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Batman Parody

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"Imagine Batman, then aim... lower."
Number Five about Diego, The Umbrella Academy (2019)

As one of the most famous superheroes of all time, Batman seems to be the most frequent target for direct parody, more than any other character, including Superman. This may have something to do with the 1960s TV series Batman (1966), which widely increased his pop culture notability outside the USA, as well as the high profile blockbuster movies from 1989 on. Thus, more people on Earth, even those who aren't fans of superhero comics, will be familiar with aspects of the Batman universe than any other superhero franchise.

Typical elements for this Stock Parody will be the bat ears, the bat mask, the bat symbol shining across the street, the bat mobile (which has its own page To the Batnoun!), the Batman Cut, a younger Sidekick much like Robin, a trustworthy butler who helps the superhero out, wacky villains built around one defining characteristic (The Joker, The Riddler, etc.), onomatopoeic words flashing to the screen during fight sequences, the phrase I'm Batman! said with a husky voice, and, in some versions, a comically excessive Dark and Troubled Past and over-the-top angst Played for Laughs.


Often the superhero in question will have a Punny Name based on Batman, like "Fatman", "Bartman", "Catman", ... As an extra joke his theme song will be a direct parody of the Batman theme song from the 1960s TV show.

For a similar, if less satirical tropes, see Superman Substitute, Spider-Man Send-Up, and Practically Joker.

For the non-parodical examples of the archetype Batman codified, see The Cowl.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon: In The Johto Journeys episode "The Superhero Secret", Ash and his friends meet an aging Batman parody named named Gligarman, who switches out the bat motif for one based on the bat-scorpion Pokemon Gligar.

    Asian Animation 
  • Back in the 90s, there's a Malaysian cartoon called Keluang Man (keluang being the local name for fruit bats) which is a direct spoof of the caped crusader. In his civilian identity, Keluang Man was a patient in a mental hospital who sneaks out at night to fight crime. There's even a whole list of characters which are expies ifted from Batman, including Keluang Man's trusty sidekick "Tiong Man" (the show's counterpart to Robin, being a toucan-themed superhero wearing a bird suit), local police commissioner Inspector Shahab (the hero's Friend on the Force much like Commissioner Gordon), a clown-themed supervillain named "Badut" (lit. "clown" in Malay, a Practically Joker) and a female crime-fighting cat burglar called Meow The Cat Girl (… yeah, at this point, they're NOT even trying).

    Comic Books 
  • Watchmen:
    • Dan Dreiberg/Nite-Owl is rich, has a dark flying animal-themed suit, a yellow Utility Belt, gadgets and a themed aircraft. Actually a Deconstruction of Crimefighting with Cash — he openly admitted how spending millions on dollars on crimebusting equipment to fight purse-snatchers and prostitutes isn't exactly the most economically sound thing to do. While Nite-Owl is a more direct take on Blue Beetle (as the Watchmen were based on the Charlton superheroes), he also has much in common with Batman, minus the surly disposition.
    • Rorschach is essentially an amalgamation of Batman and The Question. In fact Alan Moore has specifically described Rorschach as being "Batman without the excuses" and noting that "he would be considered a nutjob in real life."
    • Ozymandias was born into a wealthy family, spent years Walking the Earth before becoming a superhero, runs a corporate empire and has trained himself to both physical and mental perfection. As expected, these aspects of Batman are deconstructed as well: He quickly reasons that he can do far more good with his wealth, public image and company than with actual superhero exploits, and his super intelligence and wealth lead to him making the horrific pragmatic decision to kill millions of people to save the world.
  • Green Arrow was created specifically because DC wanted another Batman. Though as time went by he ended up diverging further and further from Batman to the point where he became a foil. Aside from the obvious similarities like being a Badass Normal who fights crime with cash, a very important difference between the two is they have almost opposite moral ideologies, with Green Arrow trying to see the good in people while Batman intimidates them and locks them up.
  • Daredevil has always been Marvel's Alternate Company Equivalent of the Caped Crusader, being a vigilante who prowls around at night and Fights Like a Normal. At times he may even play the bat motif better than Batman due to being blind and relying on radar hearing.
  • Nighthawk of Marvel's Squadron Sinister, who were a team of four villains who were based off members of the Justice League, with Nighthawk being the stand-in for Batman by taking after his costume and use of gadgets.
  • Moon Knight is another Marvel Alternate Company Equivalent of Batman. Along with his cape & cowl, his moon-themed gadgets (like batarang-like "crescent darts"), and the fact that as Steven Grant he's a Rich Idiot With No Day Job; he also has his Alfred expy Frenchie. The catch is that, where you may occasionally see some discussion that Batman might be as crazy as the villains he fights, Moon Knight genuinely struggles with mental illness — he has a Split Personality (of which Steven Grant is only an alter), and it's rarely clear whether he's acting as the emissary of an Egyptian moon god or if he's just imagining it.
  • Night Justice in Second Coming is a hero in Sunstar's therapy group who wears all-black, is a Badass Normal with grappling hooks, boomerangs and a small fortune to do his fighting with and possesses a one-sided rivalry with Sunstar.
  • Brat Pack is about the teenage sidekicks of so-called superheroes who are abused by their mentors. Chippy is a pastiche of Batman's sidekick Robin, with his mentor being a representation of Batman called the Midnight Mink. The Midnight Mink is depicted as a Depraved Homosexual who molests his young sidekick.
  • The Marshal Law one-shot "Kingdom of the Blind" has a Batman stand-in called Private Eye as the antagonist, who is revealed to have arranged the death of his own parents by conspiring with his butler and prowls the city conducting depraved experiments that revolve around mutilating and stitching up every two-bit punk and vagabond that crosses his path. He is also established to have been close friends with the comic's Superman Substitute Public Spirit.
  • Archie Comics:
    • An issue of Jughead that came out shortly after the 1989 Batman movie featured Jughead having a dream sequence in which he became Hatman, the Crowned Crusader. Hot Dog joined him as his sidekick, Ribbon.
  • The Boys:
    • Black Noir of the Seven has several clear parallels to Batman, particularly in that he is a dark vigilante who wears a black costume. Some Vought executives even try to teach him to fly a plane to accommodate Seven merchandise including a stand-in for the Batwing, plus the Herogasm miniseries establishes that one of the villains he fights is named Sexface (a riff on how several of Batman's enemies have a Name-Face Name, like Two-Face and Clayface).
    • Tek-Knight of the superhero team Payback is essentially a mash-up of Batman and Iron Man, with the most notable elements borrowed from the Caped Crusader being that he has an underground lair located beneath his mansion and a Robin-like sidekick named Laddio.
  • The Midnighter of The Authority can be accurately described as Batman if he were a gay couple with Superman as well as having actual powers and less reservations towards killing his enemies.
  • The mostly-forgotten Ultimate Adventures miniseries featured Hawk-Owl and his boy sidekick Woody, who were fairly blatant parodies of Batman and Robin.

    Comic Strip 
  • Suske en Wiske. The album Wattman is a direct parody of the 1960s TV series, which was popular when this story was published. A wattman is an old Belgian term for a streetcar driver, like the one in the story. He has a similar bat mask and cape and sings his own theme song Wattman whenever he attacks somebody. In one gag he is standing in the lights of his streetcar, causing his silhouette to parody the Bat signal. The child character Suske even dresses up like him at one point, causing him to resemble Robin.
  • De Kiekeboes. During Kiekeboe's funeral many characters from different franchises are present, including Batman.
  • Urbanus. In one album Urbanus plays the superhero Badman (a bad is Dutch for bath) who rides through the street in a bath tub, accompanied by his sidekick Robin soap.
  • MAD Magazine. Batman was spoofed as early as 1953 as Battyman.
  • Works with a parody of the Justice League of America in general will include a parody of Batman:
  • The comic strip and subsequent animated series Bananaman contains numerous elements parodying the 1960s TV series.
  • A Beetle Bailey Sunday strip from circa 1966 featured Sgt. Snorkel dreaming he was Fatman and Beetle was his sidekick Blubber.


  • Angels of Music reinvents Dr Falke from Die Fledermaus as a vengeful crusader in a bat costume, with a variety of bat-shaped weapons and gadgets.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Iraqi live action comedy series "Akbar Chathab اكبر جذاب (Biggest Liar)" is about an old man named Hooby who tells his friends a made up story about how when he was young he had an adventure that parodies famous stories, one episode parodies Batman.
  • Community had Abed dressed an acting like the Nolanverse Batman. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • The Russian sketch show Gorodok (The Little Town) had a few sketches called "Batment" ("Ment" is a Russian slang word for a policeman).
  • The Brit Com Only Fools and Horses has a famous shot of Del Boy and Rodney running through London in costume as Batman and Robin. The '60s Batman theme is used for the soundtrack.
  • In a sketch on The Benny Hill Show they're shooting a military film. One of the officers calls for his batmannote , and Hill enters dressed as Batman, having obviously missed the point of the piece. A moment later Jackie Wright comes in as Robin.
  • The Avengers (1960s) had an episode around a comic studio making "The Winged Avenger". The climactic fight has Mrs. Peel and Mr Steed hitting the Big Bad with Hit Flash panels while a Musical Pastiche of the Batman theme plays.
  • The UK kids' comedy Coppers and Co had one episode with the two leads as Catman and Dobbin, whose enemies included the Jester and the Parrot.
  • British puppet character Roland Rat once had an entire series called Ratman where he was a costumed crimefighter battling villains like Wombatwoman.
  • Burnistoun has a series of sketches featuring The Doberman, a dog-themed superhero with a growl, cape, and costume that resembles Batman. Unlike Batman, The Doberman seems more concerned with getting back at his school bullies than fighting crime.
  • One of Cha Cha Cha's skits was Juan Carlos Batman, involving an Argentine, fat, and lacking in money Batman (as well as Robin), that is more often than not caught in everyday situations (such as sending his "Batmobile" for repairs, going off to meet the Argentine Superman in a bar, or doing a Bat-Walk to reach a TV studio and get an interview)) rather than fighting crime. Funnily enough, one skit involved a conference between all the Batmen in the Mercosur member nations (and picking up a loud argument with the Supermen that were having a meeting next door), where the Argentine Batman is trying to get an international Batman organization to give them financial support... a good 20 years before Grant Morrison's Batman and Batman Inc.
  • More like an Actor Allusion, but still. Adam West appeared in the 1990s Zorro series as "Dr. Henry Wayne", who is astounded at the idea of riding out from a cave under the mansion to fight crime. Zorro has been a chief inspiration for the creation of Batman.


  • The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Phillip Fathom, the Deep Sea Detective from "The Adventures of Captain Laserbeam" can be best described as Christian Bale's Batman in Adam West's world, with a dash of Aquaman thrown in. He plays up the quirks of the Dark Knight Trilogy's Batman, calling himself "the hero the ocean deserves" and speaking in a voice his actor describes as "screaming a hoarse whisper", but does so in a campy setting styled after the Silver Age, with comical plots to Take Over the City and kid sidekicks galore, such as Captain Laserbeam's Adventurekateers and Philip Fathom's own Investigateens.

  • Our Miss Brooks: In the episode "New School TV Set" (aired 1951), Miss Brooks and Mrs. David criticize the television set at school as scholastically and culturally useless. All the students were watching were westerns, murder mysteries and horror stories. Miss Brooks remarks that there was one semi-educational program on the day before, "The Batman Eat Up The Dean of Harvard" - suggesting Miss Brooks is joking, but doesn't realize who or what Batman is.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Supertoon" setting for Toon has Splatman, who is generally seen as a complete idiot for attempting to fight supervillains with no powers.
  • During Paranoia's Dork Age, pop culture parodies began to dominate over the game's trademark Black Comedy. The character of Vatman in More Songs About Food Vats is a forgettable example.

    Video Games 
  • Rogue Trip: Vacation 2012, a Spiritual Successor to Twisted Metal 1-2, features a driver called Ratman who is a spoof of Batman mixed with Mickey Mouse.
  • Temper from Best Fiends is an insect parody of Batman, wearing a leaf-made mask with pointed ears, and gaining a utility belt and cape with further evolution levels. He has an unlockable costume known as "The Dark Mite", which colors him in shades of black. The final icing on the cake of his parody is him originally being voiced by Mark Hamill in the webseries, who is one of the go-to voices of The Joker, Batman's biggest adversary.
  • Batoro from DragonFable. He has a near identical outfit, two sidekicks called Roblos and San Robin, and a Rogues Gallery that parodies that of the Dark Knight's. Completing Batoro's questchain also earns the badge "The Arch Knight".
  • One case in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy involves Katrielle investigating the disappearance of a superhero named Ratman, who was mostly based on the '60s version (but some '90s movies references, like "Ratman Forever", were made as well).

    Web Animation 
  • Society of Virtue has three separate Batman expies in their cast, each meant to represent a different part of Batman.
    • Black Badness is meant to represent the general archetype of The Cowl. His style of dress and facial hair makes him more resemble Green Arrow but his role as the Society's second in command and his archnemesis Pierrot being an obvious Joker stand-in make him more Batman-like.
    • Bernard (AKA Ratman) is supposed to be more of a parody of Silver Age/Adam West era Batman. Bernard is portrayed as a rich manchild with a drinking problem who drags a frightened teenager with him on life-threatening missions.
    • Urban Crow is used to parody more modern appearances of Batman. He's The Comically Serious with a strained relationship with the local police commissioner and flashy but horribly impractical tactics.

    Web Comics 
  • Ennui GO!: Miss Mantis is basically a female Batman except with a mantid theme and having zero reservations over killing criminals (in fact, as befitting a mantis, she cuts their heads off). She even has a sidekick called Scarab (real name Robin Redman) who's also a female Robin in both origin and appearance. Scarab eventually decides to strike out on her own to be a solo hero similar to how Dick Grayson became Nightwing, and Miss Mantis in turn would get a new Scarab who resembles Jason Todd.
  • PvP: LOLbat is a Batman pastiche who always speaks in internet memes.
  • Love and Capes: Darkblade is obviously based on Batman.
  • Shortpacked! loved making Batman jokes, declaring that Batman can make anything funny due to his status as The Comically Serious. The strip's version of Batman also constantly said "I'm Batman" as a Verbal Tic.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
  • In El Goonish Shive, a fantasy panel involves Justin as The Commissioner Gordon, Grace as the Batman expy and a Bat Signal expy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons
    • The character of Radioactive Man is a combination of almost every superhero, but some of his attributes are directly spoofing Batman (and some of Fallout Boy's attributes spoof Robin). In "Radioactive Man" a film is made about him, directly parodying the Batman blockbusters of the 1990s, including a call-back to the 1960s Radio Active Man TV series, where they face a wacky Sissy Villain named the Scoutmaster and the fight scenes have weird onomatopoeic Hit Flashes like "MINT!" and "SNUH!" flashing across the screen.
    • Similarly, Bart imagines himself to be the superhero "Bartman", particularly in the last third of the Three Shorts episode "Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Three Times", entitled Bartman Begins.
    • In "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer" Homer's silhouette is projected in the light of a lighthouse, causing Bart and Lisa to see it as something the resembles the Bat signal.
    • In the episode, "Lisa's Sax" Bart sings a song called Buttman.
    • In the episode "Dark Knight Court", Mr. Burns becomes a vigilante known as "Fruit Batman" after reading some comic books, fighting a Rogues Gallery almost entirely consisting of his employees being paid by Smithers to act the part of the villains Fruit Batman defeats. Despite Mr. Burns being an occassional Card-Carrying Villain, he's quite good at playing the role of a superhero, as he managed to take down one legitimate supervillain offscreen, and he defeated Groundskeeper Willie, proving Bart's innocence of a prank that Willie committed in the A-plot.
  • South Park. Cartman's outfit of "The Coon" also mimics the bat mask and cape of Batman. Kenny as "Mysterion" is also a parody of Batman, specifically the Nolanverse version in how he affects an exaggerated growl.
  • Freakazoid!. One episode had a character named "Fatman" trying to run while his theme song played.
  • Darkwing Duck. Darkwing has a similar bat mask, dark outfit, cape, automobile and even shows a similar light signal across the street.
  • The Tick has a direct Batman parody in "Die Fledermaus" ("the Bat" in German). He has oversized ears, claws and nose, and is a massive coward, preferring to run away from evil rather than fight it. In The Tick (2001) they couldn't use "Die Fledermaus" so they have "Batmanuel", a Latino version. He doesn't have many skills nor is he seen crimefighting - even less than other heroes on the show.
  • Arthur: The Show Within the Show "Bionic Bunny" is a version of Superman; later on he gets a cousin in the form of "Dark Bunny," who is Batman-like.
  • Spongebob Squarepants has Mermaid-Man and Barnacle Boy, an Affectionate Parody and/or Homage to 1960s Batman (1966) (as well as Aquaman and Aqualad), who've since turned into Old Superheroes.
  • Batfink is a parody of Batman and The Green Hornet, starring an actual bat.
  • In the Adventure Time episode "City of Thieves", the section where Finn believes himself to have been spiritually "darkened" by the corrupt city is a visual and stylistic parody of, specifically, Batman: The Animated Series.
  • In the VeggieTales episodes featuring Larry-boy, the titular super-hero is a parody/homage to Batman in the cases of a butler named Alfred, a dark and brooding personality, and teaming up with a League of similar heroes at one point. There are also similarities in gadgetry, such as a signal that shines into the sky with a silhouette of Larry-boy's head (similar to the bat-signal) and the Larry-mobile. Show creator, Phil Vischer, has stated that the Batman homage was going to be in the form of Bob the Tomato taking on the persona of "Batbob" with Larry-boy being similar to Robin and being Batbob's sidekick.
  • Adam West himself has participated in some animated Batman parodies.
    • The Space Ghost Coast to Coast episode "Batmantis" has Zorak dressing like the titular superhero to rescue Moltar, who has been kidnapped by a supervillain called Your Mother. Along the way, Zorak meets West, as well as two of the three actresses who played Catwoman in the 1966 series (Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt), and participates in a Written Sound Effect fight scene whose captions include "Obvious Parody!"
    • Two Johnny Bravo episodes ("Johnny Bravo Meets Adam West!" and "Adam West's Date-O-Rama") have West voicing himself as a narcissistic, Cloudcuckoolander TV host who casually fights bad guys on a regular basis.
    • The Spongebob Squarepants episode "Back to the Past" has Adam West voicing the younger version of Mermaid Man, in an homage to the character being a parody of Batman.
    • An episode of Kim Possible has West playing Timothy North, who's secretly the retired superhero The Fearless Ferret. He convinces Ron to take up the mantle (an extra Actor Allusion, as Ron is voiced by Will Friedle, who also voiced Batman successor Terry McGinnis). Turns out The Fearless Ferret was just an old TV show North played the lead role in, and both he and an actor who played a villain on the show are just two senile old men who have gotten Lost in Character.
    • Hell, he even did this on a Batman show. In Batman: The Animated Series, he played Simon Trent, a washed-up actor who played the title role in The Gray Ghost, a parody of the campy Adam West Batman show, which the young Bruce Wayne was a fan of. Enough of a fan that when he became Batman, he modelled his entire aesthetic and crimefighting style after the Gray Ghost, right down to the Batcave being an exact duplicate of the Gray Ghost's headquarters (with the addition of a hidden room full of Gray Ghost memorabilia). Trent is incredibly flattered when Batman shows it to him, and is happy that the show that single-handedly ruined his entire career at least inspired somebody to do some real good.
  • Miraculous Ladybug has one Villain of the Week called Dark Owl who is like an evil Batman, with a similar suit, use of gadgets, and even a super computer called Albert.
  • SuperMansion has Black Saturn, who is a particularly useless crimefighter who fights by tossing rings similar to batarangs. While he has money, he's also a whiny Manchild completely lacking in skill or competence and, since his parents are still alive, relies solely on handouts.
  • Kyd Wykkyd from Teen Titans seems to blur the line between this and Corrupted Character Copy, being a villain who's explicitly modeled after the Dark Knight's appearance.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures, there were a few shorts where Plucky Duck went out as a superhero called "Bat-Duck". Hampton acted as his Robin, "Decoy, The Pig Hostage".
  • Captain Sunshine of The Venture Bros. is a combination of a Superman and Batman parody: He has the appearance, similar powers and Clark Kenting of the former and the social status and propensity for easily-killed boy sidekicks of the latter. For extra points, he is also voiced by Kevin Conroy. In a twist to the legend, it turns out that his predecessor is the Alfred expy and that the current Captain Sunshine was the former Wonder Boy.
  • Wingnut from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) adaptation is a direct parody of Batman. He is a comic book character that came to life, is a bat-themed superhero, has a sidekick who he refers to as "Old Chum", uses gadgets on his belt including the "Wingnut-a-rang", and his voice actor played Batman in a one-time role.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has Laserblast, who was P.O.I.N.T.'s resident Anti-Hero. He also wore a helmet with little ears on top, similar to Batman's cowl. Ability-wise, however, he was more like Cyclops.
  • Wander over Yonder: In "The Boy Wander", Wander adopts a Batman-like persona to face Dr. Screwball Jones, a Well-Intentioned Extremist villain whose idea of spreading happiness and laughter is through Tickle Torture.
  • The Bakshi Mighty Mouse featured Bat-Bat who, like Batfink, is an actual bat. His schtick is cracking jokes, a habit that becomes an addiction that he tries to beat with Mighty Mouse's help.
  • The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty: In scenes that involve the neighborhood bird, Waldo envisions himself as Catman. Also includes an Expy of the sidekick (Sparrow) and each of the three core opponents (Jester, Poochquin, Puzzler).
  • New Looney Tunes: Sniffles the Mouse becomes an Adaptational Badass with his alter-ego DarkBat. He even gets a deeper voice.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic featured the Mysterious Mare do Well, a very lighthearted take on The Cowl and homage to Batman who wears a full body dark purple and indigo costume, complete with a mask and cape as well as a fedora, who serves as an in-universe contrast against resident Smug Super Rainbow Dash over the course of the titular episode featuring her and even at one point wields a lasso similarly to how Batman himself has his grappling hook. For further parodic elements, the Mysterious Mare do Well is almost always shown operating during the daytime and in brightly lit environments instead of night or dark environments and turns out to be all five of Rainbow Dash's fellow Mane Six members.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
  • Dexter's Laboratory featured a Batman ersatz in the Justice Friends segment called Ratman. Ratman is portrayed as a self-proclaimed mere child of 30 who was abandoned by his parents after they went to the movies when his mother and father were scared away by rats and became a costumed crimefighter, complete with a scalloped cape and a utility belt, after those same rats raised him as one of their own.
  • The Robot Chicken sketch "The Wurst Script in the World" consists of a spoof of Batman Begins where a German man named Heimlich is motivated by his father choking to death to become a caped superhero who operates at night and uses the Heimlich maneuver to prevent people from dying as his father did. He even fights a Joker ersatz known as the Choker.


Video Example(s):


The Campy 70s Radioactive Man

The 70s Radioactive Man show of old was effectively the 60s Batman in all but name. There's sidekick catchphrases, overblown villains, a low-voiced, Adam West-like hero and hit flashes with silly onomatopoeia. And the music in the background even sounds like music from the 60s Batman.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / BatmanParody

Media sources: