "They know. It was the Batman."
    • After the stock exchange robbery, there's:
    Stryver: Bane says the Batman interfered, but the task was accomplished.
    John Daggett: And what about the men they arrested?
    Stryver: He said, and I quote, "They would die before talking."
    • Later, when Captain Jones and his men are shot down by Bane's mercenaries. Bane appears over the wounded Jones:
    Captain Jones: I'll die before I talk.
    Bane: I'm on your schedule, Captain. [leans down and crushes Jones's windpipe, choking the life force out of him]
    Barsad: There were people living upstairs.
    Bane: Round them up for judgment. And hang them [points to the Special Forces' bodies] where the world can see.
    • While confined in the Pit, Bruce asks "Has anyone made it?" when inquiring about how escape is impossible. Later, when Stryver is being sent into "exile," he asks the same question of a thug who warns him that he'll die in minutes if he tries to swim. The thug doesn't answer and just pushes him onto the ice.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Inverted, when Selina confronts Daggett, he calls her a "dumb bitch":
    Selina Kyle: Nobody ever accused me of being dumb.
  • It Is Beyond Saving: Rha's daughter, Talia al Ghul, agrees with her father's assessment of Gotham and proceeds to enact his plans to destroy it to avenge his death.
    Bruce: [Rha's] was trying to kill millions of innocent people!
    Talia: '"Innocent" is a strong word to throw around Gotham, Bruce.
  • It's All My Fault: Alfred blames himself for Bruce's self-imposed exile from the world because he let Bruce believe that Rachel would've been there for him, leading Bruce to avoid moving on after her death. He also blames himself for Bruce's death, not being able to save him from the life he chose.
  • It's a Small World, After All: Bruce Wayne, somehow returning to closed-off Gotham, manages to find Selina Kyle while she's in the act of beating up two gangbangers harming an innocent child.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration:
    • One of Bane's henchmen poses as a janitor with a water bucket to sneak a submachine gun into the stock exchange.
    • Selina Kyle poses as a maid to steal Bruce's fingerprints and his mother's pearls.
  • Joisey: The scenes where Selina takes Batman to Bane were filmed in the Newark City Subway's tunnels near Military Park station. This system was also used in some of the scenes of police officers going into the tunnels - the shot where characters are seen at a tunnel junction appears to be near Newark Penn Station (to be fair, the reason they filmed in these tunnels instead of New York's subway tunnels may have been because Newark has overhead catenary and New York's systems have a third rail that would need to be de-energized).
  • Joker Jury: Bane's tribunal. The presiding judge is the Scarecrow.
  • Just Between You and Me:
    • Bane explains his escape plan to the CIA interrogator while captured.
      • The details getting leaked to the outside of his organization wasn't going to happen since he did crash that plane....with no survivors!
    • Miranda, who turns out to be Talia al Ghul, expounding about how The League of Shadows will destroy Gotham this time after stabbing Bruce.
  • Just Following Orders: The policemen guarding the Queensboro Bridge are ordered not to let anyone cross it because of Bane's bomb threat. When they continue following orders even after Blake explains that the bomb will blow up, he realizes how rules can becomes shackles and quits the force.
  • Just in Time: The fusion bomb has a five month countdown, and the heroes still manage to take possession of it with only a few seconds left on the clock.
  • Kangaroo Court: Bane's tribunal, part The Trial and part The Terror. Being brought before it is an automatic ruling of "guilty" and for sentencing there are two choices: "death" and "exile".
    Dr. Jonathan Crane: Death, then?
    Commissioner James Gordon: Looks that way.
    Dr. Jonathan Crane: Very well. Death! [smashes gavel] By exile.
  • Kick the Dog: Selina's first action in the movie is stealing the pearl necklace of Bruce's dead mother. Followed by her kicking Bruce's cane out from under him.
  • Kill the Lights: Batman whips out a new gadget in the form of the ability to turn off the lights. It works on some reporters' cameras, but utterly fails to give Bane pause, as Bane is adapted and perfectly able to fight in the dark, and his minions restore the lights shortly after.
  • Knight Templar: Bane carries on the League of Shadows's Evil Plan from the first film, believing that it's necessary to destroy Gotham because of how corrupt it is, and that it only could gain peace based on a lie. Bane also wants to avenge Ra's al Ghul's death, who died trying to destroy Gotham. His followers are also this, being downright happy to die unselfishly for their great purpose.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Inverted in that Talia al Ghul is a Knight Templar daughter who wants to avenge the death of her father.
  • Landmarking the Hidden Base: Bane has put his lair underneath Wayne Enterprises' Applied Sciences division.
    • The nuclear reactor, on the other hand, is landmarked by a dusty office in an unremarkable shack at a recycling plant.
  • Large Ham:
    • Bane, mainly when he gives his public speeches. An example is when Bane first introduces the football stadium hostages to the nuclear bomb and refers to it as "the instrument of your liberation". In the kind of voice you'd expect from one about to perform a striptease.
    • John Daggett, especially when he tries talking down to Bane. Obviously, it doesn't end so well for his neck.
    • Bruce Wayne/Batman himself gets delightfully hammy when he finally gains the advantage in his second battle with Bane. The best part is that it's suspiciously identical to his scene with the Joker in the last movie when he was interrogating him on where Harvey and Rachel were, so it could possibly be a Call-Back to that.
    Batman: WHERE'S THE TRIGGER!? WHERE is it!? You would never give it to an ordinary citizen! WHERE is it? WHERE'S THE TRIGGER?! WHERE IS IT?! WHERE is it!? Tell me where the trigger is... then you have my permission to die!
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: Blake gets more screen time than Batman's other allies (Gordon, Lucius, Alfred, etc.), suggesting that he's more than just another police officer. It's all setting him up to inherit the Batman legacy at the end.
  • Legacy Character: Hinted at in the finale. Bruce Wayne and Batman are both presumed dead, but Robin finds his way into the Batcave while Bruce and Selina move on.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: When Bruce makes his return in the cowl, the cops, who are sworn to bring him down, are so awestruck by his return that he walks over to his bike without even sweating, gives a Death Glare that makes the one cop who shoots at him apologize, gains the entire police force on his tail during the chase scene, and his return earns a double-take from Bane, a little thrill from Selina, and absolute bloody panic on the part of any bad guy he runs into, even if they're members of the League of Shadows.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Bane's theme, "Gotham's Reckoning".
    • Selina's "Mind if I cut in?"
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: When Bruce falls in his second failed attempt to escape the Pit, the triumphant background music slows down and fades out.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: One henchman in the sewers repeatedly fires an assault rifle at Batman in the dark, and each time, the muzzle flash created by each individual bullet discharge provides enough light to show Batman jumping closer and closer.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Bane, naturally as part of being Batman's Evil Counterpart and a necessity to successfully stand toe-to-toe with him.
    • Besides their first fight, there's also Bane's entrance to the Stock Exchange while posing as a delivery man. He sets down a package, then he sets off the metal detector and a female security guard tells him to remove his helmet so that the cameras can see his face. Bane slowly takes off his helmet, and then he immediately smacks the female guard in the nose. Within two seconds, he's knocked out a second guard. A third guard tries to draw his pistol, but after a struggle in which a fourth guard is shot (it's hard to tell, though), Bane swings his helmet and knocks him out as well. All of this happens in under 10 seconds.
  • Like a Son to Me: As usual, Alfred and Bruce.
  • Little Miss Badass: Talia, who escaped from the prison as a child.
  • The Lost Lenore: Bruce Wayne has spent eight years mourning Rachel's death.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Somehow the characters are able to predict to the second when the nuclear reactor core will go critical, five months in advance. To be fair, Fox was there when it was activated, so he probably was able to get a pretty close-to-accurate prediction as to when it would happen.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Bane is heavily implied to be Ra's al Ghul's child, until it's revealed to be Talia.
  • Lured into a Trap: Batman is lured by Selina into Bane's underground kingdom. Later, by kidnapping Fox, Miranda Tate and another member of the Wayne Enterprises board, Bane is able to lure most of the police force underground so he can trap them there with the explosive charges he has lined the tunnels with. After shooting the truck driver, Blake even says into his radio when trying to reach Foley, "They're heading into a trap!"

  • Made of Iron: Justified. Bane can easily tank Batman's blows without breaking a sweat and without any armor since it's really his mask letting him Feel No Pain. Once his mask is damaged, all bets are off.
  • Magic Countdown: Subverted when Batman chases down the data pad that Bane uses to steal Bruce Wayne's stock money. The loading bar says "90 secs remaining" during the chase; when Batman holds up the pad at the end of the chase more than 90 seconds later, the screen says "Application Complete". Meaning that perhaps the progress time may have slowed temporarily.
    • Played around with the countdown on the fusion reactor. Sometimes the timing's exact, sometimes the bomb takes 2 minutes to go down 30 seconds. This might be attributed to intercut scene overlap.It exploded anywhere from exactly on time to 4 minutes early, depending on which shot of the countdown you use.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: A minor version; despite being a Classy Cat-Burglar, Selina Kyle manages to get tied up in the plot because Daggett (and later Bruce) hold a MacGuffin she needs to erase her criminal record.

  • Man Behind the Man: Talia al Ghul is the mastermind behind Bane's plot. Or arguably they were 50/50 co-conspirators, working the same plan from different angles.
  • Manchild:
    • Bruce Wayne is this throughout much of the film. His refusal to move on from the tragedies of the past film and actually start living some kind of life is part of it, and virtually all of his interactions and arguments with Alfred play out like a parent trying to discipline an uncooperative child who doesn't want to go to bed.
    • Daggett spends most of the film acting like a spoiled, whiny, nasally child hellbent on getting his way, even having Bane and his men rob the Stock Exchange for the purpose of bankrupting Wayne Enterprises. Then Bane breaks his neck.
    • The guys at the stock exchange complaining about Bruce coming out of seclusion act like spoilt children, albeit fairly composed ones at that.
  • Manly Tears:
    • Almost happens to Bruce and Alfred in a particularly touching scene.
    • A strangely touching example coming from a villain. Bane sheds a few tears near the end as Talia fixes his mask and the truth about his past is revealed.
  • Married to the Job:
    • It is mentioned that Gordon lives alone now as his wife and kids left Gotham years ago. Though it's been implied that they're still married, but estranged.
    • Bruce's life is empty without the cape.
  • Masquerade Ball: One takes place early in the film, with Bruce Wayne, Miranda Tate and Selina Kyle in attendance.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Ra's al Ghoul's appearance. Is it a real ghostly visitation, or is it just Bruce Wayne going crazy?
  • Meaningful Echo: John Daggett asks Bane the same question Carmine Falcone asked Batman almost a decade earlier.
    Daggett: What are you?
    Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Talia al Ghul using the alias "Miranda", the name of the beautiful, exiled daughter of the manipulative and powerful mystic Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
    • Bane's second in command, Barsad, is named after the spy and con-man from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. Perhaps his first name is John?
  • Mic Drop: Bane does this after giving his big speech to Gotham at the football stadium.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The bar shootout counts: what starts with a barfight instigated by Selina Kyle, ends with Gordon discovering Bane's lair.
  • Misguided Missile: Batman manages to trick one of the missiles launched by one of the stolen Tumblers into blowing up one of the others after leading it on a long chase in the Bat.
  • The Mockbuster:
    • Rise of the Black Bat, based on the public domain character and released to cash in on this film's success.
    • The iOS tie-in game is developed by Gameloft. Yup, you know what that means... it's a Batman: Arkham City clone set in a different universe.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Played straight. Miranda is securely wrapped in a blanket while she and Bruce are relaxing on the floor after sex.
  • The Mole: One questions Miranda Tate's loyalty because anytime she is involved in an attempt to stop Bane and the bomb, Bane gets word of the resistance's move and responds accordingly.
  • Moment of Silence: As the cops head into the tunnels, the shots are silent, with the exception of communications between Blake and Foley over the radios and Bane arriving at the football stadium, all overlaid by the boy singing the National Anthem.
    • There's a second one, although it is downplayed due to only lasting a few powerful seconds; Batman taking the bomb to detonate safely only has a One-Woman Wail accompany him until the last shot of Batman's face before the explosion. After that brief shot, sound resumes to help give more impact to the remaining five seconds until the explosion goes off.
  • Money Is Not Power: Corporate mogul John Daggett gets hit in the face by this trope when Bane stops doing what he's told.
  • Monumental Damage: Bane's bombs destroy bridges that are represented by the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, Heinz Field, and more.
  • Mood Whiplash: An in-universe example for Alfred. Each step Bruce takes towards the outside world fills him with joy... only for fear to flood back after each step also takes him closer to Batman.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Bane has his mercenary officer Barsad, and Daggett has his company flunky Phillip Stryver.
  • Morality Chain Beyond the Grave: The legacy of Harvey Dent has served as a powerful impetus to clean up Gotham City in the years since the events of The Dark Knight. Subverted when Bane publicly reveals that it was based on a whitewashing of what really happened to Dent.
  • The Morality/Mortality Equation: The film follows the formula loyally; by the end, everyone who sides with Bane dead by the end of the film, while the only casualty on Batman's side is the cop who refused to stand against Bane earlier in the film.
  • Moral Myopia: Bane is dead set on nuking Gotham including the thousands of children living there, despite the fact that his whole reason for joining the League of Shadows was to follow and protect the woman he rescued because she was an innocent child at the time.
  • More Dakka: Bane is plainly a believer in this trope. His plans are big. Very big. They all involve explosives. Lots of explosives. Guns. And Tumblers, the strongest tanks you can imagine.
  • Morton's Fork: The guilty in the Kangaroo Court are given a choice between two punishments, death or exile. "Exile" is the chance to escape Gotham across the thinly-iced East River, which you will almost certainly fall into and die of hypothermia. If you choose death, you're sentenced to death by exile.
  • Motive Decay:
    • Zigzagged with the League of Shadows. The secret society's technically trying to complete the same plan Ra's al Ghul was pursuing back in Batman Begins, i.e. destroy Gotham City. However, Ra's was executing the League's ancient mission of restoring balance to a civilization that had reached the peak of corruption and decadence. Talia and Bane, by contrast, have completely abandoned those traditional goals and ideology. For them, destroying Gotham isn't about restoring balance at all, but instead honoring the memory of Ra's and punishing Bruce for his betrayal. Unlike Ra's, they're also willing to go so far as to kill themselves and the entire League just to triumph. The decay is justified in-story, as Bane and Talia's more extremist faction seized control of what's left of the League after Begins and are completely consumed with vengeance.
    • Played straight with Bruce due to the ending of the previous film. The whole point of Batman was supposed to present a symbol to the people of Gotham to rouse them from their apathy and bring peace to the city. But Bruce had to sacrifice the symbol to ensure Harvey Dent's crimes as Two-Face did not tarnish his legacy. Becoming Batman again in this film is ostensibly to protect Gotham from the threat Bane poses, but Alfred calls bullshit. He fears Bruce's depression over Rachel's death and losing the Batman identity for nearly a decade have left him a Death Seeker. It ultimately gets reconstructed, though, as Bane's beating and his imprisonment in the Pit gets Bruce to snap out of his own apathy and finally, truly re-embrace his original mission statement.
  • Mushroom Cloud: The nuclear bomb explodes into one out at sea.
  • Musical Spoiler: One of the first hints that shows that Miranda Tate might be up to no good is when the music shifts ominously the moment the camera shows her right after Bruce tells her that the fusion reactor could be turned nuclear.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Selina Kyle has this reaction after she walks through the home of a family in Gotham. Her quiet, "This was someone's house..." sends a clear picture that this is not how she thought everyone being equal would play out. She also has a horrified look on her face after leading Bruce Wayne to Bane, and sees Bane beat Bruce to a pulp.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When Blake meets Bruce, he mentions that when Gordon told the other police officers about Bane's hideout in the sewers, they mocked him, asking if he saw any giant alligators as well - a nod to Killer Croc.
    • The movie starts with Bruce having a bad leg after his last encounter with the Joker, forcing him to use a cane and retire as Batman and the movie ends with Bruce finding a right candidate to be his successor. This is very similar to what happened to him in Batman Beyond.
    • John Daggett is named after Roland Daggett, a recurring Corrupt Corporate Executive in Batman: The Animated Series and occasionally the comics. Roland Daggett was in turn inspired by Max Shreck, the similarly corrupt tycoon and villain enabler of Batman Returns.
      • Daggett's plan to use Bruce's fingerprints to get him to forfeit his company is similar to his plan to steal Wayne's identity for the same goals in an episode of B:TAS.
    • The "R" in the cheer sign at the football game Bane targets is the logo of Robin.
    • The football team's name is the Gotham Rogues.
    • Upon seeing Batman's return to action, an older cop in a cruiser excitedly tells his younger partner that they're "in for a hell of a show tonight", mirroring a scene from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Bane's comment on how Batman fights "like he was still a young man" mirrors a line Bruce thinks to himself in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Bruce Wayne looks up old newspaper clippings about Selina's escapades: they give her the nickname "The Cat", which was what Catwoman was known as in her earliest comic book appearances.
    • In the same scene, Bruce sees Selina Kyle's mugshot. It looks a great deal like the famous "mugshot" cover for an issue of Catwoman comics drawn by Adam Hughes.
    • Bane breaks Batman over his knee, which is based on an iconic panel from Knightfall. Alfred's resigning to try and snap Bruce out of his self-destructive pattern is also borrowed from this storyline.
    • When entering and leaving the stock exchange, Bane wears a red crash helmet - from behind, when he's walking through the metal detector, he looks exactly like Jason Todd as the Red Hood.
    • Batman's remark when being at the receiving end of a Stealth Hi/Bye, "So that's what that feels like..." is taken from Kingdom Come.
    • Gotham City being cut off from the rest of the United States is a nod to Batman: No Man's Land and to Batman: The Cult.
    • Bane taking over leadership of the League of Shadows after Ra's apparent death and threatening to destroy Gotham with a nuclear device is taken from the graphic novel simply titled Bane.
      • A B:TAS episode also had an enemy of Batman's planning to destroy Gotham with a nuclear bomb and prepared to be killed to prevent the detonation from being stopped, with a female criminal also helping to undo the plan.
    • One track on the film's complete score soundtrack is given the title "Batman Returns."
    • Similarly, Bruce and Selina dance at a Masquerade Ball, just like in Batman Returns. However, unlike that one, Selina does wear a costume (her Domino Mask and safecracking goggle "cat ears").
    • Dr. Jonathan Crane has straw sticking out of his suit during the Kangaroo Court scenes - the one subtle clue (at least in this movie) that he is the Scarecrow.
    • The Pit bears a resemblance to the Lazarus Pit: used by Ra's al Ghul in the comics to extend his life by several centuries, it has the power to heal the sick and dying, but kill the healthy. The ordinary criminals, who would otherwise be able to live a normal life, will never leave their prison, while Bane, Batman and Talia emerge beyond all hope. In other words, they rise again. The resurrection metaphor can be extended to Ra's al Ghul himself: he exacts revenge on the warlord who imprisoned his wife and daughter, by revisiting the pit (diving into and re-emerging from it), and thereby his legacy lives on in the form of a daughter who is more than willing to do her father's work.
    • At the end, Bruce and Selina are living together as a happy couple, like their Pre-Crisis Earth-Two counterparts in the comics.
    • John Blake: He's a composite of the first three Robins.
    • There are even minor parallels with Batman & Robin, Bane is just The Dragon for a female Big Bad. In addition, one scene in B&R has Bane planting bombs, exclaiming "BOOOOMB". each time one is planted. In this film, despite being far more intelligent and competent as a villain, Bane's plan revolves almost entirely around a "BOOOOMB". He's significantly more lethal and a lot more intelligent and competent in this incarnation.
    • A subtle nod back to The Dark Knight, specifically Two-Face: right before the stock exchange heist is executed, we see two traders getting their shoes shined (by a mercenary), and arguing about whether or not to short-sell Wayne Enterprises stock. One says, "Wayne coming back is change. Change is either good or bad," on the basis of a coin toss. Two-Face's way of choosing whether or not to let a victim live was based on coin tosses.
    • One nickname for New York City is "Gotham", which was coined by Washington Irving in his satire Salmagundi. Parts of this movie were filmed in Manhattan. Not to mention that in the trilogy as a whole, the paint scheme on the GCPD's police cruisers is based on the paint scheme of the NYPD from the 1990s, only with a much darker shade of blue.
    • When Batman damages Bane's mask, Bane's fighting style and shattering the walls with his fists, mirrors his comic book counterpart's Berserker Mode which is a result of the Venom pump being damaged and contantly overflowing Bane's system. This in turn makes Bane into a mindless superstrong monster.
    • The film's ending seems to reference a notorious scene in Batman: The Movie - Batman just can't get rid of a bomb!
    • The scene where Batman and Catwoman are fighting a group of thugs, jumping from one to the next, and the thugs getting back up for another round, is very similar to the combat of the Batman: Arkham series, the second of which had both Batman and Catwoman playable.
    • Hell, even the title of the film counts as one: it's a reference to "The Dark Knight Falls", the title of the final chapter of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (one of the film's primary inspirations). Both of them end with Bruce Wayne faking his death and going into seclusion while a successor (an army of successors in Returns' case) prepares to carry on his work.
    • The variations to Bane's character from his comic counterpart are all traits of Mr. Freeze: He's bald, he is weakened or even pained by the removal of his suit mask, and his motivation is to to appease a woman he cares about.
    • The statue of Batman at the very end has a streamlined neck and shoulders, just like his previous incarnations and his future one.
    • Selina's shy, Shrinking Violet demeanor when she's pretending to be a maid is just like how Selina was portrayed pre-Catwoman transformation in Batman Returns.
    • Catwoman is told she's got a "nice outfit".
  • Near-Villain Victory: Starting with the second act, Bane is in the speed lane for victory and he almost has it this time.
  • Neck Lift: A favorite tactic of Bane.
  • Neck Snap: Seems to be Bane's favored method of execution, and he does it completely effortlessly. Executed in this way are the first of the two thugs who deliver Gordon to him, Daggett, Dr. Pavel, and Captain Mark Jones.
    • Dagget's Neck Snap also subverts the "dying instantly" section of the trope. He is clearly heard screaming for some time afterward when we cut from Bane putting his hands around Daggett's neck to Stryver's Reaction Shot.
  • Never Found the Body:
    • Bane is certainly savvy enough to not consider Gordon dead prematurely. Which would explain why after blowing up the bridges, he sends two men to the hospital to assassinate Gordon. Unfortunately, Gordon jumps them before they can shoot him.
    • Batman's apparent Heroic Sacrifice. Naturally, there wouldn't be anything left of him after being at the center of a nuclear explosion.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • The dramatic exchange between Bruce and Alfred regarding the latter swearing to protect Bruce and failing does not come up in the actual scene. Alfred utters similar lines, though, at the film's finale.
    • Also, trailers make it appear that Selina and Bane are close allies, but in reality she's more or less blackmailed and intimidated into giving him occasional help.
    • One trailer has Selina's line "You don't owe these people any more. You've given them everything!", which she says when she is mounting the Batpod. Given the above lie, you'd be forgiven for thinking she utters the line in defiance. In fact, she is pleading desperately for Batman to not potentially risk himself in vain. That said, Batman's line "Not everything... not yet" carries the exact same meaning in both the trailers and the final product in that he knows the people still need a true legend.
    • In an example of Never Trust A Leak, one of Selina's lines, when leaked out of context, made fans assume that she'd be allied with Bane. In reality, she says the line to deceive the actual flunkies of Bane.
    • Hines Ward, when outrunning the imploding field, doesn't drop his football in shock in the movie.
    • Bane doesn't say "Let the games begin" when he's about to fight Batman, but actually when he's about to press the detonator to blow up the city's bridges and football stadium.
    • The shots of the Bat and placement of Selina's and Bruce's banter inside it make it seem as if it's involved only in the climax of the film. It actually debuts very early, when Batman is rescuing Selina from Bane right after the Stock Exchange attack.
    • Bane's "when Gotham is ashes" line is said more slower and has a word or two added to it.
    • One scene from the trailers portrays a Tumbler firing on the battle between Bane's forces and the police at city hall. This never actually appears in the movie, although a similar scene appears in the script and novelization.
  • New Era Speech: Bane gives two chilling speeches; one at the Gotham football stadium, and another later on TV after his plan is set in motion.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • When Batman suddenly reappears from hiding to stop Bane during the stock exchange heist, the police suddenly make catching Batman their priority, completely ignoring Bane and allowing him to escape. In particular, Officer Simon Jansen uses his pistol to shoot the EMP device Batman is using to try and stop Bane's bikes. If he hadn't, Batman would've probably stopped Bane, Bane's plan would've failed, and at the very least he would need a new one. Batman proceeds to give Jansen a dirty look, even though he weakly apologizes.
    • Lucius Fox has been recollecting the Tumbler prototypes and various other tech to Wayne Industries' storeroom to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. Then again, storing them all in one room makes it very easy to lose them all in a flash, as happens when Bane and his men blow up the floor of Applied Sciences to "acquire" these resources.
    • Gordon initally tried to read a speech revealing the truth about Harvey but decided against it and had tucked it away in his suit. When he's captured by Bane's men later that night, Bane finds it and hangs onto it, later reading it after he takes over Gothem to incite more panic among the citizens.
    • Bruce leaving Ra's al Ghul to die at the end of Batman Begins. Bruce mistakenly and arrogantly assumed the League of Shadows died with his mentor. Instead, not only did the League survive and regroup, but the power vacuum brought Talia back into the fold and allowed her and Bane's extremist faction to seize control of the organization.
    • Early on in the film, Mayor Garcia staunchly refuses to appeal the Dent Act. This leaves criminals, with denied parole by the Act, stewing in Blackgate and ripe for exploitation when Bane 'liberates' them and recruits them to his army.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Gordon getting hospitalized protects him from ending up trapped underground.
    • At the beginning, the cops are torn between chasing Bane, who'd attacked Gordon and had just shot up the Stock Exchange, and Batman, a fugitive who (they believed) killed Dent eight years earlier. Then Bane exonerates him. When he comes back, he's a hero.
    • Instead of killing him, Bane throws Batman in a pit and puts the TV on so he can watch Bane oppress Gotham, giving him the rage and motivation he needs to get out of the pit. Bane also releases all of Blackgate's inmates, including Selina, who becomes vital to defeating Bane and saving the day
    • Talia likewise makes this mistake, not taking into account Batman could have allies after she reveals her true nature and incapcitates Bruce. This leads to Bane getting killed when Selina comes in for the rescue and her own plan ultimately thwarted.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Bane completely and utterly owns Batman in their first encounter. Batman then defeats Bane just as badly in their second encounter, complete with an Ironic Echo to Bane's previous Fate Worse than Death speech.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Talia doesn't engage in any combat after she is revealed as the true Big Bad, although she would have had the standard league of shadows training.
  • Non-Specifically Foreign: Bane and Talia. They are connected to some vaguely Middle Eastern country, but their ultimate origin is deliberately left nebulous.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • The events that happened in the coup pulled off by Bane and his men to secure Daggett's diamond mining operations. We don't really know much about it, but the events appear to have been what enabled Daggett to get his board seat at Wayne Enterprises.
    • Selina once broke out of a women's correctional facility when she was 16, according to the Blackgate warden. Additional details (how was it done, and what she was in jail for) are not mentioned.
    • Bane's henchmen getting their weapons into the stock exchange in the novelization is just said to have been difficult.
  • No One Could Survive That!: How Bruce pulls off Faking the Dead at the end.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Invoked and inverted. After collapsing Heinz Field, Bane conducts an "interview"/"interrogation" of Dr. Pavel over the loudspeakers in full view of the gathered crowd. He asks about the bomb and its capabilities, and Dr. Pavel explains that it will level the city, should it detonate. Bane asks who built it. "I did." Bane asks who is capable of disarming it. "Only me."
    Bane: Only you. Thank you, good doctor! [breaks Dr. Pavel's neck]
  • No-Sell:
    • Batman throws League of Shadows-style smoke bombs around Bane, which if Bane were a normal person would make him flinch. Bane doesn't even blink, and he notes that it would work on people who aren't familiar with the League's tactics. He also knows that Batman doesn't kill.
      Bane: Theatricality and deception are powerful agents... to the uninitiated! But you and I are initiated, aren't we, Bruce?
    • Bane Feels No Pain due to his anesthetic gas mask and deliberately lets Batman hit him a few times with no reaction, intending to draw a Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh.... He's trying to break Batman's will, and few things are quite as demoralizing as punching someone as hard as you can and not provoking a reaction.
  • Not Afraid to Die: Bane tells Bruce that this is why "your punishment must be more severe." Later when a fellow inmate tells him that the fear of death is the oldest animal instinct that compels people to fight on and succeed, and that Bruce will never escape unless he fears death again. Bruce still doesn't fear death; he fears dying in that pit while Gotham is torn apart.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Marion Cotillard uses her normal French accent as Miranda Tate. Considering the revelation that she is Talia al-Ghul, this has some possible Fridge Brilliance.
  • Not His Sled: The basic outline of the story is based on the Knightfall arc from the comics, but the movie changes a few things up to keep fans of the comics surprised: Bruce is seriously injured in his fight with Bane but doesn't wind up paralyzed and Bane is eventually revealed to be a pawn of Talia al Ghul.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Blake tells Bruce that they actually met years before, when he was just a child, but even then he immediately knew he was the Batman. Despite all the masks he wears, Bruce can't hide the pain of losing his family and the Unstoppable Rage that it gives him. Blake knows this because he went through the same thing (losing his mom to a car accident while his father got shot dead in a gambling dispute).
  • Not-So-Small Role: Marion Cotillard as "Miranda Tate". She's revealed to be Talia al Ghul at the climax of the film.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: The "safety rope" secured to prisoners attempting to climb the pit is just tied around the waist, with no padding or harness to spread the load. It does nothing to actually slow their descent, just snapping taut to keep them from hitting the ground. The results would be extremely painful... for you. They might as well not use the rope at all; death would arguably be preferable to the paralysis that would surely follow from dropping at the choke point. There is no way Batman would be in any fit state to try again after falling once, especially considering how much damage his spine took already.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Stryver after Selina subtly reveals that he just used the congressman's cell phone and the police are on their way. Cue the sound of tires screeching to a halt, a fight breaking out in the bar, and a SWAT team raiding the place.
    • When Bane is entering the Stock Exchange, a guard stops him and tells him to take off his helmet so that they can see his face. Bane complies with her, and as he takes it off, you can see the guard's face turn pale for a split second before Bane strikes her over the head. The novelization adds in that she instinctively is reaching for her taser when Bane attacks her.
    • Blake's reaction to discovering that several thousand cops are about to be trapped underground because Bane's been rigging explosives all across the city.
    • Daggett's reaction when Bane reveals his true intentions. You can tell from the tone of his voice he's practically shitting in his pants.
      Daggett: No, you stay here. I'm in charge.
      (Bane places a heavy hand on Daggett's shoulder)
      Bane: Do you feel in charge?
    • When Bane sees the bat-signal burning on the Brooklyn Bridge.
      • Also, just the look in Bane's eyes says it all when Batman begins to break open the valves in his mask in their second bout.
      • Taila, after the fading explosion reveals she is about to crash her vehicle down an underground passage.
    • When Fox discovers that Talia had activated the emergency flood protocol for the fusion reactor room. His tone of voice is a hilariously calm, "Oh, dear."
    • Earlier, Fox has one when he and Miranda walk into the boardroom on their way to a meeting, and:
      Bane: How good of you to join us! Chair and President. All I need now is one more ordinary board member. Mr. Fox, would you like to nominate?
    • In the first fight between Bane and Batman, both Selina and Bruce separately appear to have this reaction when Bane says, "Let's not stand on ceremony here.... Mr. Wayne."
    • The look on Batman's face when he realizes that Bane isn't the rinky-dink pushover thug he expected him to be. And then proceeds to get his ass handed to him by Bane.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Selina Kyle's reaction to hearing Jen being threatened by the yuppie she's pickpocketing is to roll her eyes and react like this has happened before.
  • The Old Convict: After Bruce is dumped in the pit, the only other prisoners to really interact with him and provide Exposition are two older men. One of them (the prison doctor) has been incarcerated since Bane was a prisoner, about twenty years ago.
  • Old Cop, Young Cop:
    • Gordon, veteran of at least 20+ years, and Blake, who has only a single year of field experience as an officer. Nonetheless, the reason Gordon fast-tracks Blake to a detective rank is Blake's hardworking efforts to dig up dirt on Bane's plans.
    • There were also those two cops in the car chase following the Stock Exchange attack who were among the first to witness Batman's return to action after 8 years.
  • Older Sidekick: As stated below.
  • Older Than They Look: Bane. Due to Talia being a small child in the pit, where Bane was at least a teen to early twentys, and the timeline is roughly 25-30 years later, that would put Bane in his mid 40's to late 50's.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Deshi Basara", Bane's thematic chant, Moroccan Arabic meaning "He Rises".
    • See Bilingual Bonus, as it may simply be an imaginary language from Nolan. Still ominous though.
  • Once More, with Clarity: Bane was born in a hellish prison and escaped it by climbing a well when he was a kid, right? Wrong. It was Talia. Bane was another prisoner who assisted her escape. The second time, we see the child make the jump and finish the climb, then she pulls a scrap of cloth over her head into a shawl, and suddenly we're looking at a girl.
    • During his hallucination of Ra's in the prison, Bruce flashes back to their conversation out on the ice back during Batman Begins. The story of Ra's and The Lost Lenore is replayed...and now Bruce sees it differently with the context and clues he's learned about Bane.
  • One True Love: Bruce is certain that Rachel was his, and so he doesn't even try to move on in the eight years since her death. It's clear there that he loved her in one way or another since they were children, so her death was probably going to shake him severely regardless.
    • It's also clear that Bruce's love for Rachel was never healthy, and his continuing to mourn for her eight years later is even less healthy, as Alfred tries to point out early on. When Bruce finally does try to move on, well, it's a bumpy road to say the least.
  • One-Woman Wail:
    • When Batman flies out during the finale.
    • The Boy Soprano variant is used by the boy who sings the National Anthem before the football game:
      Bane: [listening in the tunnel] That's a lovely, lovely voice.
  • Onrushing Army: When the Gotham police Zerg Rush Bane's mercenaries, this is how the battle plays out.
  • Orbital Shot:
    • When Bruce is dancing with Selina Kyle, the close-up camera shots are filmed in this way
    • Bane's "I was born in the dark" line during the first fight, after Batman tries to throw out the lights to distract him, is an orbital shot
  • Out of Focus: Because Blake gets so much screen time, this happens to some degree to Gordon, Alfred, and Lucius Fox, all of whom had larger roles in the first two movies. Gordon's role was largest in the second movie, while Fox and Alfred had their largest influence in the first movie.
  • Outranking Your Job: Gordon is the police commissioner, yet he's shown leading the rescue raid on the bar where Selina had taken the congressman, something that you would expect a lieutenant or sergeant to do, but not a police commissioner. After Bane takes over the city, the trope becomes justified because Gordon is one of only a handful of police who aren't trapped above ground, and he's the most senior cop not trapped in the sewers.
  • Outrun the Fireball:
    • Hines Ward does this when the field blows up behind him. In an odd variation, he doesn't notice the destruction behind him until he reaches the end zone and scores the touchdown.
    • In the regular variant, at the moment Bane and his men the detonators, explosives start going off under the street Blake is traveling down in his unmarked squad car. Despite his best efforts, the explosion catches up and flips his car, destroying it. Fortunately, he's wearing a seatbelt, so he only gets minor scrapes and bruises.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted: As a part of her Spy Catsuit, Selina wears a Domino Mask that doesn't really conceal her features (you can tell it is Anne Hathaway under the mask). However, it is not meant to hide her face, being a high-tech cracking tool.
  • Parental Betrayal:
    • Bruce angrily reproaches Alfred when Alfred finally reveals that Rachel chose Harvey over him, and that he kept it all these years, in a vain attempt to dissuade Bruce from becoming Batman one last time.
    • Talia reveals she was unable to forgive Ra's for excommunicating Bane from the League of Shadows until Bruce killed him.
  • Passing the Torch: It is hinted that John Blake inherits the mantle of Batman from Bruce Wayne. His legal first name, "Robin", is an allusion to this.
  • People's Republic of Tyranny: Invoked. During his "reign", Bane maintains his spiel about "giving power back to the people" while turning Gotham into a horrific dystopia that, rather than being run by the People, is instead led by his mercenaries, common street thugs, and all of the insane criminals that Batman has put away over the years.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Have a vertebra sticking out in a way it shouldn't? Don't worry, I can fist that.
  • Perilous Old Fool:
    • While Bruce is only in his late-thirties, his accumulated injuries mean he is not nearly fit or strong enough for his first fight with Bane. Why else would the doctor not be able to recommend he go heli-skiing?
      Alfred: You can strap up your leg and put your mask back on, but that doesn't make you what you were!
    • And when the first fight begins:
      Bane: You fight like a younger man! With nothing held back. Admirable, but mistaken.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Bane's backstory, especially his treatment of young Talia, makes him much more sympathetic, if only for a moment.
    • Likewise, Talia fixing Bane's mask and farewell scene to each other can come off as sympathetic as well.
  • Plot-Demanded Manual Mode: During the climax, Batman uses his Cool Plane the Bat to haul a fusion bomb away from Gotham City. He has to fly it manually because he says the autopilot system is malfunctioning. He flies the bomb out over the ocean where it detonates and presumably kills him. Later, while completing work on the Bat, Fox discovers that Wayne had fixed the autopilot function months before and may have escaped before the bomb detonated.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: A couple of people pull these off spectacularly.
    • At the final battle, Foley is leading the rescued police officers, lined up behind him:
      Mercenary on Megaphone: Disperse! Disperse or be fired upon!
      Dpty. Commissioner Peter Foley: There's only one police in this town!
    • Earlier, when the fight in the bar begins:
      Stryver: [seeing who Selina's "date" really is] That's cute, but they're not gonna be looking in a place like this.
      Selina Kyle: I don't know. You did just use his cell phone.
      [Stryver looks at the phone. Cue the sound of tires screeching to a halt, and a SWAT team approaching, Selina immediately attacks Stryver and the thug standing behind her]
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Blake gets one after the bridge is destroyed.
      Blake: [to the external police at the bridge] YOU IDIOTS! YOU SONS OF BITCHES!
    • When Bane attacks the security guards as he enters the Stock Exchange, the third one clearly says "Fuck!" when Bane grabs his gun hand with his left hand, then punches him in the waist with his right arm and motorcycle helmet.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: While he doesn't kill Batman, he no less finishes him with a knee to his back after delivering this.
    Bane: Ah yes. I was wonder what would break first: your spirit... or your body!
  • Pretender Diss:
    Bane: You think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see light until I was already a man.
  • Prison Rape: A female example. One of the reasons Talia Al-Ghul became so messed up was because she saw her mother be captured and raped by a group of prisoners who escaped their cells, began a riot, and broke into Talia and her mother's own cell. She escaped, but the result was that Bane gets bad facial injuries and hence gets the mask he wears for the movie.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: A heroic example with Bruce working out to get back in Batman shape while imprisoned.
  • Product Placement:
    • Delta Airlines, Bentley, Lamborghini, Saks Fifth Avenue, Greyhound, the "Heinz" signage on the facade of Heinz Field. The sign for UPMC that is seen on the scoreboard behind Bane is for the neighboring University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In a rather awkward case, during most of Bane's speech, it's kind of distracting to have a Doritos sign on the scoreboard behind him.
    • Oshkosh's logo is easy to spot on the front grille of one of the SWAT trucks responding to the Stock Exchange heist.
    • When Blake is confronting the two construction workers at the cement plant, a freight train of auto carriers goes by. You can see that it has CSX locomotives on it.
    • The police fleet is probably largely made of Ford vehicles.
    • Real beer brands can be seen in neon signs in the background when Selina is meeting with Stryver at the bar.
    • Dell computers are very prominent during the Stock Exchange heist - you can even see the logo very blatantly on the backs of many of the trading monitors on the exchange floor, while some viewers speculate that the computer tablet used to run the trading program is an XPS Duo 12.
    • Gordon and some of the cops try using a Greyhound bus to stop one of the decoy trucks carrying the nuclear bomb by t-boning it.
    • They aren't really subtle about showing us that the TV in Gordon's hospital room is a Samsung, even showing the logo where it is very visible.
  • Properly Paranoid: Bruce mothballs a fusion plant because Dr. Pavel figured out how to turn such a device into a weapon. While Fox feels it was foolish, we already know that Bane has kidnapped Dr. Pavel and plans to do just that. Further justified because Talia, as Miranda, helps pay for the plant so it could be used to destroy Gotham.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Bruce argues that all the Wayne Enterprises tech he uses as Batman could be turned into weapons against the cause, even if he were to supply the police with it. Alfred points out that Bruce is very good at imagining anything can be turned into a weapon, and is using it as an excuse to keep the burden of saving Gotham on his own shoulders. Bruce's argument comes true after Bane captures the Applied Sciences division. "Your precious armory! Gratefully accepted! We will need it."
  • Pummel Duel: The two climactic fights between Batman and Bane. Especially the first fight.
  • Punch Catch: Bane does this to Batman during their first fight and hits him with the fist to break him. He tries the second time but Bruce gets his hand free and connects.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Present in the first fight between Batman and Bane. Bane seems amused when Batman opens with his hardest hits. Because he can't feel them.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • Daggett's "What. The hell. Is going on?!" when Bane appears.
    • When confronting Daggett, Selina does emphasizing pauses when she jams a pistol into Daggett's neck and says, "Where is it?!"
  • Put on a Bus: Gordon's family. Officially, Mrs. Barbara Gordon leaves her husband in the 8-year gap since The Dark Knight and takes both children to Cleveland. This removed both characters, who may have been young teens, from the potential of complicating matters as Batgirl and James Gordon, Jr.

  • Race Lift: Bane was generally Hispanic in the comics, but being played by an English and bald-headed Tom Hardy, his nationality becomes ambiguous.
  • Ramp Jump: For Bane and his men, one added benefit of using motorcycles for their escape from Wall Street is that they can use the crash barriers as stunt ramps.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: One criticism some viewers have expressed about this film and the previous is that the GCPD uniform and police car paint scheme are inconsistent with displaying "GPD" or "GCPD". But the truth is that real police departments in the United States have been known to change their paint schemes or uniform appearances from time to time, with new vehicles receiving new paint jobs, while pre-existing police vehicles will maintain the older paint job to maintain cost-effectiveness.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Bane is fond of knitting, and can be seen doing this at Stryver's "trial", a reference to Madame Defarge in A Tale of Two Cities, which could also be a reference to the "knitting ladies" at the kangaroo courts in the Reign of Terror.
  • Real-Person Cameo: See The Cameo.
    • Several current and former Pittsburgh Steelers players subbed in for the Gotham City Rogues. Also, their former head coach Bill Cowher stepped in to coach them.
    • The kicker for Rapid City is, according to his uniform, Pittsburgh's own mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
    • U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy cameos as a member of the Wayne Enterprises board.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Bruce is in the pit, strung up so his back can heal, he hallucinates seeing Ra's Al Ghul, who proceeds to rip into Bruce by emphasizing his worst fear - that his whole quest to save Gotham by being Batman was was a failure and a waste of time since in the end despite his best efforts the only victory he could achieve "was a lie."
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: After Batman saves the city from Talia and apparently sacrifices himself to do so, he goes from a widely hated madman in Gotham's eyes to the hero who finally gets the respect he deserves.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Deputy Commissioner Peter Foley, who in the end leads the GCPD charge on Bane's forces and dies attempting to stop Talia, though he does take down Barsad right before this.
  • Red Herring:
    • Corrupt Corporate Executive John Daggett trying to take over Wayne Enterprises by having Bane stage the stock market attack. He's really just a pawn in a bigger game.
    • Bane as the child of Ra's al Ghul who escapes the prison. It's actually Miranda Tate, a.k.a Talia al Ghul.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Bruce is the blue to Selina's red.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Wayne Enterprises has invented nuclear fusion, but won't release it because Bruce is worried that it might be used as a weapon.
  • Reign of Terror: Bane's 'liberator of the people' rhetoric inspires the people of Gotham to start one of these.
  • Relocating the Explosion: Batman hooks the ticking nuclear time bomb to his flying Bat-vehicle and carries it out over the bay where it explodes, apparently killing him with it.
  • Reluctant Mad Scientist: Dr. Pavel wants nothing to do with Bane, attempting to make a deal with the CIA instead. Bane eventually finds he has to threaten to kill Dr. Pavel's children to gain the doctor's cooperation.
  • The Remnant: Bane's army represents whatever remains of the League of Shadows.
  • Repeat Cut: The shot of police cars coming to a stop outside the Stock Exchange and officers drawing their weapons that comes right after Bane is told that the cell line has been cut: the units are coming to a stop on the corner facing each other head-on. Based on the motions of one police officer climbing out of the shotgun seat of the unit on the right side of the shot, and the police vehicles in the background it's the same take as the wide shot of police cars initially arriving at the exchange, just from a slightly different angle.
  • La Résistance: Exploited by Bane, who presents his army as freedom fighters. After Gotham is sealed off, this role is fulfilled by the remnants of the police force and the old high society.
  • Retired Badass: Bruce Wayne, who's hung up the cowl for 8 whole years. He later fakes his death so he can retire permanently.
  • Retirony: Inverted twice. Gordon gets shot before he was retired, not fired, and getting shot while escaping from Bane's lair actually saved his job, since being hospitalized kept the mayor from doing anything to him, further helped because the mayor, the person who was planning on firing him, is killed along with several of his aides by a bomb planted in his private viewing box during Bane's raid on the football pitch at Heinz Field.
  • The Reveal: The identity of the "trigger-man."
    Miranda Tate: And though I'm not ordinary, I'm a citizen.
  • Revenge Before Reason: For nearly the entire film, both Bane and Talia are very clever. The only place where they falter is in how they deal with Batman with both wanting to keep him alive to see the destruction of his city before giving him permission to die, feeling that plain death is too light of a punishment for him given that he doesn't fear death. Bane eventually learns from this and realizes that Batman is too dangerous to let live, even if just for a few more minutes and decides to simply shoot him. Selina intervenes, however.
    • Exaggerated when you remember that they're both killing themselves by staying in the city where the bomb is, just to ensure that it will detonate as planned and destroy Bruce's spirit. All to avenge the man who excommunicated Bane.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Notice in the first fight between Batman and Bane that Bane takes care not to get hit in the face too many times, quickly countering Batman once he starts getting hit in on that area. That's because the mask he's wearing is pumping anesetics into his system, keeping the chronic pain he got from the past at bay. In the second fight, Bruce specifically targets the mask, now that he knows what it does. When it gets damaged and he feels the hits Batman is dealing, he goes down in short order. If Bruce had indeed targeted the mask in the first fight, it's likely he would've beaten Bane then and there.
    • After the reveal that Miranda is Talia Al Ghul, you realize how Bane and his men easily kept cutting off any attempts for outside help and the GCPD to stop the bomb. She was thought of as a trusted ally to the heroes. So naturally she fed info to Bane.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Isolated from the world and inflamed by Bane's rhetoric, many of Gotham's citizens rise up in anger against the rich and powerful, with kangaroo courts, public executions, and mass confiscation of private property. This is all a ruse, as Bane reveals ahead of time he means to kill everyone anyway. However, he does seem to believe that his actions will have long-term global effects.
  • Riches to Rags: A major plot point is Bruce Wayne going "From Billionaire to Bum", as a result of Bane's attack on the Stock Exchange.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Even though writing and production took place well in advance of the headlines in question, a very common reaction to the promotional material is that Bane and Selina sound like they're organizing an Occupy Gotham movement. Nolan even thought about filming footage of the Occupy protests for Rises, but ended up not doing so.
  • Rule of Scary: Bane's anesthetic mask would be impractical in real life but it looks damn scary and it would be very awkward for Bane to be dragging a gas-filled tank around, so it gets a pass.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Bruce's arduous climb out of the prison is meant to evoke his fall down a well as a child, and is intercut with flashbacks of that event. There's even a burst of bats that fly out of the prison during his successful escape.
  • Rule of Three: Bruce manages to escape the Hellhole Prison on the third attempt.
  • Running Gag:
    • Miranda Tate being "quite lovely."
    • Just like before, Alfred serving breakfast in bed to Bruce, only to find out that he's gone to his Batcave.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Captain Mark Jones and his special forces operatives.
  • Sadistic Choice: Bane slaps the President with one, with heavy shades of Morton's Fork.
  • Same Language Dub: Most of Tom Hardy's Bane dialogue was re-dubbed for the final product. Among the few exceptions:
    "Crashing this plane..."
    "Members of the League of Shadows... and you betrayed us."
    "I am the League of Shadows."
  • Samus Is a Girl: The legendary child who escaped from Bane's Hellhole Prison is not Bane, but Talia al Ghul.
  • Sarcastic Confession: While Bruce and Selina are dancing, she asks him who he is pretending to be. Bruce responds "Bruce Wayne, eccentric billionaire." Admitting that all of her preconceptions about him are flat out wrong.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Selina takes Daggett out the window to escape his mooks, only to land on a window washing platform.
  • Save the Day, Turn Away: Bruce Wayne fakes his and Batman's death so he can start a new life with Selina Kyle, continue funding the orphanage, and give Gotham the hero they deserve.
  • Say Your Prayers: Blake appears to begin to do this when Bane's men take him hostage after thwarting his attempt to rescue a couple of cops through a sewer manhole cover.
  • Scary Black Man: The captain of the team of mercenaries who take Blake hostage while he's making a solo attempt to grab a few cops through a manhole. It's Teal'c from Stargate SG-1, if you were wondering.
  • Screaming Warrior: When Batman breaks his mask in their second fight, Bane becomes this; he can clearly be heard shrieking in rage like a wounded animal, all the while hammering Batman with punches strong enough to shatter concrete.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Bruce bankrupts Wayne Enterprises over the eight years since The Dark Knight to build a working fusion reactor to solve the energy crisis, then shelves the project because the reactor could be turned into a bomb if it fell into the wrong hands, something that Dr. Pavel had discovered. Bruce does not know at the time that Bane has kidnapped Dr. Pavel for that exact purpose - turn the reactor into a bomb.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Bane goes out of his way to defy this one, teaching Daggett that money is not power; power is power.
    Daggett: I've given you a small fortune!
    Bane: And this gives you power over me?
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Bane lures most of Gotham's police force underground, and then detonates bombs to trap them in.
  • Second Love: Selina Kyle/Catwoman.
  • Secret Identity: Deconstructed; Batman cannot keep his secret from everyone, which sometimes leads to problems. In addition to the ones who found out in the previous two movies, several people find out who he is in this one:
  • Secret-Keeper: Gordon goes from keeping the secret of Harvey Dent's death to keeping the secret of Batman's true identity.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Much to Bruce's surprise, John Blake has deduced that Bruce is Batman. Technically, Bane is one as well: he is very well aware of Batman's true identity, and doesn't divulge it, despite having more than one perfect opportunity. He does call out Batman's real name while surrounded by his own soldiers during the first fight ("Let's not stand on ceremony here, Mr. Wayne"), but those have been established as being loyal unto death, so they can certainly be trusted not to spill it.
  • Secret Weapon: The Bat is the only one of Batman's vehicles Bane didn't know about.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: In the same fashion as Batman Begins. Talia dies from a fatal injury in a truck crash, but Batman is directly responsible for causing it because he killed the driver with cannon fire from the Bat. In Batman's defense, he was trying to force Talia into turning, but she was too damn determined and he had to stop her.
  • Sequel Escalation: The film trumps up the action scenes, the magnitude of the threat, and, most importantly, the amount and quality of the physical and emotional ordeals that Bruce Wayne goes through.
  • Sewer Gator: When Gordon told his superiors about Bane's hideout in the sewers, they mocked him by asking if he saw any giant alligators as well. Oddly enough, Batman fought Killer Croc in the sewers in the "In Darkness Dwells" segment of the Interquel, Batman: Gotham Knight.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: After Selina rescues Lucius:
    Lucius: I like your girlfriend, Mr. Wayne.
    Selina: He should be so lucky.
  • Shipper on Deck: Alfred and Lucius try to persuade Bruce into going after Miranda Tate. Or Selina Kyle. They're not picky. They just want the boy to leave the house. Ultimately, it's the latter that comes out on top.
  • Shirtless Scene: Played with. Bane is shirtless when the two sewer goons bring the semi-conscious Gordon to him, but it's played less for Fanservice and more for giving us that "Holy crap, that guy is enormous" feeling. Honest Trailers even uses it in their parody trailer for this movie.
  • Shoe Shine, Mister?: Bane's henchman McGarrity poses as a shoeshiner to smuggle a submachine gun into the stock exchange stashed in a gym bag.
  • Shoot the Builder: Bane kidnaps Dr. Leonid Pavel and forces him to modify the fusion reactor which he built for Wayne Enterprises into a bomb. Bane presents his plan to the people of Gotham on the pitch of Heinz Field and breaks Dr. Pavel's neck after he confirms that he's the only one with the knowledge to defuse it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Gordon reads the ending of A Tale of Two Cities. Bane's Gotham Revolution mirrors that of the French Revolution as depicted in the novel. Bane's second-in-command is John Barsad, and there is a Corrupt Corporate Executive named Phillip Stryver, both named after characters from that book.
      • Also, Wayne Enterprises's people hide in Tellson's Bank, according to the script.
      • Bane knitting in the courtroom is probably a nod to Madame Defarge and the "knitting ladies", and "The fire rises", which he says to the henchman on the plane that he orders to stay behind and die, is the name of a chapter in it as well.
    • The speculations by the maids about Bruce Wayne's mental health at the start of the film call to mind Howard Hughes, especially the bit where Daggett comments how he must be growing out his fingernails and peeing in mason jars in the isolation of his private wing.
    • Bruce discovering Miranda/Talia's betrayal at the moment she stabs him is a couple thousand years old.
    • While in his reclusive period, Bruce becomes a socially conscious billionaire with a Van Dyke goatee who takes up archery!
    • Nolan's use of the Pittsburgh Steelers to guest-star as the Gotham Rogues, besides the practical fact that they were filming in Pittsburgh, is also a tribute to their Batman fandom. During the 1966 season, when the Adam West series was airing, the Steelers wore uniforms inspired by Batman.
    • Three trucks are driven around by Bane's soldiers. One truck contains the nuclear device and two of the trucks are decoys. This is much like the 2003 remake of The Italian Job (1969), where the antagonist hires three armored cars to fool the main characters, with two of the armored cars being empty decoys and one carrying all of the gold loot (in that case, though, they were able to isolate the real truck from the decoys by using computer hacking to determine which one was weighed down).
    • The national anthem being sung right before Bane blows up several buildings via explosives built into the foundations is a nod to Arkham Asylum A Serious Houseon Serious Earth. In Arkham Asylum, Amadeus Arkham sings the anthem while musing how America is a nation built upon madness and chaos.
    • The ending of the film is a Shout-Out to Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?: the Hero fakes his death, a grateful city erects a statue in his honor, and the Hero retires from the world with the woman he loves.
    • The method to capture a plane in the air is taken from the Bond movie Licence to Kill.
  • Shown Their Work: Anne Hathaway really researched the role of Catwoman. Discovering that the character was originally inspired by or based on Hedy Lamarr, Hathaway watched some of Lamarr's movies to inspire her interpretation of Selina Kyle (most noticeable in her first two interactions with Bruce Wayne).
  • Sickbed Slaying: Tried and spectacularly failed on Gordon, who gets the jump on Bane's goons right before Blake arrives.
    Gordon: Clear the corners, rookie. [Blake looks at Gordon] Get my coat, son.
  • The Siege: Inverted. The National Guard encircles and quarantines Gotham when it is captured by Bane (who threatens to set off the bomb if anyone makes it out). The siege happens from the inside, therefore.
  • Skewed Priorities: Despite Bane and his men shooting up the stock exchange with submachine guns and escaping with hostages on motorcycles, Foley decides his officers are better off ditching Bane mid-chase to pursue Batman and one of the mooks. Somewhat justified in that Bane specifically did not have a hostage and he assumes Batman is in league with them. Yet, at the same time, this would likely render them liable if doing so increased the chances of the hostages' lives being endangered.
    • The novelization makes clear that Blake even knows this: "Blake just remained silent. Batman wasn't a danger to Gotham, no matter what people said. He was more worried about the felons who had just pulled off such an ambitious strike on the stock exchange."
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Selina and Bruce; the former betrays and the latter tracks her down and takes back his pearl necklace from her, and then they're kissing. Which she then uses to steal his car.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Effectiveness: High. Bane and his men are constantly one step ahead of the heroes. In fact, that's Bane's M.O. from his very first scene; he knows exactly what you're going to do and lets you think that it's going to work before turning the tables on you.
  • Smug Snake: Daggett. This exchange sums up his Asshole Victim status nicely:
    Daggett: No! Stay here! I'm in charge!
    Bane: [places a hand on Daggett's shoulder] Do you feel in charge?
    • Bane himself counts, being supremely confident in his abilities and plans. When things go bad, it triggers a Villainous Breakdown.
    • Taila reveals herself to be a pretty tall order case in the climax, thriving on Villain Gloating. She even dies smugly doing so, convinced her plans will go through regardless that her overconfidence ultimately got her mortally wounded.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bruce and Selina do not hesitate to rip each other new ones, but it's not surprising. Their dance at Miranda Tate's charity ball is made entirely of snark lines:
    Bruce Wayne: You wouldn't want any of these folks realizing you're a crook, not a social climber.
    Selina Kyle: You think I care what anyone in this room thinks of me?
    Bruce Wayne: I doubt you care what anyone in any room thinks of you.
    Selina Kyle: Don't condescend, Mr. Wayne. You don't know a thing about me.
    Bruce Wayne: Well, Selina Kyle, I know you came here from your walk-up in Old Town, a modest place for a master jewel thief. Which means that either you're saving for retirement, or you're in deep with the wrong people.
    Selina Kyle: You don't get to judge me just because you were born in the master bedroom of Wayne Manor.
    Bruce Wayne: Actually, I was born in the Regency Room.
    Selina Kyle: I started out doing what I had to. Once you've done what you had to, they'll never let you do what you want to.
    Bruce Wayne: Start fresh.
    Selina Kyle: There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.
    Bruce Wayne: Is that how you justify stealing?
    Selina Kyle: I take what I need from those who have more than enough. I don't stand on the shoulders of people with less.
    Bruce Wayne: Robin Hood?
    Selina Kyle: I think I do more to help someone than most of the people in this room. Than you.
  • Snow Means Death:
    • Gotham's Darkest Hour is during the winter months, with many characters dying on snow or on ice. At the moment Blake watches the bomb explode, snowflakes start to drift across his face.
    • Also the Kangaroo Court's penalty for its defendants. You are not given a trial, but a choice of sentence: death or exile. If you choose exile, you get pushed out onto a frozen river and must try to find your way across. It's a death sentence anyway, as you'll inevitably fall through the ice and die of either drowning or hypothermia. If you choose death, what you get is death by exile — only you won't get any warning from the guards about avoiding the areas of thinner ice.
  • Society-on-Edge Episode: This installment involves a far more significant threat to Gotham than was presented by the villains of Batman Begins or The Dark Knight. Things also get dire much more quickly; the worst of the chaos in Batman Begins was resolved before most Gotham residents were even aware of it and the worst of that of The Dark Knight was fairly gradual due to the continuously worsening nature of the Joker's actions. Things get far more dire more quickly in TDKR.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: Just like the first film, Alfred plays a few notes on a piano to open the secret Batcave entrance.
  • Spanner in the Works: Bane and Talia's plan would have worked perfectly... they just didn't count on Selina.
  • Speak of the Devil: and Bane shall appear!
    • Also plays out when Bane and his men ambush Captain Jones's Special Forces team. During the conversation, Fox explicitly mentions Bane's name twice. Less than two minutes later, Bane's men are shooting down Jones and his team. Then Bane shows up to crush Jones's neck.
  • Spiritual Successor: With a majority of its cast and crew returning as well as being highly similar in tone, you really couldn't help being reminded of Nolan's previous film, Inception.
  • Spy Catsuit: Inevitable in a movie featuring Selina Kyle.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Selina performs one on Batman after he rescues her from Bane. She uses the advantage of Batman being distracted by a helicopter flying overhead.
  • Stealth Insult: Congressman Gilly hits on Selina, while she's posing as a waitress. She offers him shrimp balls.
  • Storming the Castle: During the climax, Batman and GCPD launch an attack on City Hall, which Bane has taken as his headquarters.
  • A Storm Is Coming: Said by Selina Kyle to Bruce Wayne at the Masquerade Ball, as seen in the page quote at the top of this page.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Gordon loses his calm in the hospital and angrily sends every cop to the sewers when he's talking to Blake and Foley shows up unexpectedly.
  • Survival Mantra: "Deshi deshi! Basara basara!" Chanted by the prisoners whenever someone tries to escape.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Bruce's failing health due to leading a highly injury-prone life of superheroics for just less than two years, as The Dark Knight was around a year after Batman Begins and he initially retired as Batman shortly after it and was idle for eight years. Unlike the comic books where Bruce has been Batman for decades, the film acknowledges that rather like a heavyweight boxer (or any other athlete who endures abuse regularly like a football player), a flesh and blood human being couldn't fight crime for many decades without destroying themselves. Bane exploits this easily.
      • Bruce's condition is not helped by the fact that he clearly hadn't been taking care of himself. It's never addressed as to whether or not he'd ever even tried to get surgery for his knee prior to the events that set the events of the story in motion.
    • Selina's take on the "no guns" rule. See, no matter how badass you may be, Bane, no one's survived being shot at point-blank range. With bike cannons that are designed to blow up cars.
    • Talia's death. Rather than a big dramatic death sequence, she dies from her injuries in a crash just like any other person whose vehicle had fallen about two stories while not wearing a seatbelt. Contrarily, Gordon is just fine although since he was at the back of the truck, and the front of the truck (with Talia in it) was what took most of the force of the crash, that may be why he survived.
    • When Alfred points out the combat skill and strength of Bane to the just-came-out-of-an-eight-year-retirement Batman, Bruce says he will just fight harder. This earns him the worst beating of his life.
    • Bruce points out that despite Selina's skill, "the ground is shrinking under her feet" and she's close to being caught. Which is what's likely to happen when you specialize in stealing from rich, powerful people. As in, the people who most likely have friends who are high-ranking cops with the authority to track her down. She is picked up by Blake within 24 hours of seeing Bane beat Bruce to a pulp.
    • Quite averted when Talia stabs Bruce from behind and even pushes the knife deeper. Instead of bleeding to death, he's back in the plane and with no noticeable harm (not even wincing) after Catwoman saves him from Bane.
    • The League of Shadows surviving the events of Batman Begins. This is, after all, a secret society that has endured since the time of the Roman Empire (or at least so they claimed in Begins). So, Bruce defeating Ra's al Ghul would not automatically destroy the League as he mistakenly and arrogantly believed. However, Bruce's actions did leave the organization severely crippled between the destruction of their Asian headquarters, the death of Ra's, and the massive expenditure of funds, resources, and manpower invested into the ultimately failed Gotham operation. The ensuing power vacuum also left the society vulnerable to takeover from extremist or exocommunicated parties like Bane and Talia.
    • The downfall of the Gotham Mob in the interim since the previous film. As Dent pointed out to Mayor Garcia after the RICO indictment (and before everything went to hell), the GCPD had arrrested the mid-level Mobsters who couldn't make bail yet couldn't afford to remain off the streets for long. Dent predicted they would all cut plea deals, but they would serve at least some jail time (Dent estimated at least 18 months minimum). In addition, Joker directly or indirectly killed the post-Falcone leadership (Gambol, the Chechnen, and Maroni) and destroyed their cumulative finances (along with Lau). The Gotham Mob exited The Dark Knight all but fatally crippled and almost certainly would've collapsed even without the passage of the Dent Act.
      • In his Harvey Dent Day speech, Mayor Garcia rightly points out that even with the passage of the Dent Act, it's impossible to fully eradicate all crime from a major metropolis like Gotham. The Act's success lies in erradicating organized crime.
  • Suspiciously Small Army: Gotham, explicitly stated to be a city of at least 12 million, loses most of its police force when merely 3,000 officers get trapped underground? Sure, it's a dramatic loss, but the GCPD ought to be much larger than just barely over 3,000. The New York City Police Department, for instance, holds 34,000 uniformed officers for the only 8 million inhabitants of the five boroughs, for an average of 6,800 cops per borough. Even if Bane only imprisoned the equivalent of a single borough of Gotham, that's still a small police force. Fridge Brilliance could explain it: If Gotham was in a period of "peacetime", and if the Dent Act was truly effective, a greatly shrunken police force may have been a result of that.
  • Tag Line: The Fire Rises and The Legend Ends.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Selina is annoyed when Bruce reclaims his mother's pearls so she steals a kiss, which helps hide the fact that she steals his valet ticket and subsequently steals his Cool Car.
  • Taking Over the Town: Done by Bane to Gotham City.
  • Taking Up the Mantle:
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Averted during the final battle, where the villain's gloating to Batman about how he will suffer before seeing Gotham destroyed gives Gordon just enough time to block the signal to the bomb. Batman makes sure to get a dig in about the irony.
  • Tattered Flag: A tattered American flag can be seen as the police force gathers on Wall Street for the fight with Bane's people.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Gotham's mayor plans to fire Gordon, given the decorated hero cop who made his name fighting crazed terrorists isn't really necessary in the now-peaceful climate. Then Bane executes one of the most devastating terror attacks in United States history.
    • Foley boasts that Batman is caught "like a rat in a trap" after he drives into a dead-end alleyway. Then the floodlights spring to life and he flies out in the Bat.
      Sgt. Kelly: I think you've got the wrong animal there, sir!
  • Thanatos Gambit: Bane and his compatriots seem fine with the idea of letting the bomb kill them too.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Hans Zimmer's pounding "Dark Knight" theme commands the scene whenever Batman is doing something awesome, but the most significant example is during Bruce Wayne's final climb out of the pit. The prisoners' chant backs up Bane's theme ("The Fire Rises"), but as Bruce reaches the leap and bats swarm out of a crevice in the wall, his own theme rises to drown out Bane's. Silence falls when he makes the leap, then the "Dark Knight" theme thunders as the prisoners cheer and Bruce escapes.
  • There Are No Coincidences: Gordon tells Blake that, as a detective, "[he's] not allowed to believe in coincidences anymore". Blake repeats this line verbatim when he arrives at the Broucek Cement Company plant and recognizes the truck driver he met during the stock exchange heist.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Selina shoots Bane with the Batpod's main guns. The same guns that are used to blow up blockades of junked cars and destroy Tumblers.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Blake's reaction to shooting the truck driver and the foreman at the Broucek Cement plant.
  • Think Nothing of It: After two movies of playing this straight with Gordon, and later in the same movie playing it straight with Blake, Batman sarcastically tells Selina she's welcome for a rescue that she never thanked him for.
  • Third Act Stupidity: The cops apparently forgot how to use firearms while they were trapped underground. In the final battle, most police officers just charge in to fight Bane's men hand-to-hand instead of shooting them.
  • This Cannot Be!: Bane looks at the burning bat symbol and says, "Impossible!" Later he tells Batman, "I broke you!"
  • This Is the Part Where...:
    Lucius Fox: These conversations used to end with an unusual request.
    Bruce Wayne: I'm retired.
    Lucius Fox: Well let me show you some stuff anyway. Just for old times sake.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: The Bat. That is all.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill:
    • Unambiguously averted in the finale when Batman deliberately triggered the main villain's vehicle to crash, killing Talia Al Ghul and her driver who were in it.
    • Averted by Selina, who had little qualms about mowing down Bane with the Batpod's guns.
  • Time Skip: Rises takes place eight years after The Dark Knight.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Daggett mouthing off to Bane ends the way you would expect (and hope).
    • The CIA guy at the beginning (played by a much less magnificent Littlefinger) apparently doesn't believe that getting caught really was part of Bane's plan, despite the fact that he has quite blatantly and obviously been double-crossed by the guy who handed over people he said worked for Bane, without mentioning that one of them was Bane. invoked
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • The Gotham Police. After two films of being an ineffective nuisance riddled with corruption, they really step up their game by the end of the film to the point that whether or not any of them are corrupt, they all rally in for the last battle with Bane's forces.
    • Batman regains his former fighting skills by the end of the movie. Exemplified in a very specific shot in both fights with Bane: The first time, Batman is shown retreating from Bane, climbing up a set of steps onto a catwalk in the dark, dank underground, panting, injured, and shaking, and when he attacks he does so with a shout that is equal parts desperation and fear. The second time around, there's a shot from the exact same angle, with Batman retreating up the steps onto a stone platform in broad daylight, but when he turns to face Bane, he is rock steady, calm, and silent.
    • Blake repeatedly takes these throughout the film but particularly so at end, when he's inherited the Batcave, with the implication that he's going to don the mantle of Batman. It helps that his legal first name is "Robin".
  • Training from Hell: In Batman's first encounter with Bane, Batman's combat performance has clearly suffered from eight years of inaction, and Bane easily curbstomps him and then breaks his back. Bane then drops Batman into a seemingly inescapable prison which is repeatedly referred to in-universe as "Hell on Earth." There Batman gets his back fixed and starts strength training again, and during the final battle, Batman shows Bane how much he appreciated the exercise.
  • Tranquil Fury: Bruce when he learns that Alfred had been lying to him about Rachel's feelings all those years.
  • Trojan Prisoner:
    • Bane and two of his men get themselves "captured" so they can find out exactly who Dr. Pavel has cut a deal with.
    • Bruce lets himself get captured by Bane's men so that Fox can get him to his backup Batsuit. Selina helps him by pretending to be the one who captures him. Then she declares to the mercenaries that Bane wants Fox and Bruce isolated. Once they are up the stairs, Selina attacks and overpowers the mercenaries and undoes Fox's handcuffs.
  • Turn in Your Badge: At the end of the film, in response to the armed forces blowing up the bridge, resulting in a bus-full of orphans nearly getting killed in the blast, Blake chucks his badge off the bridge in disgust.
  • Two First Names: This is shared in common between Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, Selina Kyle and John Blake.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: One of the henchmen Selina shoots during the bar fight is the guy stationed behind the counter.

  • Uncommon Time: The "deshi basara" chant is made up of alternating measures of 2/4 and 6/8. The motif is mirrored frequently throughout the movie, especially in Bane's musical theme.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Bruce underestimates Bane early on in much the same fashion that he underestimated the Joker in the previous film, dismissing Bane as nothing more than another mercenary, just as he'd dismissed the Joker as just another criminal, believing that all he had to do was "fight harder" to beat him. This blows up in his face when he fights Bane the first time, which ends with Bruce being thrown into the Pit with a broken back.
    • Daggett also makes the mistake of underestimating Bane - or rather overestimating his own control over Bane (he never had any to begin with). See where that got him.
    • Bane underestimates Bruce after leaving him in the Pit, believing he'll never get free and will therefore live with the shame of his failure for the rest of his life. Naturally, this doesn't work out for him.
    • Talia makes the same mistake. Even when her plan is hindered one time, she is insistent Batman will never stop her and to keep him alive to ensure he witnesses his failure. She even dies insisting this after he escapes and mortally wounds her. But never thought the length Bruce was willing to go to save the city, rendering all her efforts and death for naught.
  • Undying Loyalty: Bane's underlings appear fanatically loyal to him.
    • During the CIA skyjacking, Bane sees one mercenary attempting to attach a harness to himself:
      Bane: NO! They expect one of us in the wreckage, brother!
      Hooded Man 2: Have we started the fire?
      Bane: Yes. The fire rises.
    • After killing the first of the two thugs who have delivered Gordon to him, Bane tells the second one, "Search him. Then I will kill you." The henchman obeys, placidly handing Bane a pistol Gordon was carrying, and is then shot dead by Bane after Gordon escapes.
    • Later still, we learn that Bane himself has this quality with Talia al Ghul.
    • Bane apparently tells Stryver that his henchmen who got caught after the stock exchange heist will die before talking. Later, when Captain Jones and his team are ambushed and Jones is shot in the chest, Bane steps up to Jones, who says the same thing. Bane says "I'm on your schedule, captain," leans down, and crushes Jones's neck.
      • Bruce spent years morbidly mourning over Rachel because Alfred let him live with the delusion that Rachel was his one true soul mate and that they would've lived happily ever after if it hadn't been for that damned Joker and, to a lesser extent, Harvey Dent. Giving Bruce the unwanted wake up call that Rachel wasn't the one for him did not go over well, to say the least. Good thing Selina was there at the end.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Whether or not their relationship crossed that line, Bane declared himself as Talia's protector when she was just a child, and their relationship has been one of absolute loyalty and mutual trust ever since.
  • Use Your Head: Common whenever Batman fights Bane one on one.
  • Vader Breath: While Bane doesn't make as deep and labored inhalations as the Trope Namer, his mask does muffle and apparently amplify his voice.
  • Villain Ball:
    • Talia spends a couple of minutes monologuing to Batman about her childhood while holding the detonator instead of pressing it, giving Gordon enough time to temporarily disable the bomb. Batman immediately lampshades this, turning Talia's words right back and saying that the "slow knife" was, in this case, too slow. Here it's justified, however, since blowing stuff up wasn't the villain's major purpose, while tormenting Batman was.
    • Bane spends much of the movie being very effective, but still makes the cardinal villain mistake of leaving Bruce locked in an Oubliette and assumes he'll rot in there until Bane's plan is complete, rather than escape and return for the final battle. Bane even tells Bruce his entire plan after dropping him off in the pit! This is Talia's villain ball as well, since it's her plan too. When given a second chance, Talia makes the same decision, but Bane decides to disobey.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Just like The Dark Knight opens with the Joker and his clowns robbing the bank, The Dark Knight Rises with Bane and his men using a Trojan Prisoner ploy to skyjack a plane and kidnap Dr. Pavel.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Bane has a minor one when he finds out that Batman has returned, which culminates in an extended one over the entire return.
    Bane: I broke you!
  • Villainous Friendship: Jumps between Type I and Type IV between Bane and Talia. In the past, Bane saved her life, and Talia mentions that they loved one another when they were in the League of Shadows; in the present, however, they have seemingly reverted to friendly partners in crime working towards avenging Ra's (with Bane disregarding her wishes and attempting to murder Batman before the detonation).
  • Villainous Plan Inertia: Bane and Talia are killed over the course of the climax, but their nuke is still minutes away from detonating with no way to disarm it. It takes Batman flying it out to sea to save the day.
  • Villain Reveals the Secret: Jim Gordon is one of the three people who know the truth about Harvey Dent's actions in the previous film, and the guilt of having to keep the secret has affected his work and marriage. Gordon keeps a letter revealing the truth on his person at all times in hope that someday he'll have the courage to reveal the truth. Unfortunately, Bane steals the letter when Gordon is captured and reads it publicly as he and his men turn Gotham into an anarchist state, the demoralizing effect of learning that their hero was a murdering psycho making the city's downfall all the harder.
  • Villains Never Lie: Subverted. Although Bane reads Gordon's speech that reveals the truth about Harvey Dent on the air, he never provides proof that it's genuine or that the information in it is at all true. The subversion, however, comes from the fact that Bane is lying to Gotham about his intentions the whole time and is only reading the speech to sow discord.
  • Villain with Good Publicity:
    • In absentia, as Two-Face is now hailed as Gotham's greatest public servant, the anti-crime legislation that has apparently helped destroy the local crime syndicates has been named the Dent Act in his honor, and the movie opens with the Mayor declaring it Harvey Dent Day in honor of the city's fallen hero.
    • Bane gains a large following of Gothamites who follow his bogus revolutionary claims.
  • Visionary Villain: Bane believes, as the League of Shadows did, that destroying Gotham will benefit the rest of the world, and will fulfill Ra's al-Ghul's destiny.
  • Visual Pun: John Blake is implied to be the heir to the mantle of the Dark Knight and as he stands on the platform in the Batcave, he rises.
  • Waif-Fu: Selina Kyle. The disarming front she presents is more psychological than physical, given that Anne Hathaway is 5'9", so it's not so much that she's tiny as it is her ability to come off as meek.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Bane casts himself as one of these when he locks down Gotham, claiming that he's starting a revolution to end the corruption of the rich. In reality, he just wants to bring the worst of Gotham into the public eye.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • Selina Kyle escapes an attempt on her life in the bar by tricking Stryver into using a "kidnapped" congressman's cell phone to call a SWAT team . After she shoots two of the mercenaries dead by herself with Stryver's pistol, the SWAT team barges in, and Selina screams like a distressed hostage. While the SWAT team chases Bane's men out the back door and engages them in a shootout, Selina calmly strides out the front door and passes herself off as an innocent bystander to Blake.
    • After the stock exchange robbery, Bane manages to escape from the police cars chasing him when they are suddenly distracted by Batman's appearance and Foley ordering them to switch their focus from the madman who just shot up the trading floor to the guy who supposedly killed Harvey Dent eight years ago.
    • In context, one believes that the police force going underground to smoke Bane out may have been timed around the football game because they wanted the media to be focused on something other than the "training exercise" the police were carrying out.
  • Wham Episode: This movie has multiple scenes that the film as a whole is one.
    • Early on, it seems John Daggett has hired Bane for his plan to drive Bruce bankrupt and take over Wayne Enterprises. But eventually Bane points out to Daggett that he doesn't need Daggett's patronage when he can just kill him and seize his resources—which he does (Bane needs Daggett's construction crews to rig building sites with explosive charges).
    • Soon after, Batman confronts Bane and gets his ass kicked. Things go extremely downhill from there, with Gotham devolving into chaos and anarchy due to Batman being put in a prison far from Gotham. Without Batman, many people in Gotham follow Bane as a Dark Messiah, Bane holds the city hostage with a nuclear bomb which he secretly wants to detonate regardless, and almost all of Gotham's police are trapped underground. Even the military and the US government are powerless to stop Bane, due to the bomb threat.
    • Then it is revealed that Miranda Tate, who was seemingly a nice and helpful Love Interest for Bruce, is actually Talia al Ghul, mastermind of the whole plot. And then it seems that Batman actually dies saving the entire city. This also means that letting Daggett take over Wayne Enterprises was never the plan; Bane always intended for Talia to be the boss. Daggett was Plan B at best.
    • Finally, Bruce faked his own death, ran off with Selina, and seemingly passed the Batman legacy on to Blake.
  • Wham Line:
    • Selina pulls one on Stryver in the bar:
      Stryver: [seeing that Selina has brought the Congressman with her] That's cute, but they're not going to be looking in a place like this.
      Selina Kyle: I don't know. You did just use his cell phone.
    • When Bane first comes face-to-face with Batman:
      Bane: Let's not stand on ceremony here... Mister Wayne.
    • Soon after:
      Bane: Let me show you where we have made our home. Then I will break you. [sets off detonator and a Tumbler falls through the ceiling]
    • And later in the film,
      Prisoner: The child of Ra's al Ghul.
    • And soon after,
      Ra's al Ghul: Did you not think I would return, Bruce? I told you I was immortal.
    • Before the climax:
      Batman: [about the Pit] You think you're the only one who could learn the strength to escape it? Where's the trigger?
      Bane: But I never escaped.
    • In the climax:
      Talia: But he is not the child of Ra's al Ghul. I am.
    • Plus one in the denouement, to Detective John Blake:
      Clerk: You should use your full name. I like that name: Robin.
    • Also one to Lucius:
      Technician: But, Mr. Fox, it's already been fixed. Software patch, six months ago.
      Lucius Fox: Check the ID on the patch?
      Technician: [checks it] Bruce Wayne.
  • What Are You:
    Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning, here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?
    • Despite the night of Harvey Dent's death 8 years earlier being a major plot point in Rises, the Joker is never mentioned. This was a decision on Christopher Nolan's part after the passing of Joker's actor Heath Ledger. However, the end of The Dark Knight has The Joker being arrested by SWAT teams. In the novelization of Rises, it is revealed that Joker was made the sole inmate of Arkham Asylum (since it is abandoned after the events of Batman Begins due to being in an area that was flooded with Crane's fear toxin).
    • In-universe, Batman has become this to the GCPD and the rest of Gotham in the interim since ''The Dark Knight". The last confirmed sighting of the fugitive vigilante was the night of Harvey Dent's murder. He was last seen fleeing the scene of the crime and vanishing into the night on his motorcycle. That was 8 years ago and nobody has any idea what became of him (or whether he's even still alive). Blake lampshades the trope (and is rightly suspicious).
    • Selina Kyle's friend, Jen, disappears in the third act and is never mentioned again.
    • The Scarecrow's fate is never revealed, though presumably he escaped yet again in the aftermath of all the chaos. There is a shot where police have captured city hall after the big bomb is detonated, which implies that Crane may have been recaptured at last.
    • Also, the fate of Hines Ward, the sole football player to survive the field implosion at the stadium. As soon as he's seen looking back, we cut to shots of the bridges into Manhattan being blown up, then Bane's men storm the grandstands with rifles and take the spectators hostage, and then we see Bane, Barsad, and a third mercenary march onto the remains of the playing field to address the crowd...but Ward is not seen. The novelization says he quickly fled, shitting his pants, while the stadium is off-camera.
  • What Have I Done: Selina's face when she gets to observe just how terrifying Bane is after she leads Batman to him.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Blake is noticeably shaken after he shoots the truck driver and the foreman at the cement plant. Given that he states he's only been a cop for about a year, we can safely infer that this is his first on-duty use of lethal force.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Blake calls Gordon out after Bane divulges his confession of the Harvey Dent cover-up. It is also implied that at least part of the reason why Gordon's wife left him was because she was disgusted with how he was cynically glorifying Dent, the man who had tried to kill their son.
    • Blake also calls out the armed forces who destroyed the Queensboro Bridge, having ignored his warning that that the bomb is going to be detonated anyway and thus stranding the bus full of orphans he was trying to rescue inside of the blast-radius. This act is what drives him to resign from the police force and end up becoming the next Batman.
    • Alfred points out that Batman has not had a He's Back! moment, but has just given himself false confidence by leading an inefficient police force on a wild goose chase, enabling Bane (whom they were chasing until Batman cut in) to escape.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Bane's accent, according to Tom Hardy, is supposedly based on an Irish Traveler. In Bane's first fight with Batman alone, it seems like Hardy's voice does a full tour of Europe.
  • When You Snatch the Pebble: The Hellhole Prison has no guards or locks. It's just buried ten stories underground at the bottom of a giant hole open to the sky, with seemingly more than enough handholds on the walls... but it's false hope. Most lack the physical strength to climb it, and those that do fall for the hidden trap—a jump from one ledge to another that is just slightly too far for most people to make, meaning that escape is utterly impossible unless you are willing to risk certain death by making the jump without the safety rope. And if you miss it, the results will be extremely painful... for you.
  • Where's the Kaboom?: Relocated out to somewhere in the Atlantic.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The Pit is... somewhere hot and sandy. The chanting is Moroccan Arabic, but that's about the only hint we get. For all it's worth, the exteriors of the prison were filmed in India. Maybe it was there, or it could have been in Morocco (which would be more likely the case given that that is Ominous Moroccan Arabic Chanting we hear down there) or even Algeria, given that Ras and Talia seem to be French.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: A balding, Death Seeker foreign mercenary-terrorist deemed extreme by his own group, who Feels No Pain after a rescue of a young girl gone wrong, comes out of the shadows after several years to wreck havoc either because he has been hired or to enact his revenge scheme against the heroes; in fact, he is working for / with the Love Interest of the hero, who was posing as an Honest Corporate Executive but is in fact a vengeful Diabolical Mastermind with daddy issues plotting to set off an atypical nuclear bomb in a major city - using a plot to revolutionise the fuel market as a cover. The hero must overcome a crippling injury (that actually doesn't bother him as much as it should) and team-up with another Love Interest (who gave him up to the villains earlier, albeit because she didn't know the full story) to save the day. Why do I get the feeling that apart from names, this film is a remake of The World Is Not Enough?
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?:
    • Discussed. When Bruce wakes up after being defeated by Bane, he asks Bane why did he left him alive. Bane responds: "You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe."
    • Though not in so many words, Selina makes this opinion about Bane clear to Batman.
    • Bane is told to leave Bruce alive so he can feel the heat of the fusion bomb going off. The moment Talia leaves though...
      Bane: We both know that I have to kill you now. (sticks Sawn-Off Shotgun in Batman's face) You'll just have to imagine the fire.
  • Wife Husbandry: Bane and Talia, depending on your interpretation. Talia says that he 'loved her'.
  • Worst Aid: Spine out of alignment? There's a fist for that. What makes this particularly jarring is the fact that it's anatomically impossible. Bane breaks Bruce's back from behind him, which would cause any alignment issues to go in that direction, i.e. further in. Punching Bruce in the back should, if anything, make the problem worse.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • Despite Selina's comment about Bruce following Wouldn't Hit a Girl, Batman would hurt women if it is necessary, and indeed, in the end he's forced to.
    • Bane demonstrates during the Stock Exchange robbery that gender is not a factor in who he chooses to attack. His first combat action once he walks through the metal detectors is to use his motorcycle helmet to disarm three security guards. The first one, the female, he smacks in the nose so hard that you can feel it in the movie theater. Ouch. Also, the hostage he has on his motorcycle when escaping is female.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Selina claims Bruce follows this trope; however, she does not have the same standards when it comes to cripples and points this out while kicking a cane out from underneath him.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: During the bar shootout, Selina goes from master thief when shooting two of Bane's henchmen, to screaming damsel-in-distress in the blink of an eye when the SWAT team breaches the bar. She drops this façade after Blake takes her to safety.
  • Xanatos Gambit: It doesn't matter whether via Daggett's takeover operation of Wayne Enterprises with Bane or by helping out Bruce's company in their time of need, Miranda Tate/Talia Al Ghul will get the fusion reactor as her nuclear bomb.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Bruce tells this to Selina to get her to help him take back Gotham.
    Bruce: There's more to you than you think.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Bruce, in a metaphorical sense, feels this way about being unable to move on after Rachel's death. As Alfred points out, Bruce chose to stop being Batman but he didn't even try to become Bruce Wayne again in the intervening years. In a literal sense, Bruce later fakes his death to start a new life with Selina.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Spoken verbatim by Selina when Batman yanks her pistol during an ambush by Bane's men.
    Selina Kyle: You've gotta be kidding me!
    Batman: No guns, no killing!
    Selina Kyle: Where's the fun in that?!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • This appears to be the retirement package when you work for Bane. Curiously, you'll find that his men are still fanatically loyal. At one point, he tells a guy he's going to shoot him in a minute, but the henchman still follows orders.
    • Stryver and Daggett's men are planning to do this to Selina Kyle when she hands Bruce's fingerprints to them in the bar. Selina happens to be aware of that and she's prepared for it.
  • You Killed My Father: The motivation behind Talia al Ghul's Face–Heel Turn; she wants Bruce Wayne dead for defeating her father Ra's.
  • You Monster!: Daggett, upon being betrayed by Bane and hearing he plans to wipe out Gotham, whimpers that Bane is pure evil. Bane responds that he's necessary evil.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: Bane and his army, which call themselves "liberators" of Gotham when they enter Heinz Field, are referred to as "terrorists" in the President's address. Subverted in the fact they really are terrorists, who only claiming to do so cause more anarchy. Their liberation amounts to them letting mob rule take the city, just as long as it doesn't interfere with them.
  • Zerg Rush: How the cops take on Bane's army. It works because the automatic guns that Bane's army uses are hard to aim properly.
  • Zorro Mark: Batman announces his return to Gotham with a flaming Bat Symbol made by dousing a tower of the Brooklyn Bridge with gasoline.

Deshi deshi! Basara basara! Deshi deshi! Basara basara! Deshi deshi! Basara basara!


Bane breaks Batman

Bane breaks Batman's back at the end of their fight.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / DramaticSpineInjury

Media sources: