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Recap / Batman: The Animated Series E51 "The Man Who Killed Batman"

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We open with a terrified man running through the rainy streets of Gotham, as if being chased by someone. An issue of the Gotham Times floats by reading "BATMAN SLAIN? Mysterious Crime Fighter Missing." The man, Sidney Debris, a small, bespectacled scaredy-cat, eventually arrives at Rupert Thorne's mansion and requests to see him. Thorne agrees and despite Sidney's nervousness, Thorne greets him warmly. We then see the reason for such warmth:

Thorne: I've heard you've made quite a name for yourself on the streets, Sidney. What is it they're calling you? Oh yes... "The Man Who Killed Batman."

Sidney only stammers nervously at that statement, and halfway denies that it is true, before explaining that he is in big trouble. He then starts telling his story.

Some hours earlier, Sidney is just a nobody mob underling wanting to move up in the ranks. His "friend" Eddie G. informs him of a drug shipment they're picking up and Sidney asks to get in on it. Eddie lets the bumbling Sidney come in the hopes that he will serve as bait for Batman while the others get away. Eddie sweet-talks Sidney, claiming that this will get him a cool mob name like "Sid the Squid" (which Eddie gets from looking at a calamari billboard). Eddie then sends Sidney to the roof, ostensibly to keep watch. Predictably, Batman shows up at the roof and engages Sidney. Sid fumbles around, which casts a bunch of shadows that make it look like he is actually fighting Batman to the onlookers below. Eventually Sid accidentally falls off the roof and Batman pulls him up... but ends up falling himself, right on top of a leaking propane tank that explodes, leaving Sid holding on to Batman's cape and cowl. The rest of the mobsters arrive and notice the burning tank, Sid clutching the cowl and babbling incoherently. Believing that No One Could Survive That!, they conclude that "Sid the Squid just offed the Batman."

Sid, who all his life dreamed of being a "big shot," has apparently had his dream come true, and is being cheered by his fellow criminals in a bar celebration, with Batman's cape and cowl hanging by his chair. Unfortunately, the joy is short-lived, since the minute someone calls him "the toughest guy in Gotham," some muscled thug comes along wanting to take out Sid in order to take that "title." A fight breaks out, followed by the cops showing up and arresting everyone present, including Sid. While locking up the prisoners, Montoya gets the news from Bullock that Batman was killed by "some mastermind called 'the Squid'." Bullock starts demanding the prisoners give info on this "Squid," zeroing in on a terrified Sid until a woman enters claiming to be Sid's attorney... Harleen Quinzel. Sid's bail has been paid and Harleen is requesting he be released. Bullock asks Quinzel if they've met before, but she simply retorts with, "I served you a subpoena once. It was a small subpoena."

As Harleen and Sidney are being driven around, Sid wonders who could've bailed him out (and who would want to) in the first place — Sid and his mother don't talk to each other anymore and Sid's parole officer is still in jail, so neither of them could've been the one to have put up bail. After Said complains about Harleen's makeup choking up the air, she turns around, revealing a familiar hat and black and white face paint...

Harley: My boss likes me to wear a smile to work!
Sidney: Hey, I've seen you! You work for... Gasp! The Joker!

At the Clown Prince of Crime's hideout, the man himself welcomes Sid and requests to shake the hand of "the man who did the impossible: The Man Who Killed Batman" (though he's visibly disgusted at uttering the latter). Sidney notices a tack on said hand, which Mr. J excuses as "force of habit." Anyway, Joker's a smart guy and the fact that no body was found is bothering him, therefore they're pulling a job tonight to make sure Bats is really dead. Joker, Harley, their goons, and Sid then leave to rob the Gotham Diamond Exchange. "And if Batman hasn't really gone to his final reward, we'll see that he gets there!" quips Joker.

While the cops amass outside the Exchange, Batman fails to show. Joker swings between nervousness, anger at Sid, and finally sadness, over the fact that Batman is apparently really gone. He orders that Harley put back all the loot and utters the immortal line:

After escaping the police via a laughing gas bomb, Joker and the gang hold a little "memorial" for Batman at the Ace Chemical Plant. Batman's cape and cowl is placed inside a coffin on a conveyor belt to a vat of acid, to which Joker adds a "Kick Me" sign ("You really put The "Fun" in "Funeral"," says Harley). The Clown Prince of Crime proceeds to give his eulogynote :

Joker: Dear friends... Today is the day the Clown cried. And he cries not for the passing of one man, but for the death of a dream. The dream that he would someday taste the ultimate victory over his hated enemy. For it was the Batman who made me the happy soul I am today. How I agonized over the perfect way to thank him for that. Perhaps with a cyanide pie in the face. Or an exploding whoopie-cushion playfully planted in the Batmobile. [with growing anger] But those dreams were dashed by the weaselly little gunsel sitting there in our midst. [everyone starts moving away from Sid] The cowardly insignificant gonif who probably got lucky when Batman slipped on the slime trail this loser left behind him. This mound of diseased hyena filth who's not fit TO LICK THE DIRT FROM MY SPATS! ... [regains composure] But I digress. The time for sorrow has passed. It's time to look ahead, to a future filled with smiles. [threateningly] And I'll be smiling again, just as soon as we take that man there.. [points to Sid] ...and slap him in that box there... [points to Batman's coffin] ...and roll it into that vat of acid there! [points to said vat of acid]

Joker's goons then immediately proceed to do literally what the Joker suggested in his eulogy. They lock Sid, who repeatedly and desperately pleads to be spared and screams that he is sorry for what he did, in the coffin and it's rolled into the vat of acid... as Harley plays "Amazing Grace" on the kazoo. A tearful Joker watches as the coffin slowly sinks into the acid...

Joker: *sigh* ...[cheerfully] Well, that was fun! Who's for Chinese?

As the acid starts dissolving the coffin, things look grim for Sid until suddenly the lid opens and he finds himself on the Gotham River bank, which he attributes to the coffin being sucked down a drainpipe. He decides he needs to get out of town, so he calls Eddie to set him up with the leader of the drug ring...

...who happens to be Thorne, which brings us back to the "present" and the end of Sidney's story. Unfortunately, Thorne drops the friendly tone he's had thus far and suddenly becomes antagonistic: he doesn't believe that Sid managed to kill Batman and make a fool of the Joker by complete accident, since "no one is that lucky or stupid!" He accuses Sidney of "playing dumb" to muscle in on his drug racket, and draws a gun on Sid, offering to get him out of Gotham... "in a pine box!" Suddenly gunshots and fighting sounds are heard from the next room, which can mean only one thing...

Batman makes his dramatic entrance and quickly knocks Thorne out. Sid asks how Batman survived and he explains that he swung away before the explosion, and decided to tail Sid and lay low to find out who was heading the drug ring. Batman also saved Sidney from the acid. Sidney thanks Batman and tries to leave — but Batman stops him, pointing out that Sid is still an accomplice to Thorne's gang. Sid understands this, but Batman also adds that "in the right environment," a man of Sid's "dangerous reputation" can get "a lot of respect"...

...which finally brings us to Stonegate Penitentiary, where the rest of the inmates hail Sid as the man who almost killed Batman and, in the process, managed to not only make a fool of the Joker but also set up Rupert Thorne. A beaming Sid remarks, "A big shot at last!"

Tropes in this episode include:

  • Accidental Hero: Sid, while working as a lookout, somehow managed to accidentally "kill" Batman, which makes him a hero and a big-shot to Gotham City's criminal underground. It also earns him the wrath of both Joker and Rupert Thorne, who thinks Sid has been "playing dumb" and wants to depose him. Batman is actually still alive, however, and saves Sid and collars Thorne. Sid gets sent to a big prison outside of Gotham City limits, where he is still treated as a hero for almost killing Batman — and making both Thorne and the Joker look like fools.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Sid was just the lookout, a patsy for the real thugs committing the actual crime. He somehow accidentally kills Batman (or so everyone thought). In fairness to Batman, he's used to two-bit thugs who just throw fists - what crimefighter would think to prepare for a total klutz and a Nervous Wreck who has no business being involved with a heist to begin with?
  • Acid Pool: The Joker lowers Sid the Squid into one while's locked in a casket. Batman saves him by opening the drain before it melts all the way through.
  • Amazing Freaking Grace: At the funeral, Harley plays "Amazing Grace" on the kazoo.
  • And This Is for...: Batman calls his hits as he's beating up Thorne.
    Batman: That's for pulling a gun. And that's for the drugs. And that one's for any I missed!
  • Antagonist in Mourning: No-name goon Sid "The Squid" accidentally convinced many people, himself included, that he had killed Batman. The Joker was skeptical, but after holding up a jewelry store and just waiting there several hours to see if Batman would show up, Joker's skepticism and glee gradually vanished. In his usual bizarre way, Joker mourned the loss of his favorite adversary by holding a symbolic funeral for Batman inside the Joker's "birthplace", the Ace Chemical Plant, Harley playing "Amazing Grace" on a kazoo, locking Sid in a coffin, and dropping it into a big vat of acid, after which he fell a Single Tear for his lost adversary. Batman, having survived the unintended explosion in the beginning of the episode, turned out to be watching from the shadows the whole time, waiting for his apparent demise to make a particularly troublesome crime boss careless. The Joker of course bounces back afterward with a smile:
    • To a lesser degree, Harvey Bullock in the same episode as well. He has frequently made it apparent about his dislike for Batman, seeing him as just as dangerous as the criminals he turns in, and is often ready to bring him in at the slightest suspicion that he's gone rogue, but even he was visibly upset by Batman's apparent demise (though part of his reaction might be sympathy for Commissioner Gordon, who is "taking it pretty hard").
  • Anti-Villain: Sidney just wants some place to belong and feel appreciated. Unfortunately, it turns out that the Gotham underworld is full of false friends and very deadly enemies.
  • Apologises a Lot: "Sorry" is practically Sid's Catchphrase: He apologizes when he ruins Thorne's couch, when he trips over Batman, when he explains what happened at the roof, but the most extreme example may be when Joker placed him in a Death Trap for ruining Joker's right to kill Batman.
    "Will it help if I say I'm sorry? Iím really really really really really really sorry!"
  • Appropriated Appellation: Sid "the Squid" is given his nickname as a mocking joke by his buddies who think he is worthless as a crook. It becomes a badge of honor after he almost kills Batman, makes a fool of the Joker, and sets up Rupert Thorne.
  • Ask a Stupid Question... and you'll get mauled by Joker's hyenas.
  • Badass on Paper: Sidney is believed by the cops to be a criminal mastermind and all the other goons of the underworld think he's an incredibly tough guy (even a big-shot mafioso like Thorne, who sees all of the events and decides to believe that Sid's just playing dumb). The Joker is right about Sidney being just some lowly dope, but even then he doesn't seem to (hell, he doesn't wish to) compute that even the Dark Knight can be just as (seemingly fatally) susceptible to Murphy's Law as anybody else.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: "Sid the Squid" is being held at gunpoint by Rupert Thorne, who refuses to believe that anyone could kill Batman and escape the Joker out of sheer dumb luck and thinks Sid is trying to depose him. A gunshot rings out... which turns out to be Thorne's men in the next room trying (and failing) to stop Batman from barging in.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Sid wants very badly to be "a bigshot" in the criminal underworld.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Batman saves Sid from the acid and later finally reveals that he's still alive by barging into Thorne's apartment and kicking his ass just as Thorne was about to shoot Sid, thinking (erroneously) that he's about to Shoot the Dangerous Minion.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sid's still an accomplice, so he's gotta do some time in prison. Yet when he finally gets there, he finds he's become something of a folk hero among the inmates, as The Man Who Nearly Killed Batman. And put one over on both the Joker and Thorne. Sid is as happy as one could be in a prison jumpsuit.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: Eddie G. set Sid up as bait for Batman. Sid managed to ruin that plan.
  • Burying a Substitute: Of all people, the Joker does this for Batman when he becomes convinced that Batman is dead. He takes the cape and cowl Sid was left with, puts them in a coffin, adds a "kick me" sign, and then throws Batman's "killer" in too.
  • Butt-Monkey: Inverted with Sidney. This bumbling wannabe crook, through several bizarre twists of fate, experiences incredible good luck throughout the episode, making monkeys of Rupert Thorne, the Joker, and (temporarily) Batman, and earning widespread praise he doesn't deserve for an incredible feat that, due to a freakish coincidence, he only appears to have performed. Thorne even lampshades the possibility that Sid's "loser" shtick may all be an act.
    Thorne: No one's that lucky or stupid!
  • Canis Latinicus: While Joker is wondering whether Batman is really dead or not given the lack of a body, he says "Batus delicti," a pun on "Corpus delicti": the term, which means "body of crime," is commonly misunderstood to refer to a murder victim's corpse but actually refers to the body of evidence proving that a crime has occurred, which must be established before a person can be convicted of committing that crime.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Sid lampshades this when Batman still has him arrested, despite being mostly a dupe. He still committed a crime, but Batman reassures him jail won't be a hellhole for him.
  • Continuity Nod: Bullock nearly recognizes the uncostumed Harley, having seen her dressed as a policewoman in her debut episode, "Joker's Favor." Harley also mentions having once served Bullock "a small subpoena," possibly referring to the police baton whacking she gave him when trying to flirt with her during said encounter.
  • Deconstruction: Sidney deconstructs the Mooks, showing what kind of person would assume the daily risk of working for the Joker or Thorne, or confronting Batman as part of his job.
  • Deus ex Machina: Sid survives the Joker's acid trap thanks to a conveniently open storm drain. It's later revealed that a very much alive Batman opened said drain.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: "Harleen Quinzel" is treated as a Sue Donym, whereas it's later established to be Harley's real name.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Sid gets locked up, but his experiences have made him a hero to the average inmate. He's the happiest guy who ever went to prison.
  • Evil Minion: Subverted, Sid is useless at battle, so he could be this trope, but he is also useless in anything else he tries. He is just not useful enough to be a minion.
  • Extreme Doormat: Sid never does anything; the events of the episode simply happen to him and he barely reacts to them.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Deconstructed. Sid initially enjoys the acclaim he receives, but then he's threatened by a rival (on the grounds that killing the man who killed Batman would make him the toughest guy in town), captured by the Joker, and mistaken for a possible rival by Rupert Thorne. Sid keeps trying to explain the situation and is lucky to avoid getting killed several times.
  • Faking the Dead: Batman takes advantage of the situation by letting everybody think he's dead while he tracks Sid to find out who's running the drug ring.
  • False Friend: Sid considers Eddie G. his best friend — and Eddie sets Sid up to be Batman's bait. And it's very difficult to blame Eddie once you get to know Sid.
  • First Day from Hell: This is Sid's first day as one of Thorne's Mooks and he is subjected to five Mook Horror Shows (six if we count Batman sending him to jail).
  • First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Most of the episode is Sid telling what happened from his point of view. Feeble as he is, he is just dragged from one situation to another (sometimes literally) by more powerful forces.
  • For the Evulz: This episode cements this trope as the Joker's MO, with him lamenting that robbing a jewelry store just isn't the same without someone like Batman to piss off in the process, to the point where he orders his gang to put the diamonds they were planning to steal back.
    Harley: Whee! Look at all the pretties!
    Joker: Put them back, Harley.
    Harley: Oh, Mr. J, you're such a kidder, you never c— [Joker grabs her by the collar]
    Joker: I said PUT THEM BACK! [...] Without Batman, crime has no punchline...
  • Foreshadowing: The tack on Joker's hand when Sidney goes to shake it is a sign that Joker's not happy with Sidney, along with the noticeable pause in Joker's voice as he says the word "Killed" in a Title Drop.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: A nobody mob underling, "Sid the Squid," acts as the lookout on a job in which Batman is apparently killed. From Sid's perspective, Bats fell into a gas explosion, but everyone else thinks Sid pushed him. He has to deal with a jealous Joker, an angry Harvey Bullock, and a few rival mob bosses who can't believe his story. The producers admitted that this episode was an experiment to see if they could make a good episode with Batman appearing as little as possible (indeed, Batman only appears for about three minutes total in this episode).
  • Framed for Heroism: Well, more like "framed for villainy," but Sid gets his badass rep when people think he somehow managed to fight Batman to a standstill and then kill him, rather than him just flailing, tripping, and Batman slipping to his doom.
  • Friendless Background: Nobody likes Sid. The Mooks thinks heís useless, Eddie G. set him up as bait, his mother doesnít talk to him anymore.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Deconstructed. Sid's true dream is to be a Big Shot at Gothamís underworld. This is the kind of perverted dream all those Mooks share to justify their volunteering to the Mook Horror Show. The worst part is that Sid gets his wish in the only place he could be a winner: At Stonegate prison, surrounded by Straw Losers. Achieving his dream destroys Sid's life.
    "Like a hungry predator, Sid the Squid stretches his tentacles throughout the Gotham underworld. Yeah, good! I'm on my way. Nothing's gonna stop me now."
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The Joker. A vat of acid. A coffin with a bat-cape and a "kick me" sign. Harley playing "Amazing Grace" on the kazoo. One of the defining moments for the show. The scene had to be done in one take as the actors were laughing too hard to try again. Harley delivers the Trope Namer line in response to the "kick me" sign.
  • Gossip Evolution/Snowball Lie: Even when Sid claims it was an Accidental Murder, being a Extreme Doormat, he just lets the Mooks treat him as their hero. Mere hours after the explosion, the Gotham Underground believes Sid is a mastermind at jail. Only one day after that, Rupert Thorne, with true information about Sid being a Bumbling Sidekick, believes Sid is a Magnificent Bastard playing the Obfuscating Stupidity card.
  • Graceful Loser: When Batman stops Sid from simply walking away and explains that he is still technically guilty of association with Thorne's gang and the drug run, Sid chuckles and accepts this without argument, saying he can't expect to win for losing.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Montoya mutters "Madre de Dios"note  upon learning of Batman's "death."
  • Harmless Villain: With his small stature, scaredy-cat nature, and lack of any mean bones in his body, Sid truly has chosen the wrong profession.
  • Hello, Attorney!: Harley Quinn's disguise. She even wears glasses.
  • Hero Killer: The whole plot revolves around the entire city of Gotham assuming that Sid has become one. The trope is deconstructed as well because Sid is most definitely not equipped to handle the barrage of bad things that his Villain Cred boost has created.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Sid sincerely thinks Eddie G. is a true friend, and he asks for help from Rupert Thorne.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: That's all Sid ever wanted. And he finally gets his wish in the end. And then you realize Sid's dream was being From Nobody to Nightmare.
    Sid: A big shot at last!
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Sid is probably the most harmless goon that has ever appeared in Batman-related media, and that's saying something.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: Sid makes a convincing shadow of a squid's tentacles with his hands. This is Foreshadowing the Central Theme: Later, Batman shows up at the roof and engages Sidney. Sid fumbles around, which casts a bunch of shadows that make it look like he is actually fighting Batman to the onlookers below. The whole theme is how the Gossip Evolution could make a Snowball Lie, making a Bumbling Sidekick into a Badass on Paper.
  • Invincible Incompetent: Sid seems to be The Fool, but at the end of the story, we discover that he was not being completely lucky, and given he ends up in jail, Sid certainly doesn't have Karmic Protection.
  • Kazoos Mean Silliness: Harley plays "Amazing Grace" on a kazoo for Batman's memorial service while Sid is being rolled down into a vat of acid in a coffin. It's one of the funniest moments in the entire series and pretty much the entire cast and crew cracked up while recording it.
  • "Kick Me" Prank: The Joker attaches a "Kick Me" sign to Batman's empty cape and cowl before it is to be sealed in a coffin.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Sid doesn't put up any resistance upon learning that he's under arrest at the end of his episode, and is rather understanding about it.
  • Line-of-Sight Alias: "Sid the... uh... [spots a billboard advertising calamari] Squid!"
  • Made of Iron: Batman punches a guy across the room and he hits his head on the front of Thorne's desk. The desk does not even have a dent and the guy does not even have a concussion.
  • Manchild: When the Mooks gave Sid a chance to be the look out of a drug shipment, he behaves as a Surveillance Station Slacker more interested in making Impossible Shadow Puppets.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Sid is certainly not one of the combatant Mooks, but he is such a loser he cannot be called Minion... he doesn't do anything useful (he's set up as bait, but Sid doesn't manage to accomplish even that).
  • Mistaken for Badass: Poor, poor Sid. Played for Drama, even — it nearly gets him killed several times.
  • Mood Whiplash: Two in-universe examples.
  • Mook Horror Show: The episode plays with this trope, showing us all the terrors Mooks have to endure:
    • First, Eddie G. sets up Sid as the bait in an effort to avoid this trope with the Batman, so Sid is chased by a Terror Hero. Sid is saved by his own stupidity.
    • When Sid is taken to a Bad Guy Bar to celebrate how he killed Batman, some Bit-Part Bad Guy Gangbangers challenge him for the title of "The toughest guy in Gotham." Cue a Bar Brawl. Sid is saved by the police...
    • At jail, Sid is menaced by Harvey Bullock with a little Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique. Sid is saved by a lawyer...
    • ... who turns out to be Harley Quinn in disguise, who leads Sid to the Joker, who puts Sid in a Death Trap. Sid escapes by a Deus ex Machina...
    • ... then Sid decides to asks Rupert Thorne for help — who suspects Sid is trying to pull a Scheherezade Gambit and decides Sid has outlived his usefulness. Sid is saved by...
    • ... Batman, who finally plays this trope straight on Thorne's gang, and he sends Sid to jail.
  • Mundanger: The main Running Gag or the episode (such as it is) is both heroes and villains of Gotham City being unable to believe that the Dark Knight got killed fighting a little far putz of a Mook, of the type he normally curb-stomps a dozen at a time without breaking a sweat, purely by accident.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The first few seconds of the Joker's raid on the jewelry store are framed in a way very reminiscent of the robbery in the Title Sequence.
    • The Squid was a minor Batman rogue who appeared briefly in the comics in the early 80's and was almost an Expy of the Penguin, but was shown as a very cunning and ruthless would-be crime boss, completely the opposite of Sid the Squid. While the comic-books' Squid remains obscure, his storyline is extremely significant to the Batman franchise in retrospect, as it featured the debut appearances of Killer Croc and Jason Todd.
  • Nervous Wreck: A guy as neurotic as Sid should've probably found a better line of work than organized crime.
  • Never Found the Body: Batman after the explosion. The gangsters don't care, but the Joker is cautious enough not to believe it without additional evidence.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Sid's mannerisms, voice and look are intended to be like Woody Allen.
  • No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: Joker calls off the jewel heist because it's no fun without Batman there to try and stop it.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The gangsters are certain nobody could have survived the explosion. As usual for the trope, they're wrong.
  • No Social Skills: Justified, Sid is a Manchild Straw Loser with a Friendless Background that makes him a Horrible Judge of Character. His only way to interact with others is by putting up with the abuse.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Thorne suspects Sid of this because he doesn't believe Sid could have achieved so much by dumb luck.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The apparent death of Batman noticeably changes some demeanors of his adversaries, namely Bullock and the Joker.
    • Bullock is noticeably shocked and sadden by the news, despite the fact he had hated Batman for being a vigilante and would be the first one to lead his arrest the moment Batman becomes public enemy number one.
    • The Joker is so depressed by Batman's absence (which apparently confirms his demise) that he abandons the heist and even orders Harley to put the jewels back in the store. This incident apparently spread across the Gotham underworld as another example of Sid's "fearsome reputation," being the man who made a fool out of the Joker.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: The opening theme and Batman's theme are played with an organ. This is because this episode walks the edge on the Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The Joker tries to murder Sid for denying him a suitably epic showdown with Batman.
    • Possibly Downplayed with Bullock, who's been wanting to personally arrest Batman for vigilantism and goes over the top even by his standards when interrogating the man he thinks caused Batman's demise.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Harley "rescues" Sid from the cops in plain clothes and using her real name. Bullock thinks there's something familiar about her, but can't place it. (Word of God claims this was partially unintentional: they had come up with "Harleen Quinzel" as a Sue Donym and only later on did they decide to make it her real name.)
  • The Perils of Being the Best: Sid isn't the best, but he experiences the downside to this trope nonetheless, since as soon as people start thinking that he must be the toughest guy in Gotham if he took down Batman, a whole line of people form to kick his ass and thus become the new toughest guy in town, and he becomes a priority target for both the police and the criminal underworld.
  • Perspective Flip: The whole episode is another classic Super Hero tale, now from the point of the lowly Mooks who must endure the Mook Horror Show the Terror Hero Batman gives them.
  • Phrase Catcher: After the explosion at the costumes house, everyone salutes Sid as ďThe man who killed BatmanĒ.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Sid's (apparent) victory brings him nothing except trouble — other petty crooks want a piece of him to establish their own Villain Cred, police attention is focused on finding him, the Joker tries to kill him for stealing his ultimate victory, and Boss Thorne concludes that he's trying to put one over on him. Inverted in the end when he goes to prison with an impressive reputation among the other prisoners.
  • Real Name as an Alias: Harley poses as Sid's legal counsel, "Harleen Quinzel," which is later established to be her real name.
  • Red Baron: Sid is nicknamed "Sid the Squid". However, this was initially done to "encourage" him into separating from the other members. The Squid eventually became his moniker after killing the Batman.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Batman's reappearance just before Thorne shoots Sid.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Thorne is right that Sid couldn't have been lucky or stupid enough to do what he did but Thorne assumes Sid is trying to take over his business. The truth is that Batman faked his death so Sid could lead him to the drug ring's leader.
  • The Runt at the End:
    • Subverted by "Sid the Squid." He is the smallest and most pathetic of a gang of crooks, but is also the one who always comes out smelling like a rose because of his ridiculously good fortune.
    • Played straight when Bullock asks all the Mooks for information at Gotham's Police Headquarters: From a row full of ugly angry men, only Sid is showing fear. Who do you think Bullock picks for the interrogation?
  • Save the Villain: The whole situation is kicked off by Batman falling to his (apparent) death while trying to rescue Sid from that fate. When it's all over, Sid finds out that Batman saved him from the Joker's acid tank.
  • Scheherezade Gambit: After Sid ends the Whole Episode Flashback explaining How We Got Here, Thorne replies that Sid is just using Obfuscating Stupidity and invokes this trope as the excuse Sid needed to muscle in on Thorne's drug racket.
  • Seemingly Profound Fool: Sid has no personality of his own, so every competent person sees him as they want Sid to be: Thorneís Mooks see him as an evil Idiot Hero even when he claims it was an Accidental Murder. The gang-bangers defy him to fight even when itís obvious he is hopeless. Joker is so upset by being stolen the chance to kill Batman that he claims Sid had Beginner's Luck, and Thorne, who has informants who rightly told him Sid is a Bumbling Sidekick, suspects Sid of trying to pull a Scheherezade Gambit on him using Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Shadow Archetype: Sid has no personality of his own, so every incompetent person (the mooks) sees him as they want Sid to be: One mook who achieved the From Nobody to Nightmare dream. Even when he is in prison and everyone can see him as the loser he is, all they will prefer to see him as the guy who almost killed the Terror Hero, made a fool of the Bad Boss, and set up The Don, all the guys that make a Mook's life a Mook Horror Show.
  • Shoot the Dangerous Minion: The whole plot is Thorne interrogating Sid to see whether or not he's worthy of this, and once he finishes hearing Sid's tale deciding to do so anyway because he assumes that Sid's using Obfuscating Stupidity. Batman stops him Just in Time.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: This episode is a lot of fun, if you're not Sid. The Ominous Pipe Organ should tip you that this is a Mook Horror Show, and we see a guy in an acid Death Trap from the victim's perspective!
  • Slouch of Villainy: The Joker is sitting in the shadows on a chair shaped like his face as he is introduced to Sid the Squid.
  • Strategy, Schmategy: When Batman shows up, Sid fumbles around as he frantically tries to escape. To the rest of the gang watching from the street below, it looks like he's actually putting up a decent fight.
    Eddie G.: Sid's taking on the Batman! The little weasel's got guts! No brains, but guts!
  • Straw Loser: Sid has no talent for anything evil (or anything good either), not any proactivity, he is not good nor work for Thorne or the Joker is really the only thing left to him.
  • Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The bartender remains calm as the place gets turned upside down by a brawl started when another hoodlum decides to pick a fight with Sid to pump up his reputation. Given that the place is hosting a criminal party to celebrate Sid's triumph, this might be justified as the sort of thing that happens there all the time. The one thing the barkeep does is sneakily slide a glass bowl off a table and onto one man's head, so maybe he enjoys these fights.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Given his Harmless Villain status, his terrifying ordeal and the fact that he ended up unwittingly helping Batman take down Thorne, both the audience and Sid himself are inclined to believe he redeemed himself and thus can just walk away once Batman reappears. Though sympathetic, Batman still sends Sid to prison since regardless of intentions or subsequent action, he still is an accomplice to a criminal gang. Of course, as Batman hints, he's still an ordinary enough person to just end up "in the right enviroment" instead of somewhere like Arkham.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: When the Mooks gave Sid a chance to be the lookout of a drug shipment, he's much more interested in making Impossible Shadow Puppets.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: While Sid ends up going to prison by the end of it, he's become something of a folk hero amongst the inmates, finally giving him the recognition and respect he wanted. Batman pretty much realizes this himself, smiling as he arrests Sid and explaining to him that a man with his "dangerous reputation" can still get a lot of respect.
  • Title Drop: Joker does this while meeting Sid, a mook who had seemingly did the impossible and killed his longtime nemesis. Rupert Thorne also does it.
  • Undignified Death: If there is one thing that pisses off the Joker more than Batman having been killed by someone else, is the fact that he died at the hands of a random criminal, and one that is the greatest dweeb to ever live, at that.
  • Unintentionally Notorious Crime: Sid the Squid takes part in a small-time drug run but (apparently) accidentally kills the Caped Crusader himself.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: You can tell the animators had a hard time trying to keep Joker on-model, as half of his scenes look like his face is melting or distorted, not unlike AKOM's episodes with the character. Unsurprisingly, this was the only episode they did involving the clown prince of crime.
    • The episode as a whole is animated differently from the rest of Sunrise's episodes, particularly with how the characters' shadows look and the way they move in comparison to the rest of the studio's episodes.
    • Batman himself looks more as if he was taken from TMS's episodes instead of Sunrise's in certain shots during the beginning and the finale. Some of the criminals also have a not-so-subtle hint of TMS-style in them as well; while Sid himself looks incredibly Animesque in his design, especially in regards to his black dot eyes compared to everyone else.
  • Villain Cred:
    • Sid ends up going to prison, but he's happy — the other prisoners respect him for almost killing Batman and making fools of the Joker and Boss Thorne.
    • Sid's troubles begin when a bar tough picks a fight so that he can get a reputation as the guy who beat up the guy who killed Batman.
  • Villain Episode: The episode follows Sid's misadventures; Batman appears only briefly at the beginning and end.
  • Villainous Valor: The one true thing that can be attributed to Sid is that when confronted with Batman, even if he's about as threatening as a bug facing a windshield, he tries to fight the Dark Knight. The other crooks think he's got guts with what little they can see of the fight... and then all of the drama Sid suffers ensues because they all think that he had the best kind of luck a Gotham criminal could ask for on his side.
  • Wham Shot: At the start of the episode, Sidney runs over a newspaper in the gutter which bares the headline Batman Slain? Followed by a Wham Line a minute later from Rupert Thorne, who calls Sidney "The Man Who Killed Batman".
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: Sid, he even admits it. However, Rupert Thorne refuses to believe that and insists that he's playing dumb.
    Rupert Thorne: You think I didn't hear the rumors of the third-rate stumblebum who rubbed out the Batman? And now you say you "accidentally" made a fool of the Joker? No one's that lucky or stupid!
    Sid: Yes, I am! Honest!
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: The Joker tosses off "gunsel" and "miserable little gonif" as insults to Sid's person during his angry eulogy.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Thorne when the very-much-alive Batman kicks in his door.


Video Example(s):


The Joker's Eulogy

The Joker, who has always been obsessed with killing the Batman personally, does not take it well that a nobody did it before he could. After lamenting his pain at a impromptu funeral, he decides to take his revenge on him, by killing him in Batman's casket.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou

Media sources: